Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D deficiency is related to autoimmune diseases, depression, osteoporosis, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, chronic pain, Psoriasis, Fibromyalgia, and arthritis.
  1. Vitamin D and Calcium work together.  People who suffer from osteoporosis often suffer from vitamin D deficiency.
  2. People who have Multiple Sclerosis such as myself often suffer from vitamin D deficiency.
  3. As we all know, sun exposure is a great way to produce vitamin D. The recommended time of day for sun exposure is between noon and 2:00 p.m. because the angle of the sun is different.
  4. The darker your skin, the harder it is to make vitamin D because of melanin, your skins pigment that gives it color, acts as a natural sunscreen.  African Americans have to spend at least 2 times longer in the sun to make the same amount of vitamin D as a person of Irish or Scandinavian descent. 
  5. Sun exposure also provides a natural high by stimulating the release of "feel good" substances in your body such as serotonin, dopamine and beta endorphins, the body's natural opiate.
  6. The current recommended levels do not appear to be sufficient, but you should always consult with your doctor before you begin taking vitamins or anything else.  Especially if you take medications or have any type of illness or condition.
The recommended dosage is as follows:
Age 0 to 1: 400-1,000 IU per day is safe
Age 1 to 12: 1,000 to 2,000 IU per day is safe
Age 13 plus: 1,500 to 2,000 IU per day is safe
Obese or deficient: 2 to 3 times more than the over 13 age group
Pregnant Women: 1,400 to 2,000 IU per day is safe.
Lactating Women: 2,000 to 4,000 or enough for baby via breast milk 4,000 to 6,000 IU per day is safe.

Multiply the daily allowance by 7 and take once per week or 30 and take once per month.  Vitamin D intoxication will not occur until a person takes more than 10,000 IU daily for more than 6 months. You cannot over dose on vitamin D from sunlight, tanning beds or a UVB producing lamp no matter how much UVB you get.

You can buy it over the counter in 1000 IU or 2000 IU or your doctor can prescribe larger doses if needed. It is good to buy food and drinks that are fortified with vitamin D such as milk, orange juice, yogurt, etc......  If nothing else, make sure you spend enough time in the sun.

Fish oil capsules do not contain vitamin D but are a good source of omgea 3 fatty acids.

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