Vitamin D is different from other vitamins because it is one of the few vitamins that the body makes without having to get it from foods. All a person has to do to get their regular dose of Vitamin D is stand in the sun for about 15 minutes a day. The sun and ultraviolet light then stimulates a type of cholesterol that is found in the skin and simply, or not so simply, turns it into Vitamin D.
One of Vitamin D’s main tasks is to help the body absorb calcium from the intestines and to break down phosphorous. Both of these minerals are needed for the proper formation of bones in children. Children who lack Vitamin D can’t grow their teeth or their bones in a healthy way. This leads to a disease called rickets, which was fairly widespread years ago but has become less so in the developed world.
As for grown-ups, Vitamin D is necessary for a healthy nervous and cardiovascular system. It also helps the blood clot normally. Proper clotting of the blood depends on how the body uses calcium and phosphorous. There is also some evidence that Vitamin D is protective against some cancers, like breast cancer and colon cancer.
Vitamin D works best when it is taken with Vitamin A, another fat soluble vitamin. Since Vitamin D is stored in the fat, it’s possible to get too much of it. This can lead to a condition called hypercalcemia, which means there is too much calcium in the blood. People who have elevated calcium levels in their blood should stop taking Vitamin D until their hypercalcemia is cleared up.
Which foods have Vitamin D?
The best source of Vitamin D is fish liver oil. If that is less than appealing, Vitamin D can also be found in fatty fish in general. These include salmon, herring, mackerel and sardines. Vitamin D can also be gotten through liver, egg yolks and milk fortified with Vitamin D.
So… we can go on a 15 minute walk in the sunshine daily, or eat liver. The choice is yours! Okay, so you can also eat some yummy salmon instead of liver too. Just be sure to do one or the other if not both to get enough Vitamin D!
Now how about you?
How do you get your Vitmanin D? Share in the comments below! I prefer to get mine through Salmon and sunshine 🙂 My daughter loves to get her Vitamin D by drinking Silk Fruit & Protein, the strawberry and banana blend. I pour that in the blender with some ice and make her a “milkshake” as a treat!