A-Z of Vitamins: Vitamin D

Did you know that without vitamin D, the amounts of calcium and phosphate in your body would be all out of whack? Regulating the levels of these two nutrients in the body is just one of the important tasks that vitamin D has… If you carry on reading, you may just realize that vitamin D could be more important for you than you ever realized.

What does it do?

Not only does vitamin D regulate the levels of both phosphate and calcium in your body but it also helps to keep your teeth and your bones healthy as well. When you don’t get enough vitamin D, you could be running the risks of getting rickets, deformities (especially in children), and even tenderness and pain later on in life.

Where can I get it from?

There are a few foods that can help you to intake your vitamin D levels including:

  • Eggs
  • Powdered milk
  • Fortified foods
  • Fat spreads (again, fortified)
  • Salmon
  • Mackerel
  • Sardines

Most of the vitamin D that you will get however, will come from the sunlight that you should be exposing yourself to every now and again. You should make sure that you take care of your skin at the same time as being out in the sun – cover up in the hottest hours of the day and make sure that you use a good sun screen.

Sunshine

Source: Source: Flickr.com/photos/dingbat2005/430627980/sizes/m/in/photostream/

Do I need more?

If you are pregnant, older than 65, under the age of 5 (and babies), who can’t get out in the sun as often as they should do or have darker skin, you should perhaps look into the idea of increasing the amount of vitamin D that you are getting from your diet.

It has been advised, for example, that pregnant women should take a daily supplement that contains around 0.01mg of vitamin D – you should have a chat with your doctor to find out whether or not you need a supplement, and also how much you should be looking to get from your supplement.

Can I take too much?

As with anything in life, you can have too much of a good thing and vitamin D overdosing, although rare, can happen. Anymore than 25 micrograms per day is going to prove harmful to your health, and in the long term, will cause kidney damage that can be irreparable.

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