Vitamin D, second on our list of fat soluble vitamins has the properties of both vitamin and hormone. It is required for absorption and utilization of calcium and phosphorus. (more on these minerals when we get into minerals)
It is necessary for growth especially for normal growth and development of bones and teeth in children. It protects against muscle weakness including regulation of heartbeat.
Vitamin D is extremely important in the prevention of breast and colon cancers, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis and hypocalcaemia.
Vitamin D enhances immunity and is necessary for thyroid function and normal blood clotting.
There are 3 different forms of Vitamin D:
Newer data shows that D2 is as effective as D3 in maintaining vitamin D levels in the blood.
The vitamin D we get from food or supplementation is not fully active and needs to be converted by the liver, then by the kidneys before it becomes active which is why kidney or liver problems lead to vitamin D deficiencies.
When the skin is exposed to sun, a cholesterol compound in the skin is transformed into a precursor of the vitamin D. Exposing the face and arms to the sun for 15 minutes, three times a week is an effective way to ensure adequate amounts of vitamin D.
In northern climates, it is very difficult to get adequate amounts of vitamin D from sun exposure alone. Because Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, it does not dissolve in water and it not easily excreted in the urine. At least 40% of people have less than optimal levels of vitamin D in their blood. Symptoms of deficiency include:
The best way to up your vitamin D intake is by including foods that vitamin D is naturally occurring. *NOTE* Supplementation is an option but always read and follow the labels when supplementing vitamins, especially fat-soluble vitamins that are at higher risk for toxicity. This post is not meant to diagnose, treat or cure illness. Please consult a healthcare professional before adding supplements to your diet.
I'm Elizabeth and I love cooking! When my son was faced with many different food allergies, cooking became very challenging. Now I like to educate people about what they are putting in their mouth as well as inspire others that cooking healthy allergen friendly foods are easy and delicious. For recipes, visit my Instagram account @holisticmommabear