Healthy Living – Vitamin D, The Sunshine Vitamin


Today’s health news is about Vitamin D.  A new study finds that Vitamin D can reduce the risk of death. That’s a pretty powerful statement. So what does it mean exactly?

In the September 10th issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, an analysis of 18 previously published studies on the vitamin were done.  The previous studies were intended to see if vitamin D worked against conditions such as bone fractures, bone mineral density, congestive heart failure. Not to determine life expectancy. But, interestingly, all the studies ended up tracking the folks who participated in the study’s death data. As a result, researchers discovered that people who took daily vitamin D supplements were 7% less likely to die during the study — from any cause — than people who didn’t.

Does that mean you should rush out to your local pharmacy and pick up a giant super-sized bottle of Vitamin D? No. You can actually take too much vitamin D and it’s effects can be harmful – and that’s not a good thing. Just to be clear, most vitamin D deficiencies are found in women over 50 (what else is new, right?). So who needs it and how do we get it?

It’s fairly common knowledge that we get most of our D from sunlight, but, we also know sitting in the sun for very long isn’t good for us either. So what’s a gal to do? Especially those of us 50 or over and maybe a little deficient in our D and wanting to live a little longer?

Well, vitamin D, unlike most vitamins isn’t found easily in food and often is obtained through fortified foods, such as cereals, bread, breakfast bars, etc. foods may be fortified with 10% to 15% of the recommended daily value for vitamin D. It is important to read the nutrition facts panel of the food label to determine whether a food provides vitamin D.

Food sources for vitamin D are:

• Cod Liver Oil, 1 Tbs: 1,360 IU
• Salmon, cooked, 3 1/2 oz: 360 IU
• Mackerel, cooked, 3 1/2 oz: 345 IU
• Sardines, canned in oil, drained, 3 1/2 oz: 270 IU
• Milk, nonfat, reduced fat, and whole, vitamin D fortified, 1 c: 98 IU
• Margarine, fortified, 1 Tbs: 60 IU
• Pudding, 1/2 c prepared from mix and made with vitamin D fortified milk: 50 IU
• Dry cereal, Vitamin D fortified w/10% of the recommended daily value, 3/4 c: 40-50 IU (other cereals may be fortified with more or less vitamin D)
• Liver, beef, cooked, 3 1/2 oz: 30 IU
• Egg, 1 whole (vitamin D is present in the yolk): 25 IU

Source: Information provided by the National Institute of Health.

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