Recommended intake of vitamin D
Recommended intake of Vitamin D is important for a good overall health. It is a major factor for strong bones and a good immune system. It is also important in assuring that your muscles, heart, lungs and brain work well. Besides that Vitamin D is a great mood booster and is known to assist in fighting against depression.
Your body can make its own vitamin D through sunlight. The skin absorbs vitamin D through exposure to sunlight. Kidneys are an essential part in converting the vitamin D inside the Body. People with Kidney Disease might suffer from Vitamin D deficiency. Therefore Vitamin D supplements are recommended. There are as well certain foods that provide the body with Vitamin D and can contribute to the vitamin D levels.
Vitamin D is one of the vitamins that can be stored inside the body. This is important especially for those living in the northern part of the world, where sunlight is limited.
Vitamin D has multiple roles in your body. Vitamin D is most known to help maintain the health of bones and teeth. It regulates insulin levels and supports lung function and cardiovascular health. Nervous system, immune system and the brain benefit greatly from Vitamin D. It also assists in diabetes management.
Recommended intake of vitamin D in micrograms
There are two ways to measure Vitamin D intake. It can be measured in micrograms (mcg) or International Units (IU). The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) reports following intake recommendations per day:
- Infants 0-12 months – 400 IU (10 mcg)
- Children 1-18 years – 600 IU (15 mcg)
- Adults to age 70 – 600 IU (15 mcg)
- Adults over 70 – 800 IU (20 mcg)
- Pregnant or breastfeeding women – 600 IU (15 mcg)
Vitamin D Deficiency
Many factors such as lifestyle, age and race can affect the ability to absorb recommended intake of Vitamin D. Especially people with a darker skin tone need more sun exposure to get similar vitamin D levels of light skinned people.
Lack of vitamin D affects bones and teeth by weakening them. Especially in children who do not get enough vitamin D may have soft bones. Deficiency in adults can also result in developing soft bones or loss of bone mass, which leads to osteoporosis.
Some people are more likely to be lacking in recommended intake of vitamin D. Here is a quick risk checklist:
- Dark skin: The darker the tone of your skin the more sun is need to get enough vitamin D. Black people therefore are at higher risk to lack vitamin D.
- Sun protection: People who use high levels of sun screen or cover their skin all the time cannot benefit from enough sunlight produced Vitamin D.
- Pregnancy: Pregnant woman need higher amounts of Vitamin D
- Ageing: Older people have thinner skin can’t produce as much vitamin D.
- Living in the North: People that live on the northern part of the globe are at higher risk as well. Due to only a few hours of sunlight a day they are more likely to suffer Vitamin D deficiency.
Early Symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency
Serotonin is a major player when it comes to your mental health and is affected by vitamin D levels. Exposure to sunlight raises our mood, whilst darkness brings us down. That explains the increase in depressions through the winter months, where sunlight is limited to a few hours
Pain of the bones
Complaining about aches of the bones can be a sign for vitamin D deficiency. The loss of bone density makes bones weak and breakable.
A classic symptom of vitamin D deficiency is a sweaty head. This is known especially with infants. Excessive sweating of the head in newborns can be a clear sign of an early symptom in vitamin D deficiency.
Vitamin D helps to absorb fat. When you suffer from gastrointestinal problems this could indicate low levels of vitamin D.