Monday, November 22, 2010

Vitamin D

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that acts like a hormone in the human body. It is stored in the fat cells and released as fat is burned. This essential vitamin is supplied through diet, sunlight and supplements and it interacts with several body processes to keep a body healthy.
How does it work?

Vitamin D’s major role is to maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus. It aids in the absorption of calcium, which helps form and maintain strong bones. Recent studies show vitamin D may also provide protection from osteoporosis, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, cancer and several autoimmune diseases. In addition, adequate levels of vitamin D may actually prevent falls by helping us maintain muscle strength and balance as we age, not to mention the prevention of chronic pain, which has recently been linked to low levels of D.

A vitamin D deficiency, which affects up to 50 percent of adults and 30 percent of children in the United States, occurs over an extended period of time when an individual is either not consuming proper amounts of the vitamin or when the body is not absorbing the vitamin correctly. A simple finger-stick blood test, 25-hydroxyvitamin D, can provide you and your doctor with a clear picture of your vitamin D levels.

So, how much vitamin D is enough? Recommendations vary, but a daily intake in the range of 800 to 1,000 IU is likely to benefit most adults. In my practice it is more like 4,000 IU to 6,000 IU. Perimenopausal women may require 1250 IU of calcium per day, while postmenopausal women should consider up to 1500 IU daily. In addition to supplements that your doctor may recommend, you can always get Vitamin D the old-fashioned way by adding the following foods to a healthy diet:

* Cheese
* Butter
* Cream
* Eggs
* Fortified milk (all milk in the U.S. is fortified with vitamin D)
* Fish
* Oysters
* Fortified cereals

Call my office in Wilmington (815) 476-5210 or Lombard (630) 627-3700 to set up an appointment or email me at


JSmith said...

Good stuff. Thank you so so much for sharing your knowledge with the world through the Internet. Wonderful blog and post you got here
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