According to the online publication, “Medical News Today,” research studies have shown over 1 billion people worldwide are vitamin D deficient.
Our bodies do not produce vitamins and so generally, vitamins must be ingested through fortified food sources or by supplementing. What’s really interesting about vitamin D is that despite its name, it’s more formally known as a pro-hormone.
Known as the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D is considered a pro-hormone because it can be synthesized by our bodies when our skin has direct exposure to sunlight.
Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium therefore, it’s essential for bone health. Our brain, heart, muscles, and immune system all have vitamin D receptors and all require the nutrient for proper function.
Insufficient levels of vitamin D levels are linked to weight gain, mood swings, periods of unexplained irritability, and chronic Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Adequate levels of vitamin D may play a role in regulating blood pressure, and similarly acts as a hormone in the body.
If you are going to use a vitamin D supplement then you should know it’s measured in IU and mcg. The proper intake for infants 0-12 months is 400IU (10mcg). Children 1-18 years old, pregnant or lactating women, and adults up to age 70, 600Iu or (15mcg) is recommended daily. 800Iu (20mcg) is a sufficient daily dose for adults over 70.
Remember good eating habits are always important. Fortified milk, juices, cheese, or cereal are good sources of vitamin D, and the same can be said about fatty cold water fish like salmon, herring, sardines, tuna, and mackerel.