Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Up Your Vitamin D Intake STAT!

Originally uploaded by pixiepie
Just in from The Washington Post: Kids should be getting a minimum of 400 IU of Vitamin D daily, double the previous recommendation of 200 IU.

The Post article states:

"Kids from newborns to teenagers should take twice as much Vitamin D as previously recommended because it may help prevent serious disease, a leading medical group said yesterday... In the past it had been recommended that kids get 200 units of Vitamin D a day. Now, the doctors are saying, they should take 400 units. Vitamin D can be taken in drops, capsules or tablets.

Most milk that you can buy in the store is fortified with Vitamin D. But most kids don't drink enough of it. You need four cups daily to meet the requirement. Other foods, including cereal, are also packed with Vitamin D, as are the oily fish tuna, mackerel and sardines.

But it's hard to get enough through diet. The best source is sunlight, because the body makes Vitamin D when sunshine hits the skin. The new advice is based on research showing that Vitamin D not only helps keep bones strong but might also play a role in preventing disease."

For more hard-line data, here is a link to the full news article.

They don't mention a detail in this particular article, but I've read in other places that Americans generally don't get enough D because of all the sunscreen we slather on, trying to avoid skin cancer. Sunscreen blocks our skin's absorption of necessary Vitamin D. Oh please, doctors on high, can you tell us how to balance good sun rays vs bad?

According to Nutrition News, to get an adequate exposure to Vitamin D through sunlight:

"Your body makes vitamin D when you are exposed to the ultraviolet B (UVB) rays in sunlight. You probably need from 5 to 30 minutes of exposure to the skin on your face, arms, back or legs (without sunscreen) twice every week. Since exposure to sunlight is a risk for skin cancer, you should use sunscreen after a few minutes in the sun and even in the winter and on hazy, cloudy days."

Got that? A maximum of 30 minutes sunscreen-free a twice a week. Thanks Dr. Jegtvig!

And drink more milk.


  1. I think your body can store Vitamin D for quite a while as well.

    We spend at least 30 minutes outside every day and never wear sunscreen, so I think we're good. ;)

  2. Sounds like you're perfect, nessa!

    My dad actually has had a serious Vitamin D deficiency (can cause systemic problems), which is odd as he's always been an outdoorsy guy. Perhaps certain medications can deplete your stores?

    He sent me this link: http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/research.shtml

  3. Of course I am perfect!!! I don't fart or ANYTHING no matter what my husband says...


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