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Vitamin D Count: Absorption difficulties, Foods Rich in Vitamin D

Updated on February 21, 2014

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.


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    • profile image

      VitaminD 7 years ago

      How much bone would i need to shield myself form a nuclear blast?

    • U Neek profile image

      U Neek 7 years ago from Georgia, USA

      Thanks for the info on this deficiency. I found out that I was severly Vitamin D deficient a couple of years ago and was on Rx Vit. D for several months. Last month at a routine check up, I mentioned to my doctor that I had not had my Vit. D levels checked in some time and so he ran the labs and I was once again severly deficient. I started taking an OTC supplement along with a Calcium supplement because I had read that the D would be better absorbed with Calcium. Within just a few days, I could tell a difference in my fibromyalgia pain symptoms and I don't think I will even be without a Vit. D supplement in my health regimen again! Great hub. Thanks for sharing.

    • agaglia profile image

      agaglia 8 years ago

      Interesting Hub. I was just prescribed a large dose of vit. D., so this was of personal interest to me. Informative and good information to pass on. thanks.

    • profile image

      Greg 8 years ago

      I recently had my yearly physical and I was in tip top shape except I am terribly deficient in Vitamin D. I am 59 years of age. I work in the sun every day. I eat a lot of fish, including salmon and eggs. It seems from your articles that I am doing everything that would keep me from becoming deficient in Vitamin D of all vitamins??? Please help?

    • profile image

      Ken 8 years ago

      About Vitamin D. <a href=" caused the rickets epidemic?</a>.

      <a href=" pseudo-epidemic?</a>.

      <a href=" dogs and .... </a>

      <a href=" D and homeostasis </a>

    • profile image

      Miya 9 years ago

      Meh. I’m 16, and, well;

      I recently have had a few blood tests done and have found that my Vitamin D count is somewhere around 10 or so, and is supposedly supposed to be around 30 or so.

      They've put me on prescription Vitamin D/Calcium supplements and a multivitamin. Oh, and because I live in Minnesota [almost no sun this time of year xD], they've asked me to sit in front of a sun lamp whenever possible as well.

      I absolutely despise just about every type of seafood, so I don't think that's going to help out much. Same goes for eggs, sadly. So aside from those foods, are you aware of any other types that might be beneficial?

      Any information is greatly appreciated! Thank you so much.

      Haha. I don't even know if you still check comments. (Can't hurt to try my luck, eh?)

    • profile image

      Rachel  9 years ago

      am 17 and i have calcium and Vitamin D def unlucky for me

    • flutterbug77 profile image

      flutterbug77 9 years ago from USA

      Very helpful information.

    • MrMarmalade profile image

      MrMarmalade 9 years ago from Sydney

      Like your hub.

      I have one of the bad vitamin deficiencies.

      Glad I have missed that one.

    • stevemark122000 profile image

      stevemark122000 9 years ago from Southern California

      I appreciate your comment Rachel! I'm glad you found this information useful and thanks for stopping by.

    • RachelOrd profile image

      Rachel Ord 9 years ago from Palm Coast

      Lots of great info! I wasn't aware of the suns benefits in relation to Vitamin D. I find this stull all too interesting. I have to say that salmon and eggs are two of my very favorite foods-looks like a Vitamin D rich diet works good for me! THanks!

    • Constant Walker profile image

      Constant Walker 9 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

      That's what I like about Centrums vitamins, they pay attention to the science of vitamin absorption. They know that too much of one nutrient can cancel out the absorption of another, so they're not just offering more of everything than the competition.

      Most people aren't aware of this, and the majority of supplement makers KNOW that most people aren't aware of this. Centrums plays up to to our intelligence and education, while the competition relies on exploiting our ignorance.

      Nicki B, you might want to research those Costco supplements more carefully.

    • stevemark122000 profile image

      stevemark122000 9 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks Nicki B. I am glad you find the information helpful. It would be a good idea to do the vitamin test I talk about in my hub "What You Should know before Choosing Vitamin Supplements" so that you know you are absorbing and benefiting from the costco vitamins.

    • Nicki B profile image

      Nicki B 9 years ago from Orange County, Ca

      Just more reason for me to take those huge multi-vitamin pills that my grandmother gives me from Costco. hehe.

      Stevemark... you are really inspiring me (and giving me the info) to lead a healthier life. I promise I will try! :-D

      -Nicki B.

    • stevemark122000 profile image

      stevemark122000 9 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks mulder you make some great points. The body will heal itself if given what it needs to do so.

    • mulder profile image

      mulder 9 years ago from Warnbro Western Australia

      Our bodies are designed to heal and repair themselves given the right nutrients and conditions Im so schocked about the way we dont eat right and the way the doctors just give a pill for this and that causeing more problems and now we are told dont go in the sun its causes skin cancer so we stay in outside all day and then we dont aborsb vitamin D causeing more health problems by writting these hubs Steve hopefully people will listern and help save their lives thats why I write about natural health supplements as well .

    • stevemark122000 profile image

      stevemark122000 9 years ago from Southern California

      I feel like what I know is only the tip of the iceberg.

    • Constant Walker profile image

      Constant Walker 9 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

      I should, I've been studying me -and my health and fitness- for about 22 years.

      But, I think you're the real expert, eh?

    • stevemark122000 profile image

      stevemark122000 9 years ago from Southern California

      Pam, thanks for stopping by and thanks for your comment.

    • stevemark122000 profile image

      stevemark122000 9 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks for your comment Constant Walker. You really seem to know what you are doing when it comes to your health. That's great!

    • Constant Walker profile image

      Constant Walker 9 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

      Wow, two comments in a row!  This one caught my attention, too.

      I'm believe there is a direct correlation between rising occurrences of vitamin D deficiency and the rampant use of nuclear blast protection-grade sunscreen.

      I saw this coming 20 years ago.  That reminds me, I need to call everyone who told me I'd have skin cancer by now (which I don't) and inquire about their vitamin D deficiencies. 

      A little gloating, and few "I told you so"s.  What the harm?

    • Pam Pounds profile image

      Pam Pounds 9 years ago from So Cal Girl in the Midwest!

      Good info - thanks for the hub!