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Persons deficient in vitamin D suffer from muscle weakness, hypertension and immune dysfunction

What does Vitamin D do for me? Why do I need Vitamin D?

This is Dr. Jim for Be Healthy! Be Happy! and today I’m talking about vitamin D.

Vitamin D functions to balance calcium and phosphorus metabolism to ensure the development and maintenance of healthy bones. It is also been shown to be important in the regulation of blood pressure, insulin secretion and immune function. So deficiency leads to inappropriate bone formation during development or later in life, soft bones, which are prone to fractures.

Persons insufficient or deficient in vitamin D may suffer from muscle weakness and pain, hypertension and inability to develop and maintain high-performance immunity.

The recommended dietary allowance for vitamin D for adults is about 15 micrograms or 600 international units daily. But here’s the catch – with rare exception, the only natural source of vitamin D is sunlight and it has been estimated that most individuals would require 30 minutes of full-body sunlight exposure each and every day to maintain sufficient vitamin D levels!

Well, I’m sure that’s not happening for most of us – at least not for me – which probably explains why the 2013 National Health And Nutrition Examination Survey estimated that 1 billion – you heard me right – one B as in billion persons, have either vitamin D insufficiency or vitamin D deficiency world wide.

It’s also the reason why the Food and Drug Administration has supported the fortification of foods like milk, cereals, and orange juice with vitamin D for decades.

Vitamin D taken as a supplement is generally safe as long as the tolerable limit of 4,000 international units per day is not exceeded, however, current expert opinion recommends taking no more than 2,000 international units or 50 micrograms daily.

So get milk, each your Cheerios and ensure your vitamin D levels are adequate by consuming a quality multivitamin and mineral supplement daily for strong bones, a healthy blood pressure and a high-performance immune system.

This is Dr. Jim for Be Healthy! Be Happy! Thanks for listening and stay tuned for our next segment when I’ll tell you why vitamin E is essential for health and happiness!

Reference: The Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, 2015. Online [available at]: http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic Accessed May 25, 2015.