Vitamin D is both a vitamin and a hormone produced by our bodies. It's a fat-soluble vitamin that's long been recognized to help with calcium and phosphorus absorption and retention, both of which are necessary for bone building. Vitamin D has also been shown in lab experiments to inhibit cancer cell development, aid infection control, and reduce inflammation. Vitamin D receptors may be found in a variety of organs and tissues throughout the body, suggesting that it has essential functions beyond bone health, and scientists are currently researching these possibilities.
Vitamin D is a series of fat-soluble vitamins that, among other things, improves magnesium, calcium, and phosphate absorption in the intestine. The most important compounds in this category in humans are vitamin D3 (also known as cholecalciferol) and vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol. The human body produces vitamin D in reaction to sun exposure. Vitamin D levels can also be boosted by consuming certain foods or taking supplements. Vitamin D is necessary for a variety of reasons, including bone and tooth health. It may also help to prevent a variety of diseases and ailments, including type 1 diabetes.
The role of vitamin D in preventing disease is a popular topic in research, but there are no definitive answers about the advantages of implementing more than the recommended daily allowance. Although observational studies show a clear link between greater vitamin D serum levels and lower prevalence of certain diseases in populations living in sunnier regions, clinical trials that give individuals vitamin D supplements to treat a specific condition are still unconvincing. This could be due to a number of factors, such as study design, vitamin D absorption rates in various populations, and participant dosages. Find out more about vitamin D research and specific health issues and diseases.
Vitamin D is a hormone precursor or a prohormone, rather than a vitamin, despite its name. Vitamins are nutrients that the body can't make on its own and must be received from food. The body, on the other hand, may generate vitamin D.
Vitamin D serves a variety of functions in the body including
- Supporting immunological, cognitive, and neurological system health by fostering strong bones and teeth
- Controlling insulin levels and assisting in the management of diabetes
- Modulating the expression of genes implicated in cancer development to improve lung function and cardiovascular health
Vitamin D consumption can be measured in micrograms (mcg) or international units (IU). A microgram of vitamin D equals 40 international units (IU).
Daily intakes that are suggested
The following are some reliable vitamin D sources:
- 400 IU for infants aged 0–12 months (10 mcg).
- 600 IU for children aged 1 to 18 years (15 mcg).
- Adults up to the age of 70: 600 IU (15 mcg).
- Adults above the age of 70: 800 IU (20 mcg).
- 600 IU for pregnant or nursing women (15 mcg).
For an adult, the top amount recommended by healthcare specialists is 4,000 IU per Source. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), vitamin D toxicity is uncommon at dosages below 10,000 IU per day.
Excessive vitamin D consumption can result in bone calcification and hardening of blood vessels, kidney, lung, and cardiac tissues. Headache and nausea are two of the most typical symptoms of too much vitamin D. Too much vitamin D, on the other hand, can cause the following:
- Decrease in appetite
- Metallic taste in the tongue
Taking too many supplements can lead to an excess of vitamin D. Vitamin D is best obtained from natural sources. Because the FDA does not monitor the safety or purity of supplements, people who take them should choose their brand carefully.
Vitamin D pills are available for buy online in a variety of forms. The most significant factor in illness prevention and good health is the whole diet and eating habit. It is preferable to consume a diet rich in a variety of nutrients rather than focusing on a single vitamin as the key to good health.
Sources of Vitamin D in Food
Only a few foods contain vitamin D3. Fish liver oils and Fatty fish meat are the best sources. Cheese, beef liver and egg yolks, all have lower levels. Some mushrooms contain vitamin D2, and some commercially available mushrooms include higher quantities of D2 due to deliberate exposure to high levels of UV radiation. Vitamin D can be found in a variety of foods and supplements, such as dairy and cereal.
1. Cod liver oil
One of the best sources of vitamin D is cod liver oil. Because the body cannot acquire all of its vitamin D needs from food, sun exposure is also vital. One teaspoon of cod liver oil, weighing 4.5 g, contains, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA),
Cod liver oil's nutritional characteristics
- Energy: 41 calories
- Vitamin A: 4,500 international units (IU)
- Vitamin D: 450 IU
- Saturated fatty acids: 1.017 g
- Monounsaturated fatty acids: 2.102 g
- Polyunsaturated fatty acids: 1.014 g
- Cholesterol: 26 milligrams (mg)
Salmon is a popular fatty fish that also happens to be a good source of vitamin D. According to the Food Composition Database of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), one 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of farmed Atlantic salmon contains 526 IU of vitamin D, or 66 percent of the daily value.
The difference between wild and farmed salmon can be significant. Wild-caught salmon has an average of 988 IU of vitamin D per 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving, or 124 percent of the daily value. In certain investigations, wild salmon has been found to have even greater levels of IU — up to 1,300 IU per meal.
Farmed salmon, on the other hand, only has 25% of that amount. Even so, one serving of farmed salmon contains roughly 250 IU of vitamin D, or 32% of the daily value.
Specific mushrooms may be a choice if a person does not like fish or is vegetarian or vegan. Vitamin D is abundant in several mushroom varieties.
These are some of them:
Raw maitake mushrooms have 562 IU per 50 grammes, which is 94 percent of the recommended daily allowance.
Dried shiitake mushrooms provide 77 IU per 50, or around 12% of an individual's RDA.
Mushrooms that have been exposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation can contain a lot of vitamin D. These may include the following:
Raw Portobello mushrooms that have been exposed to UV light: These contain 568 IU per 5, which is 95 percent of a person's RDA.
Raw white mushrooms that have been subjected to UV light contain 523 IU per 50 gm, which is an 87 percent concentration.
4. Egg Yolk
Vitamin D is easily obtained from eggs. Many breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert recipes use them. Because the yolk of an egg contains vitamin D, it's crucial to use the entire egg rather than just the whites. One yolk contains roughly 40 IUs of vitamin D, but don't rely on eggs to meet your daily vitamin D requirements. One egg has roughly 200 milligrammes of cholesterol, and the American Heart Association recommends no more than 300 milligrammes of cholesterol per day for heart health.
Eggs may help keep vitamin D levels high, reducing disease risk, maintaining strong bones and teeth, and lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease. Dr. Mansberg stated, "Eggs are a highly nutritious meal that should be included regularly as part of a healthy and balanced diet."
"Is soy milk healthy?" you might wonder. or "Does soy milk have any health benefits?" While soy milk is a fantastic source of protein, you'll notice that the types of protein in soy milk and dairy milk differ. Dairy milk proteins, according to the British Journal of Nutrition, are among the finest quality proteins available, especially when compared to plant-based proteins such as soy and pea protein. The digestibility and utilization of a protein is determined by its quality.
When comparing soy milk to cow's milk, keep in mind that while soy milk has nutritional benefits, the nutrients are not the same. In fact, few non-dairy milk alternatives can compete with milk's comprehensive nutritious package, which includes calcium, potassium, and B vitamins. Although soy milk has calcium, vitamin A, vitamin D, riboflavin, and vitamin B12, it lacks the nutritional content of dairy milk, which contains 13 vital components.
Soy milk is made from soybeans and filtered water, with added additives such as sea salt, sugar, natural flavors, and thickeners such as gellan gum. Thickeners are added to soy milk and many other plant-based milk replacements to increase consistency and shelf life. Non-dairy milk substitutes, such as soy milk, are frequently fortified with essential nutrients, but the amounts vary.
6. Fortified foods
Vitamin D deficiency is frequent in India, despite the availability of sunshine. Fortification of fundamental foods with vitamin D could be a way to reach a huge number of people. Despite the fact that vitamin D fortification projects in the United States and Canada have improved vitamin D levels in these countries, a significant portion of the population is still vitamin D deficient. Before designing and implementing fortification programmes in India, it is vital to research the efficacy of vitamin D fortification programmes in the United States and Canada, and then improve them to fit the Indian situation. This paper investigates possible fortification tactics in the Indian environment.
The different dietary behaviors necessitated by social, economic, cultural, and religious activities, as well as the diverse climatic circumstances in India, have led to the development of these techniques. More practical techniques may include fortification of staple foods such as chapati flour, maida, rice flour, and rice. In a review titled "Fortification of foods with vitamin D in India: Options aimed at children," tailored fortification strategies to suit the nutritional needs of children in India are discussed separately.
7. Cow Milk
Various health experts and nutritionists suggest including one glass of cow milk in daily diet, which will give 20 percent of your daily requirement of vitamin D. Cow milk is a great source of vitamin D and calcium. Make sure you drink full fat milk because it has the most vitamin D. "Use full fat milk, as it contains only 4% fat; take off its fat, and its fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K are also reduced," according to DK Publishing's book "Healing Foods."
Yogurts are high in protein and fortified with vitamin D, containing roughly 5 IU per 8-ounce serving, according to USDA nutrition statistics. However, when you buy yoghurt, read the label carefully because most of these fortified varieties are flavored, which means they have a high sugar level. As a result, it is preferable to avoid using store-bought yoghurt packets and instead make yoghurt at home.
9. Orange Juice
Squeezing or reaming oranges yields orange juice, which is a liquid extract of the fruit of the orange tree. Blood oranges, navel oranges, valencia oranges, clementines, and tangerines are just a few of the variety available. Aside from the different types of oranges utilised, various varieties have varying amounts of juice vesicles, which are referred to as "pulp" in American English and "(juicy) pieces" in British English. The orange juice is contained in these vesicles, which can be left in or removed during the manufacturing process. Many factors, including species, variation, and season, influence how juicy these vesicles are. The beverage's name is sometimes shortened as "OJ" in American English. We'll give you even another reason to drink orange juice: it contains a significant amount of vitamin D and vitamin C. It's also one of the best fruit juices, featuring a wide range of health-promoting characteristics. Breakfast with a glass of fresh orange juice is the finest way to get your day started. However, fresh orange juice should always be preferred over store-bought orange juice.
Oatmeal is a dehusked, steaming, and flatten oat product, or a coarse flour formed from milled (ground) or steel-cut hulled oat grains (groats). Ground oats are sometimes known as white oats. Steel-cut oats are also known as Irish oatmeal, coarse oatmeal, and pinhead oats. Rolled oats were originally thick old-fashioned oats, but they can be made thinner or smaller, and they can be classed as quick oatmeal or instant oat meal based on the cooking time required, which is impacted by the size of the oats and the amount of precooking. Oatmeal is a good source of vitamin D, as do other whole grains. Aside from that, oats are high in essential minerals and vitamins, as well as complex carbs, all of which our bodies need to stay healthy and active. Here are a few easy oats recipes to try at home.