Vitamin d

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Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is essential for human health. It is also known as the sunshine vitamin because the body produces it when the skin is exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D plays a crucial role in the body, helping to regulate calcium and phosphate levels, promoting healthy bone growth, and supporting the immune system. In this article, we will explore the importance of vitamin D, its sources, and the recommended daily intake.

Vitamin D structure

Importance of Vitamin D

  • Vitamin D is important for several reasons:
  • Bone Health: Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, which is necessary for healthy bones. Without adequate vitamin D, bones can become thin, brittle, or misshapen.
  • Immune Function: Vitamin D plays a role in regulating the immune system and can help reduce the risk of infections.
  • Muscle Health: Vitamin D is important for muscle function, and low levels of vitamin D have been associated with muscle weakness and pain.
  • Cancer Prevention: Some studies have suggested that vitamin D may help reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, including breast, colon, and prostate cancer.

Sources of Vitamin D

  • The primary source of vitamin D is sunlight. When the skin is exposed to sunlight, it produces vitamin D3, which is then converted into its active form in the liver and kidneys. However, there are other sources of vitamin D, including:
  • Food: Some foods, such as fatty fish, egg yolks, and fortified milk and cereals, contain small amounts of vitamin D.
  • Supplements: Vitamin D supplements are available in both D2 and D3 forms.

Recommended Daily Intake

  • The recommended daily intake of vitamin D varies depending on age and other factors. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the recommended daily intake for vitamin D is:
  • Infants 0-12 months: 400-1,000 IU
  • Children 1-18 years: 600-1,000 IU
  • Adults 19-70 years: 600-800 IU
  • Adults over 70 years: 800-1,000 IU
  • It is important to note that some individuals may require higher doses of vitamin D, particularly those with a deficiency or those who live in areas with limited sunlight.

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