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What are the health benefits of Vitamin D and how do you get Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is a group of fat-soluble secosteroids. In humans, vitamin D is unique because it functions as a prohormone. Also, the body can synthesize it (as vitamin D3) when sun exposure is adequate. It is also known as the “sunshine vitamin”.

Health benefits of Vitamin D
1. Maintains Your Calcium Balance.
– Narrow range is vital for normal functioning of the nervous system.
– Vitamin D is required for bone growth, and maintenance of bone density.
– Vitamin D is essential for absorption of calcium by the body.
2. Aids Your Cell Differentiation
– Differentiation of cells leads to a decrease in proliferation.
– Cellular proliferation is essential for growth and wound healing.
– Uncontrolled proliferation of cells causes diseases like cancer.
– Proliferation inhibition and stimulation of the differentiation of cells is done by Vitamin D.
3. Boosts Your Immunity
– Active vitamin D is a potent immune system booster.
4. Has a Role in Insulin Secretion
– Insufficient vitamin D levels may have an adverse effect on insulin secretion.
– It also effects glucose tolerance in type 2 diabetes.
5. Blood Pressure Regulation
– Adequate vitamin D levels is important for decreasing the risk of high blood pressure.

Vitamin D and Diseases
– Osteoporosis
– Cancer
– Alzheimer’s disease
– Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)

Autoimmune Diseases
– Diabetes
– Multiple Sclerosis
– Rheumatoid Arthritis

Vitamin D overdose
– Hypercalcemia
– Bone loss
– Kidney stones
– Calcification of organs like the heart and kidneys
– Primary hyperparathyroidism
– Sarcoidosis
– Tuberculosis
– Lymphoma

Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) for Vitamin D
– Infants 0-12 months- 1000 IU
– Children 1-18 years- 2000 IU
– Adults 19 years and older- 2000 IU

Vitamin D Deficiency
– Rickets
– Osteomalacia
– Peripheral vascular disease
– Certain cancers
– Multiple sclerosis
– Rheumatoid arthritis
– Juvenile diabetes
– Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease

How do you get Vitamin D?
– Sunshine (natural)
– Foods are artificially fortified with vitamin D
– Vitamin Supplements

Dietary sources of vitamin D
– Fatty fish species, such as:
– Catfish, 85 g (3 oz) provides 425 IU (5 IU/g)
– Salmon, cooked, 100 g (3.5 oz) provides 360 IU (3.6 IU/g)
– Mackerel, cooked, 100 g (3.5 oz), 345 IU (3.45 IU/g)
– Sardines, canned in oil, drained, 50 g (1.75 oz), 250 IU (5 IU/g)
– Tuna, canned in oil, 100 g (3.5 oz), 235 IU (2.35 IU/g)
– Eel, cooked, 100 g (3.5 oz), 200 IU (2.00 IU/g)
– A whole egg provides 20 IU if egg weighs 60 g (0.33 IU/g)
– Beef liver, cooked, 100 g (3.5 oz), provides 15 IU (0.15 IU/g)
– Fish liver oils, such as cod liver oil, 1 Tbs. (15 ml) provides 1360 IU (90.6 IU/ml)
– UV-irradiated mushrooms and yeast are the only known vegan significant sources of vitamin D
– Exposure of portabella mushrooms to UV provides an increase of vitamin D

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