>Vitamin D

>Vitamin D has long been known as the” sunshine vitamin,” therefore we need to take a good look at it this time of year, especially in Buffalo where we do not get much sun in the winter months!!
The body can make its own Vitamin D when the skin is exposed to sunlight.
What we now know about Vitamin D is that it is not a Vitamin but a steroid hormone.
So if you do not get enough sunlight – you may need to get Vitamin D from food or supplements.
The 2 major forms of Vitamin D ar D2 and D3.
D2 is the plant form of the Vitamin, the form found in some foods, and this kind is used most often in supplements.
D3 is the form that is produced when the skin is exposed to sunlight. Some of our Vitamin D is stored in the liver, some in our bones and the rest is in the intestines to help in calcium absoption from food.
 The are factors that can reduce or eliminate the production of D3 such as using sunblock, too much clothing or how far north you live!
How does Vitamin D help us?
Vitamin D’s most important function is to regulate the body’s absorption and use of calcium and phosphorus, therefore, it is essential for bone and tooth formation and strength. Calcium is also needed for muscle contraction- including our heart!
What is the connection between Vitamin D and Osteoporosis?
Without Vitamin D, your body cannot absorb dietary calcium. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with an increase in the risk of hip fracture.
Recommendation: It is recommended that people over the age of 50 take a multivitamin that contains 400 IU of Vitamin D per day, as well as a calcium supplement.
Sources: Some good sources of Vitamin for your diet- cod liver oil, salmon, tuna, sardines, egg yolk, milk, cheddar cheese and butter.
For Vegans- Vitamin D is fortified in Soy milk and cereals such as All Bran and corn flakes
Taken in part from: Ternus, M., & Broikier, K., (2007) Vitamins: Boost Your Energy and Enhance your Body. Avon, MA, F& W Publications