Vitamin D

In Rheumatology we talk a lot with our patients about bone health, which is usually the setting of Calcium and Vitamin D discussions. However, lately Vitamin D has been quite the hot topic.If you are interested, you might want to read these two articles from the last week or so: here and here. There is a lot more information in the articles, but this quote in particular helps to answer a frequent question I get, “Can’t I get more Vitamin D from food?”

People’s vitamin D levels are influenced by whether they have light or dark skin, where they live, how much time they spend outdoors and by fish and milk consumption. To raise vitamin D without supplements, a person could increase sun exposure for 10 to 15 minutes a day. Eating more fish can help — a 3.5-ounce serving of wild fresh salmon has 600 to 1,000 I.U.’s of vitamin D — but it would take a quart of milk a day to get the recommended dose of vitamin D.

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2 responses to “Vitamin D

  1. Thank you for writing about this important topic. I think that many of us would like to know how to make sense of conflicting information.

    In light of the fact that simply spending time outdoors with eyes and skin exposed on sunny day would equal 10,000 I.U.’s of Vitamin D.

    This makes me wonder why the Canadian RDA is set so low, especially in northern climates. From what I’ve read, it sounds like 1,000 to 2,000 are the suggested maximum daily dosages.

    • I think really the whole vitamin D recommendations are in a state of transition now and nobody is sure what the “right” dose should be. Checking levels can help each person find his or her baseline.

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