How to Get the Vitamin D You Need
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Vitamin D helps build strong, healthy bones. Research shows maintaining the proper levels of vitamin D and calcium will decrease the likelihood of breaking a bone or developing osteoporosis. Additionally, vitamin D deficiency has been scientifically linked to cancer, diabetes, arthritis, depression and heart disease, just to name a few.
A blood test will reveal your vitamin D level. As you review your blood results, your D level should be between 30-100 n/mL, although the doctors at Cooper Clinic
target a level in the 40s or 50s for their patients.
In order to reach these levels, the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA), as set in 2010 by the Institute of Medicine (IOM)
, is 600 IU daily for those 1-70 years of age and 800 IU daily for those 71 years and older. Cooper Clinic recommends even more. After almost a decade of examining vitamin D blood tests, we believe a baseline consumption of at least 2,000 IU per day is ideal. The Vitamin D Council (a nonprofit with the goal of educating the public on vitamin D) has a higher recommendation still – 5,000 IU per day for adults.
With these numbers in mind, the question is - Are you getting a healthy amount of vitamin D? The answer is likely “no,” as some researchers estimate as much as 75% of the U.S. adult and teen population is deficient. Determining how much vitamin D you naturally obtain throughout your day can be complicated. Below are the three ways the body gets the D it needs. Take a moment to consider how much D you are getting.
From the Sun
The body gets vitamin D through sun exposure. Incidentally this is where D gets its cheery nickname, “the sunshine vitamin.” This complex process starts when the skin absorbs ultraviolet B (UVB) rays from the sun, after which the liver and kidney play a role in the conversion. While this is the most natural way to get vitamin D, many factors prohibit this process from producing optimal levels. What season it is, where someone lives, age and skin color all influence a person’s vitamin D level.
Less vitamin D-producing light reaches the Earth’s surface the farther away from the Equator one lives. For many, the short winter days and brisk weather that requires bundling up, mean that little or no vitamin D will be available through sun exposure. In the warmer months, sunscreen use not only prevents an uncomfortable sunburn, it also prevents vitamin D absorption by blocking UVB light. For good dermatological health, sunscreen is a must, so conscientious users must find alternative ways to obtain vitamin D.
Vitamin D, though found in food, is not prevalent or abundant. Seafood is your best bet to find vitamin D naturally. Three ounces of Sockeye Salmon yields 447 IU and three ounces of canned tuna, 154 IU. A growing number of products are being fortified with vitamin D. Fortified milk, orange juice, yogurt and cereal are popular buys. However, it is still unlikely that you will get the desired level of vitamin D solely from food sources.
To find out how much vitamin D is in the products you buy, consult the nutrition label. For example, a serving of Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes® shows 10% vitamin D. This percentage is of the RDA for vitamin D (600 IU). It can thus be translated to 60 IU per serving.
If you add a cup of fortified milk containing 115 IU vitamin D, that brings your breakfast up to 175 IU. Most nutrition experts agree that a balanced, nutritious diet is the best way to obtain necessary nutrients, but building a 2,000+ IU diet from these fortified numbers may prove to be a difficult task. Beware of product marketing. Just because the package says it’s a “good source of Vitamin D” doesn’t mean it provides the levels your body needs in a day.
Because some people are unable to take in enough vitamin D from the sun or from their diet, there is a third option to enhance vitamin D consumption through supplementation. There are two forms of vitamin D supplements available (D-2 and D-3), but most studies show D-3 to be more easily absorbed by the body, which is why Cooper Complete products use the D-3 form. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means it is best absorbed when taken with a meal that contains some fat.
Cooper Complete nutritional supplements are pure, potent and proven. Each product delivers key nutrients in appropriate doses as supported by research. All Cooper Complete multivitamin
formulas contain 2,000 IU vitamin D-3 in a daily serving. For those who need a higher amount, we offer a standalone vitamin D product
. Each softgel contains 1,000 IU.
The research is ever expanding on vitamin D’s role in health. The prospects remain favorable and provide added incentive to pursue an optimal level with intentionality.
To find out more about vitamin D and the entire line of Cooper Complete supplements, please visit coopercomplete.com or call 888.393.2221.