Formal Name: Calciferol
Supplement Forms: Pills, food, liquid
Recommended Daily Allowance
- Infants: (0 to 12 Months) 10 mcg/day
- Children: (1 to 13 Years) 15 mcg/day
- Adolescents: (14 to 18 Years) 15 mcg/day
- Adults: (19 and older) 15 - 20 mcg/day
- Lactating Women: 15 mcg/day
- Pregnant Women: 15 mcg/day
Notes: When converting from micrograms (mcg) to International Units (IU) multiply the number of mcg by approximately 40.0.
Vitamin D is a nutrient that can be readily produced by your body after being exposed to sunlight. As a vitamin found in foods, it is fat soluble and is absorbed in the jejunum of the small intestine. Some of the produced or absorbed Vitamin D is converted to an active hormone form called calciferol by the liver and kidney. This hormone actively helps maintain levels of calcium and phosphorus in the bloodstream.
Bodily Functions Performed by Vitamin D
Vitamin D's primary function within the body is to maintain an appropriate calcium and phosphorus balance. By doing so, the bones are able to absorb minerals properly and go through continual reformation. Vitamin D also is necessary for the utilization of calcium and aids in healthy growth and development in children.
Symptoms Of Deficiency:
- Leads to rickets
- Contributes to tooth decay
- Weak muscles
- May enhance aging
Foods High In Vitamin D
Vitamin D's primary source is through sunlight. It is synthesized within the body when it is exposed to sunlight. The American Dietetics Association (ADA) recommends 5-15 minutes of sun light exposure to the hands, arms and face a day. This vitamin can also be found in various fishes, soy milk and other dairy products as well as oatmeal and cereals.
Ailments That Vitamin D Eliminates:
- Helps prevent osteoporosi
- Assists in immune system function
- Contributes to muscle fiber strength
- Aids in cellular differentiation
- May act to protect against cancers
The established upper intake level for Vitamin D is 2,000 IU per day. High doses increase the calcium levels in the blood stream which can result in kidney stones, muscle weakness, bone loss and calcification of areas of the heart and kidney.