Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Vitamin D is good for you!


As the days are slowly getting longer, we are no longer lounging by the pool or splashing by the beach. And for most of us, that means we probably aren't getting enough vitamin D. Using sunblock also decreases your vitamin D absorption from the sun (and yes keep using sunscreen). Vitamin D insufficiency is all the rage these days in the research world, and it has been linked to everything from heart disease to breast cancer. So, what is the deal with vitamin D?

Ok, first things first, you need the D for strong bones and muscles. Vitamin D enhances calcium absorption which keeps bones from breaking down and improves muscle strength. Think of it as spinach, ala Popeye.

Vitamin D is also good for your heart. Studies have found that not having enough D leads to high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, and heart failure(!). Not good. You also need D to lower your risk for breast cancer, infections, autoimmune, and metabolic diseases.

How much D do you really need? Well you need about 600 IU a day if you are under 70, and for those ladies over 70, you need an extra boost of 800 IU. Don't OD on the stuff though - you should take at most 4000 IU in one day. Try taking D3 as a supplement, since it is easy to absorb and you can take it with or without food.

As for me, I usually take a supplement during the winter, but rely on my multivitamins, walks around NYC and egg/milk consumption during the summer months (all three of them. Sigh).


1 comment :

  1. So true! And in case anyone didn't realize, milk doesn't naturally have vit D - it's fortified with it. For anyone drinking organic milk - or better yet milk straight from the dairy - it's best to check out whether your milk has been vitamin D fortified, and if not, definitely go with a supplement :)

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