Shedding Light on Vitamin D requirements

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that helps maintain normal levels of calcium and phosphorus in the blood. Certain wavelengths of ultraviolet light prompt our bodies to synthesize vitamin D which controls how the body uses calcium and mineralizes bone. However, living in New England during the winter months or wearing sun block interferes with obtaining adequate levels. The updated recommended daily allowance has increased to 400 IUs daily, but researchers are still unsure of the proper adequate intake. Individuals over age 50 who are found to be deficient may require doses starting at 2,000 IUs. How much of the vitamin the body can process varies, thus requiring some individuals to need larger doses (by prescription). Don’t move to Florida yet! Just 10 minutes of sunlight on 40% of the body is sufficient, or consulting your primary care provider for adequate supplementation during the winter months is recommended.
Carol Penfield MS, Nurse Practitioner. Her office phone is 508-945-7761

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