The Sunshine Vitamin

Calciferol also known as Vitamin D, is called “the sunshine vitamin” since your body uses a combination of cholesterol & sunshine to make it. So if you live in a sunny city and drink lots of milk... you’ve got it made!

The Sunshine Vitamin

10 facts you need to know about Vitamin D:

1. Vitamin D is necessary for strong teeth and bones.
2. Calcium cannot be effectively absorbed by the body without sufficient vitamin D.
3. Vitamin D helps to promote a healthy heart and nervous system.
4. Thirty minutes of sunshine is all it takes for the body to manufacture Vitamin D for light skinned people.
5. Darker skinned people need up to 3 hours of sunlight to achieve the same level of vitamin D production (due to the difference in skin pigmentation).
6. Rickets, which result in bent legs, can occur in children whose bones are too soft from a lack of vitamin D.
7. In adults a deficiency of vitamin D causes a loss of minerals in the bones and contributes to osteoporosis.
8. A lack of vitamin D is also linked to the development of hearing problems.
9. Sunscreen with a high SPF factor can interfere with the body’s manufacture of vitamin D.
10.Vitamin D has shown promise in the treatment of psoriasis.

The Recommended Dietary Allowance of Vitamin D, for men and women alike is 400 iu. Very high levels of vitamin D can be toxic but there is no consistent agreement on when this level is reached. Some guidelines warn that 5,000 iu of vitamin D is too much on a daily basis, others say 10,000 is of vitamin D is where the trouble begins, while still others claim the toxic level of vitamin D is even higher. The good news is that although vitamin D is plentiful given the right combination of sunshine & food, getting too much of it is difficult.

An excess of vitamin D in your body can cause drowsiness, nausea, increased thirst, a decreased appetite & abdominal pain. A long-term affect of too much vitamin D is calcium deposits in the kidneys & blood vessel walls, which can cause serious damage.

Along with being added to milk, vitamin D is in liver, egg yolk, tuna,  salmon,  mackerel, butter & dark leafy vegetables. Strict vegans must be careful to get enough vitamin D. A lack of vitamin D may also be experienced by people with liver & kidney ailments, as these organs are needed to activate vitamin D in the body.

10 April 2012