Vitamin D Fact Sheet
Technically Vitamin D is a Hormone
The term “Vitamin D” refers to several different forms of this vitamin. Two forms are important in humans: Ergocalciferol (Vitamin D2) and Cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3). Vitamin D2 is synthesized by plants. Vitamin D3 is synthesized by humans in the skin when it is exposed to ultraviolet-B (UVB) rays from sunlight. Foods may be fortified with vitamin D2 or D3.
Regardless, the benefits of Vitamin D include:
- Prevents osteoporosis by promoting the absorption of calcium and phosphorus
- Strengthens your immune system
- Protects against colon and prostate cancer
- Reduces blood pressure
- Reduces inflammation
- Slows joint damage due to arthritis
- May ease chronic back pain
- Protects against multiple sclerosis
- Relieves psoriasis
- Minimizes symptoms of Parkinsonâ€™s Disease
The sun contributes significantly to the daily production of Vitamin D, and as little as 10 minutes of exposure is thought to help prevent deficiencies.
Vitamin D Food Sources
Vitamin D is found in very few dietary sources such as fish (salmon, mackerel, catfish, herring, tuna, eel), eggs, fortified milk, cod liver oil, butter, cheese and cream. Some breakfast cereals and yogurts and fortified with Vitamin D.
The RDA for Vitamin D
For men and women up to age 50, the FDA recommends 200 IU (international units) per day. Because the body’s need for vitamin D supplementation increases as you age, the RDA recommends that those between 51 and 70 years of age get at least 400 IU per day, and those over 71 should be getting at least 600 IU per day. By Holistic Health standards, these dosages are low.
Vitamin D Therapy (1000+i/u per day)
Patients on vitamin-D therapy report a wide range of beneficial results including increased energy and strength, resolution of hormonal problems, weight loss, an end to sugar cravings, blood sugar normalization and improvement of nervous system disorders.
Vitamin D Supplements
To get the recommended daily amount, experts suggest you have safe exposure to the sun for 10 minutes per day, eat foods rich in Vitamin D and take a high quality supplement. Consider taking up to 800 – 1,000 IU of supplemental Vitamin D per day especially if you live in the Northeast or have limited sun exposure. It is especially helpful during the winter months when your immune system needs support..
National Institute of Health
Wellness Guide to Dietary Supplements