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Vitamin D: Are You Getting Enough??

Posted January 27th, 2011 by hansene

The easiest way for our bodies to synthesize Vitamin D is through the sun.  That’s right, the sun.  Therefore, it is not surprising that (in a state where it rains nine months out of the year) many individuals living in Oregon have low Vitamin D levels.

But before you run off to the Bahamas to replenish your depleted Vitamin D storesyou should talk to your health provider about getting your Vitamin D levels tested.  Low Vitamin D levels can contribute to a variety of symptoms including muscle pain and/or weakness, depression, and chronic fatigue syndrome.  We need Vitamin D to regulate our calcium absorption which is imperative to bone health.

Most vitamins come in a plethora of foods.  Vitamin D, however, is not found in many foods naturally other than egg yolk, fish oil (salmon and tuna are good sources) and dried shitake mushrooms.  The recommended daily allowance (RDA) of Vitamin D for adults is 600 IU ’s and most servings of fortified foods (such as milk, cheese, yogurt, bread and cereal) contain 10% of the RDA.

A daily multivitamin is another way to boost your Vitamin D levels (most multivitamins contain 200 IU).  If your Vitamin D levels are low, talk to your health provider about adding a daily Vitamin D supplement (most supplements contain 1000 IU’s).  Most importantly, if we are lucky enough to be greeted by a warm, sunny day here in the Willamette Valley, take advantage of it and spend some time outdoors!

Thank you to Megan Ahlquist, Oregon State University Nutrition Student, who contributed to this blog.

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