Vitamin D: are you getting enough?

It’s called the sunshine vitamin for a reason. Our bodies synthesize vitamin D from sun exposure during the summer months. But because of our northern latitude, and the potential health risks of sun exposure, we need to rely on other sources. Currently, about one in ten Canadians isn’t getting enough of this nutrient. That’s about three million people in this country alone, and that’s not good, considering its health benefits. Vitamin D helpswith the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, so this is beneficial in terms ofbone health and the health of our teeth. It can alsohelp prevent osteoporosis and infections. And right now there’s a lotof research looking at vitamin D and reducing the risk of chronicdiseases, such as MS and cancer. That’s why it’s importantto get vitamin D from other sources. Health Canada currently recommendssupplementation, generally 600 international unitsper day for most adults and children over one year, 400international units for children under one year, and 800 international unitsfor adults over 70. But Maniatis says, you can also eat and drink your vitamin D. You can get vitamin Dfrom food sources like milk, egg yolksand fish. And there’s also vitamin Dfortification in a lot of food products like fortified orange juice or fortified soybeverages as well. Fatty fish like salmon, tuna and mackerelare great sources, and one serving will provide you with about halfof your recommended daily intake. Small amounts of vitamin D are also found in beef liver and cheese. You can always check outDietitians of Canada and Health Canada for sometables that will list specific food items and their vitamin D content as well. While some vitamin D is good, don’t overdo it. Too much can negatively affect your heart, tissues andkidneys. And remember that many multivitamins also contain vitamin Dand every bit counts towards your daily intake. With Sunnyview, I’m Monica Matys.

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