You need a totally healthy lifestyle to stay fit. That includes good nutrition, plenty of sleep and adequate hydration. In fact, good nutrition is one key people often overlook. For instance, one of the lesser talked about vitamins until recently is vitamin D. The focus on vitamin D became apparent during the recent pandemic and how people who lacked it often became the sickest. So how much vitamin D is necessary for good health? The answer varies based on several factors.
Vitamin D isn’t really a vitamin and you can get it in other ways besides diet.
Vitamins have to come from food. That’s part of the definition. They are essential nutrients that the body cannot make, either at all or in large enough amounts to satisfy needs. Our bodies can make vitamin D and do when they’re exposed to the sun. Essentially, vitamin D comes from the conversion of 7-dehyrdocholesterol, a form of cholesterol. The UVB rays from the sun strike the skin and cause a chemical reaction with cholesterol to create pre vitamin D. The pre vitamin D goes into the bloodstream and into cell receptors that activate them into the hormone vitamin D. Yes, vitamin D is a hormone because it binds to the receptors and stimulates reactions.
It’s all about your age when it comes to how much you need.
Vitamin D does a lot of things for the body. One of those things is to improve bone health. That’s one of the easiest ways to determine how much is necessary. When scientists looked at bone health to determine the amount of vitamin D necessary, they found that age played an important factor. People under the age of 70 needed 600 IU daily, while those over 70 needed 800 IU per day.
Some people can get all the vitamin D they need from the sun, while others can’t.
Aside from physical differences, geographical differences play a role in whether you can get adequate vitamin D from safe sunning, which is sunning without sunscreen protection during the midday hours when UVB rays are at their peak. It can be as little as 12 minutes of body exposure at midday in the summer done three times a week. However, that only works for people at a latitude that’s approximately the same as Atlanta, GA or further south.
- Vitamin D does more than protect bones and teeth or provide immune support. It’s important for a healthy cardiovascular and respiratory system. It even helps inhibit some forms of cancer.
- Studies of 216 patients hospitalized with covid-19 showed that 80% of them had vitamin D deficiencies. Studies prior to 2019 also showed supplementation with vitamin D reduced respiratory infections.
- The further you go north, the more time you need…AND it has to be done during the summer months in the north. People who are fair skinned don’t have to be in the sun as long as those who have darker skin.
- People living in Canada can’t get their vitamin D from the sun year around, so eating food high in vitamin D is important. Milk and other fortified products are good sources of vitamin D. So are fish roe, cod liver oil and eggs.
For more information, contact us today at Get RIPPED! by Jari Love