Choosing The Best Organic Vitamin D For Your Body
If you get enough sunshine, your body can make its own vitamin D. It’s known as the sunshine vitamin because most people can make the vitamin using ultraviolet light and cholesterol in their skin. With calcium and phosphorous, a biologically active form vitamin D plays an important role in healthy bones and teeth. It can also help your kidneys regulate the levels of calcium and phosphate in your blood.
The vitamin also is thought to play a role in the growth of tissues such as skin, muscles and the pancreas and in helping certain cells grow up into various tissues. For example, when calcium must be removed from bones to keep up the level of this mineral in your blood, the active form of vitamin D may help prod production of cells that can accomplish that task.
Why Worry About Vitamin D
If you live in a place where you don’t get enough sunshine to make your own vitamin D, or are unable or unwilling to spend enough time outside you could develop a vitamin D deficiency. In children, this can cause a disease called rickets. Rickets leads to structural abnormalities of weight-bearing bones, such as the lower leg bone. A child’s legs can become severely bowed. In adults, a deficiency of vitamin D can lead to osteomalacia, or softening of the bones. But you can easily get all the vitamin D you need from organic food.
Organic Foods Rich in Vitamin D
The active form of vitamin D is found in organic animal products. Fish-liver oils have the highest concentration. Human milk and cow’s milk are poor sources of the vitamin, but most the milk and all infant formulas sold in the United States are fortified with it and fortified organic milk is a rich source of vitamin D. Soy and other non-dairy milks are now being fortified as well. Fish is another good source.
How Much Vitamin D?
For most people under 50 years old, a mere 5 micrograms per day is enough. But by age 70, most people need about 15 mcg per day. Careful attention to diet or supplements could be needed by people who are usually shielded from sunlight, live in northern climates or areas with high atmospheric pollution or who work nights and stay inside during the day. But too much vitamin D can make blood levels of calcium rise, leading to the calcification of soft tissues such as the kidneys or lungs. If your eardrums become calcified, you could go deaf. Headaches, nausea kidney stones and weakness are possible symptoms of Vitamin D intoxication. Infants and young children are the most vulnerable to Vitamin D overdoses.
Examples of Vitamin D Sources
One cup of fortified organic cow’s milk contains about 2.5 mcg of vitamin D. An egg yolk contains about half a mcg. One ounce of fresh raw herring provides 6.6 micrograms of vitamin D, and one ounce of cooked salmon has about 3.5 mcg. One teaspoon of cod-liver oil has a whopping 9 mcg of vitamin D.