Vitamin D is the only vitamin that’s also a hormone and the only vitamin that you can manufacture on your own when your skin is exposed to the sun.
But in the darker winter months, especially here in BC -where it’s pissing rainy three quarters of the year-, you need to boost the vitamin D intake somehow. Latitude has a negative influence as well, so for us, Canadians, it’s a double whammy.
Hence the need of supplements and/or better-balanced meals.
Actually according to some new findings, you can’t get the necessary amount of vitamin D exclusively from food.
Numerous studies linked the vitamin D deficiency with various medical conditions.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women with a lack of vitamin D, will deplete the baby from this vitamin as well.
Some signs of vitamin D deficiency:
– tooth decay
– trouble sleeping or insomnia
– lack of energy
– insulin production affected, hence worsening diabetes
But how much do you need daily?
The new guidelines recommend 1,000 IU a day for older people and those with dark skin. Some researchers think levels of up to 2,000 IU a day should even be considered.
What is known- so far- is that the safest dose of vitamin D is 1000 IU.
Over 2000 IU is too much and can lead to kidney problems- including kidney stones- and bone and muscle deterioration.
As much as you would like to keep it all natural and food related, it’s almost impossible to get this amount from food.
You have to use supplements.
One of the major sources of vitamin D is fish. Tuna, salmon and sardines are coming highly recommended.
But, you cant’ eat too much tuna due to the high concentration of mercury. And how much can you munch on sardines? I bet that after eating fish three times a week, you start feeling nauseous only when you smell it.
I love sushi for example, and if I don’t have it for, let’s say a month or two, I feel like I could eat sushi every day. But as soon as I eat two days in a row, I have a different opinion.
Now let’s analyze how much vitamin D you find in some foods:
Food Vitamin D IU
Salmon (3.5 ounces) 360
Tuna, canned (3 ounces) 200
Sardines, canned (1.75 ounces) 250
Milk, cow’s (1 cup) 100
Milk, soy (1 cup) 100
Margarine (1 tablespoon) 60
Fortified cereal (about 1 cup) 40
Egg (1 whole) 20
Do the math now and find out how much you have to eat every day to get your proper vitamin D intake… like 2 cans of sardines, 2 cups of milk (but lots of people have lactose intolerance and some studies showed that milk is not good for adults), 10 eggs (say good bye to your good cholesterol), 2 cups of fortified cereals and the rest could be margarine (yuck).
Or if you have the stomach to do it: code liver oil.
One tablespoon provides about 1,400 IU of vitamin D.
I remember when I was in daycare, eons ago, our caregivers used to give us once a week a teaspoon of fish oil, not sure what kind, followed by a slice of lemon with sugar.
It was quite disgusting that fish oil.
In conclusion, sometimes you have to admit that we have to use vitamin supplements and it does not make you less righteous food wise.