Many people think more about vitamin C and B than vitamin D, perhaps because these vitamins are talked about more often. However, you also need to have enough vitamin D regularly to help prevent a wide range of health-related ailments from possibly occurring.
One reason why many people don’t get enough vitamin D is that we’re told to “cover up” and put sunscreen on when going if it’s sunny and hot. That prevents the vitamin D from getting through to your skin to work its magic.
Having enough vitamin D in your system can help prevent medical problems such as diabetes, cancer, depression, insomnia, strokes, hypertension, birth defects, cardiovascular disease, weakness in your bones, problems with vision, dementia and even the flu and common colds in the winter months when the weather can be harsh and people tend to stay indoors more often.
Studies have proved that people’s levels of vitamin D decreases as they get older. The most recent research shows that around one-third of Americans have a vitamin D deficiency and in the winter months that figure can be as high as 50% of people so it’s vital that you get enough vitamin D to help protect yourself against all the possible health risks.
It’s almost impossible to get enough vitamin D just from food. The only foods that have significant amounts are eggs, mushrooms, oily fish and fortified foods. So most people need to take supplements to help boost their levels to an adequate range if they can’t receive enough direct sunlight.
The recommended supplement dosages are: adults – 1500-2000 IU per day. Children 1-18 years old – 600-1,000 IU per day and children under one year old 400-1,000 IU per day. Adults can take up to 10,000 IU per day without any harm. Always speak to your doctor before taking any new medication or supplement to ensure there won’t be any unexpected side effects. Your pharmacist is another person who can advise you on these matters.
People who have low levels of vitamin D have an increased risk of having hip fractures. Vitamin D is needed to properly use the calcium you get from the food eaten. Statistics show that around 300,000 people wind up in hospital every year because of bone fractures and breaks and, unfortunately, many die as a result of complications from surgical procedures. Others pull through but have to live with decreased mobility which means they can no longer live on their own.
Elderly people are generally deficient in vitamin D because of their age and the fact that they’re often on many different prescriptions which can impede the absorption of all vitamins. They usually spend most of their time inside as well. Because of these factors, they usually have a higher need for vitamin D than younger, healthier people.
The bottom line is that you should be taking care of your health and ensuring that if you can’t get enough vitamin D through food and sunlight, that you take enough supplements to ensure you stand the best chance of remaining as healthy as possible for as long as possible.