The Bare Bones: What You Need to Know About VITAMIN D

Wellness Update - - In The News -

V ita­min D is a fat-sol­u­ble vitamin that you can ob­tain from foods, sun­light ex­po­sure, and sup­ple­ments. Once in your body, vitamin D is pro­cessed through your liver and then your kid­neys into its ac­tive form, cal­citriol. One of vitamin D’s ma­jor roles is its ef­fect on bone health, by as­sist­ing with cal­cium ab­sorp­tion and main­tain­ing suf­fi­cient cal­cium and phos­phate lev­els. With­out enough vitamin D to help main­tain strong bones, chil­dren may de­velop rick­ets, and adults may de­velop os­teo­ma­la­cia and be at higher risk for de­vel­op­ing os­teo­poro­sis. Vitamin D also has other im­por­tant roles in your body, such as its in­volve­ment in cell growth, neu­ro­mus­cu­lar func­tion, and im­mu­nity. Vitamin D’s im­pact on var­i­ous health con­di­tions con­tin­ues to be stud­ied. While its im­por­tant role in bone health is rec­og­nized, its ben­e­fits and risks with other con­di­tions, such as can­cer, need fur­ther re­search. Vitamin D is found nat­u­rally in some foods, such as fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and mack­erel. Other foods, such as beef liver, cheese, egg yolks, and cer­tain mush­rooms also con­tain small amounts of vitamin D. The ma­jor­ity of di­etary in­take of vitamin D is from var­i­ous foods that have been for­ti­fied, which may in­clude milk, break­fast ce­re­als and orange juice. In­fant for­mu­las are also for­ti­fied with vitamin D. The Food and Nu­tri­tion Board (FNB) es­tab­lished the fol­low­ing rec­om­mended di­etary al­lowances (RDAs) for vitamin D based on age: Birth to 12 months of age: 400 IU (10 mcg) Chil­dren and adults 1 to 70 years of age, in­clud­ing preg­nant and nurs­ing fe­males: 600 IU (15 mcg) Adults 71 years of age and older: 800 IU (20 mcg)

(IU = In­ter­na­tional Units) Ex­po­sure to sun­light, specif­i­cally ul­tra­vi­o­let (UV) B ra­di­a­tion, helps your body make ad­di­tional vitamin D. UVB ra­di­a­tion does not pass through glass, thus in­door ex­po­sure to sun­light does not help you get vitamin D. How­ever, ex­er­cise cau­tion when out in the sun due to the harm­ful ef­fects that stem from UV ra­di­a­tion. Di­etary sup­ple­ments con­tain­ing vitamin D are another source and may be rec­om­mended if you are not ob­tain­ing enough vitamin D through your diet and ex­po­sure to the sun. Vitamin D is avail­able as D2 (er­go­cal­cif­erol) or D3 (chole­cal­cif­erol) in th­ese sup­ple­ments and for­ti­fied foods. Hav­ing too much vitamin D can be harm­ful. Vitamin D tox­i­c­ity usu­ally oc­curs from ex­ces­sive doses of di­etary sup­ple­ments con­tain­ing vitamin D. Symp­toms may in­clude vom­it­ing, weak­ness, and weight loss. Re­sult­ing el­e­va­tions in cal­cium may cause dam­age to blood ves­sels and or­gans, in­clud­ing the kid­neys. The FNB also es­tab­lished the fol­low­ing tol­er­a­ble up­per in­take lev­els (ULs) for vitamin D: Birth to 6 months of age: 1,000 IU (25 mcg) In­fants 7 to 12 months of age: 1,500 IU (37.5 mcg) Chil­dren 1 to 3 years of age: 2,500 IU (62.5 mcg) Chil­dren 4 to 8 years of age: 3,000 IU (75 mcg) Chil­dren and adults 9 years of age and older, in­clud­ing preg­nant and nurs­ing fe­males: 4,000 IU (100 mcg) Blood tests can mea­sure your vitamin D lev­els. Dis­cussing th­ese re­sults with your health­care provider will help as­sess your vitamin D sta­tus. If you are tak­ing any med­i­ca­tions that can af­fect vitamin D, you should also dis­cuss this with your health­care provider. Such med­i­ca­tions in­clude cor­ti­cos­teroids, orli­s­tat, cholestyra­mine, pheno­bar­bi­tal and pheny­toin. Like other vi­ta­mins and min­er­als, it’s im­por­tant to know how much of a ‘good thing’ is good for you. Talk to your physi­cian about your vitamin D in­take and be sure you get the right amount in your diet to main­tain healthy bones through­out your life. This in­for­ma­tion con­trib­uted by Mar­garet Y. Pio, PharmD, BCPS, CDE, Clin­i­cal Phar­macy Spe­cial­ist, Fam­ily Medicine Clinic, Park­land Me­mo­rial Hos­pi­tal

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.