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Things you should know about vitamin D

Updated on July 7, 2012

OK what is vitamin D?

Well the most obvous answer would be that it's a vitamin but of course the name gives that away already. Vitamin D has been classified as a steroid vitamin and helps with the absorption and metabolism of calcium and phosphorous.
Currently 5 forms of vitamin D have been discovered and they are D1, D2, D3, D4 and D5. It is said that the important ones for us are vitamins D2 and D3.

How to get vitamin D naturally

Well the most obvious source of vitamin D comes from the ultraviolet(UV) radiation from our sun. We should be getting at least 15 minutes of sun exposed on our skin per day. However it can vary depending on our skin colour. If you have naturally dark skin you will need to have more sun exposure to absorb the vitamin D or perhaps take a suplement. As we know too much sun with high UV levels can damage our skin and increase our risk of skin cancer.

Another natural way to recieve vitamin D is through certain foods that we eat. Some fish, such as salmon, tuna and mackerel, as well as fish liver oils are considered to be the best sources. Some vitamin D is also present in beef liver, cheese and egg yolks.

Why do we need vitamin D?

We need a good amount of vitamin D for many reasons. One that was mentioned at the beginning of this article was to assist with the absorption and metabolism of calcium and phosphorous which in turn assists with the maintenance of healthy bones and teeth.
It also helps to regulate the immune system and also assist it against viruses such as the common cold and also reduce the risk of developing multiple sclerosis, cancer and even rheumatoid arthritis in women.
Some people even think that vitamin D is also helpful in maintaining a heathy body weight.

There are many more benefits to vitamin D but those are just some main points.

How much is too much?

If you are wondering if you can overdose on vitamin D then the answer is yes. We should only be aiming to have around 1000IU of vitamin D per day 2000IU at the most. If you have any concerns about how much vitamin D you should be taking then consult your doctor.
Going over 4000IU of vitamin D can actually be harmful to your health. One example would be lets say if you were taking over 10,000IU of vitamin D per day which is overly excessive you may absord too much D and too much calcium that it could cause damage to your kidneys. Also too much is no good for your blood vessels and can cause stiffened arteries.

Who is at risk of vitamin D deficiency?

It is always best to consult your doctor however here are some people who would be at risk of being deficient in vitamin D.

- People with naturally dark skin. Their skin reduces the amount of UV rays that penetrate it.

- People who go outside but cover themselves up with not much skin exposed (that would be mainly in winter) or who put on lots of sunscreen and hat and stay in the shade (mainly in the summer)

- People who stay/work indoors and not getting any sun.

- The elderly (usually a good idea to get tested)

- People who are overweight (D stored in fat is less bioavailable)

Have anything else to add about vitamin D?

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    • BabyCheetah profile image

      BabyCheetah 5 years ago from Melbourne

      I know what you mean I'm the same. Vitamin D3 is the only one I take because I don't get enough of it and I only take it 3 days a week and not daily. Sometimes vitamins can help if we need it and it's good for people that can't eat certain foods :)

    • Kai0224liu profile image

      kaikai 5 years ago from TX

      Usefule information, I like to take vitamin but I won't take too much cus I believe in getting nutrition from foods you take every day. Kaikai

    • BabyCheetah profile image

      BabyCheetah 5 years ago from Melbourne

      You're welcome. Thank you for reading :)

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I take 1000IU of Vitamin D each morning. Glad to know I am on track! Thanks for the useful hub.

    • sallyhatcher profile image

      sallyhatcher 5 years ago from Golden, Colorado

      Nice Hub...Thanks For Share.....

    • BabyCheetah profile image

      BabyCheetah 5 years ago from Melbourne

      Sage in a Cage: It's good that you are taking suplements to assist. You should feel a difference. I take them as well as I was always feeling tired :)

      Topquark: If you are not getting enough sun I'd recommend looking into suplements. But you can speak to your doctor first for more info or if you want to get tested :)

      Mjboomer: Thank you. It's true the elderly seem to get deficiencies too why is why their bones break easily or get osteoperosis :(

    • mjboomer profile image

      Mike Elzner 5 years ago from Oregon

      Great Hub, interestingly many folks of advanced age have vitamin D defficiencies due to lack of exposure to the sun as well as insufficient vitamin D in their diet. It is amazing the difference it makes! Thanks for your great information.

    • topquark profile image

      topquark 5 years ago from UK

      Nice hub. I should probably pay more attention to my vitamin D intake. I don't go outside as often as I should, and we don't have many sunny days here.

    • Sage in a Cage profile image

      Sage in a Cage 5 years ago

      Great hub. I was recently diagnosed with a Vitamin D deficiency and am now taking high dose supplements to try and bring it up to a normal level.

    • BabyCheetah profile image

      BabyCheetah 5 years ago from Melbourne

      BlissfulWriter: Thank you so much. I may add more as I find out more info on it :)

      Amuno: Oh I wouldn't worry about that too much. If anything I'd be more worried of any skin cancers from too much sun than too much vitamin D :)

    • amuno profile image

      Alfred Amuno 5 years ago from Kampala

      Good info. I guess I do not have to worry a lot about the lack of V.D, maybe too much of it. Too much sunshine around me throughout the year.

    • BlissfulWriter profile image

      BlissfulWriter 5 years ago

      I agree that vitamin D3 is the most important. Voted up and shared.