Vitamin D has many roles in the body. This nutrient is needed for bone growth and maintenance. Strong evidence suggests that it promotes calcium absorption, modulates cell growth, supports neuromuscular and immune function, and reduces inflammation.
Vitamin D deficiencies cause rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. Recently, numerous and extensive studies have been conducted regarding vitamin D that suggest health benefits for many other serious and chronic health conditions.
Studies have also found that there are widespread deficiencies in vitamin D in populations across the globe. As a result, there have been several recent increases in the recommended daily intake of vitamin D. Current Recommended Daily Intakes are as follows: Adults and Children 4 years and older – 20 mcg (800 IU), Infants through 12 months – 10 mcg (400 IU), Children 1 to 3 years – 15 mcg (600 IU), Pregnant and Lactating women – 15 mcg (600 IU).
Relatively few foods naturally contain vitamin D. It is best obtained from sunshine; however, the use
of sunscreen can limit the amount of vitamin D absorbed by the sun. People living in cloudy or rainy
climates are also often prone to vitamin D deficiency. Certain cod liver oils can also be a good source
of vitamin D.
Vitamin D levels fluctuate in the body due to many factors. Laboratory tests can be done to establish a
baseline level that physicians may use to suggest adequate dosing.