How to get your daily dose of Vitamin D – WTHR
We asked Heather Hedrick Fink, MS, RD, CSSD from Nutrition and Wellness Solutions, LLC what we need to know about Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin!
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that has roles in bone formation, immune function and muscle function. This fat-soluble vitamin is unique because, in general, the body can meet its needs through synthesis within the body. It is frequently referred to as the “sunshine vitamin” because the ultraviolet rays of the sun hitting the skin can initiate vitamin D synthesis within the body. However, there are several instances in which individuals cannot solely rely on the sun to meet their vitamin D needs. Geographic location, season of the year, time spent outdoors, and sunscreen usage may limit the body’s ability to internally create this vitamin. Therefore, food sources of vitamin D should remain a daily focus for individuals, especially in Indiana.
Fortified foods, such as dairy, dairy alternatives, orange juice and ready-to-eat cereals, contain a majority of the vitamin D available in the typical American diet. Canned salmon (solids and bones) and egg yolks can also be sources of vitamin D. Since the RDA for vitamin D is 600 IU (ages 19-70 years) and most foods supply <100 IU per serving, individuals need to consume several servings of vitamin D-rich foods on a daily basis.
Vitamin D is not typically part of a standard blood test, but it can be requested as a specialty test. Talk with your physician about whether or not it is an appropriate test for you. After results are received, the need for a greater dietary focus or inclusion of a dietary supplement can be determined.
Focusing on food sources of vitamin D should be the priority for most people. However, if blood tests indicate that you are deficient in vitamin D, a therapeutic dose of the vitamin can be prescribed.
Without knowing your blood levels, it is important to stay below the tolerable upper intake level of 4,000 IU of vitamin D per day (foods and supplements combined). Check the nutrition facts and supplement facts labels of the products you are consuming daily to ensure that you are below this upper limit.
If you are interested in developing a personalized nutrition plan, contact Heather Fink for an appointment. Heather can be reached at 317-443-6811 or via email. Learn more about Heather on her website.
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