Vitamin D Count: Absorption difficulties, Foods Rich in Vitamin D
It is quite alarming that people of all ages are being affected by vitamin D deficiency. The problem is much more serious than anyone realized. One teenager was X-rayed and found to have a skeleton so thin that it appear clear on film. It was 50% less dense than it should have been. D deficiency is more common among infants and teenagers than expected. Forty percent of Infants and toddlers were found to be low in vitamin D and forty two percent of teenagers were found to be D deficient.
Men between the ages of 40 to 75 who are deficient in vitamin d are at higher risk for heart attacks according to the Archives of Internal Medicine. Older people are at risk because their skin no longer converts the skin oils into vitamin D efficiently and their kidneys are not as effective at turning Vitamin D into it's active form in the body.
The importance of Vitamin D has been underestimate by many. Not only does it increase bone health in children and adults, in children it can prevent future hip fractures. When there is a deficiency there are no symptoms or warnings before a serious condition such as rickets, weak bones or teeth appear. Breast milk is low in vitamin D and now that it has become popular again rickets have become more common in infants.
There are few rich sources of Vitamin D in food. The best way to get Vitamin D is from the sun. Using heavy sunscreens will interfere with the sun's ability to turn oil in the skin into vitamin D. It is recommended that you have 15 minutes in the sun before applying sunscreen. If you have any skin sensitivity or conditions you should check with your dermatologist first.
A lack of Vitamin D restricts the bodies ability to absorb calcium and phosphorus which retards bone development. In infants and children rickets develops, which causes growth retardation and bone deformities. Adults who are lacking in vitamin D experience bone pain and soft bones. If you are someone who is indoors most of the time, or you wear clothing that covers most of your skin when in the sun, or if you live in an northern area with limited sun rays, it is important to make sure you are eating a diet rich in Vitamin D foods. Vitamin D is very stable so you will not lose any when cooking.
African Americans need quite a bit more vitamin D than caucasians because of the high melatonin content in their skin reduces the skin's ability to produce vitamin D from the sun. It is estimated that between 30 to 50 percent of african americans are vitamin D deficient. Obesity is associated with vitamin D deficiency because it is fat soluble and ends up being stored in fat cells where it is less accessable by our metabolism.
Obese individuals are not able to convert sunrays into vitamin D as well as individuals of normal weight. Studies have found that they only produce 55% of the amount of a person of normal weight. A Diet low in dietary fat or the inability to absorb dietary fat will hinder the absorption of vitamin D because it is a fat soluble vitamin. This can lead to a vitamin D deficiency. Medications may interfere with the absorption and utilization of Vitamin D. If you are getting your vitamin D from food sources It is best to take medications several hours apart from meals if possible.
Foods Rich in Vitamin D
The best source is salmon. Other good sources are shrimp and vitamin d fortified milk. Good sources include cod and eggs. Check to see how much Vitamin D you are getting from these food sources. Infants, children, teenagers and adults up to age 50 need 200 IU's per day. Adults 51 to 70 need 400 IU's per day and adults above 70 need 600 IU's per day.
Vitamin D deficiency is a huge problem for people of all ages. Detecting deficiency is very difficult because of the lack of warning signs. It is best to take preventative measure by insuring that you are getting enough Vitamin D either from the sun or from food sources rich in Vitamin D.