Vitamin D

Vitamin D Overview
  • Fat soluble and potent, steroid like vitamin made in the body from cholesterol in varying amounts according to skin tone, region, and sun exposure
    • Because vitamin D is fat soluble, it is suggested that it be administered with food in order to increase absorption
  • Its primary use is to affect bone health by keeping calcium and phosphorus levels stable
  • Various data sources suggest that vitamin D has the ability to help prevent fractures, particularly hip and nonvertebral breaks
  • Vitamin D is also thought to have anti-inflammatory activity
  • Absorption may be impaired by some weight loss medications
  • Serum levels may be reduced with concomitant corticosteroid or anti-seizure medications
  • In the Framingham Heart Study, vitamin D blood levels < 15 ng/mL appeared to increase the risk of heart disease, myocardial infarction and hypertension
  • Normal serum values of 25 hydroxyvitamin D range from 35-40 ng/mL
    • Side effects observed at 88 ng/mL include nausea, vomiting, headache, constipation, sleepiness, and weakness
  • Healthy levels can be maintained with 800-1000 IU/day supplements, intake of 100 IU increases blood levels by 1 ng/mL proportionally within 2-3 months of use
  • The upper intake level for everyone 51 years of age or older is 4,000 IU/day
    • Extremely high vitamin D levels increase calcium levels and the risk of hypercalcemia and hypercalciuria
  • Symptoms of deficiency include:
    • Musculoskeletal pain
    • Perioddontal disease
    • Vision changes
    • Insomnia
    • Diarrhea
  • Common food sources of vitamin D:
    • Egg yolks
    • Fortified dairy products
    • Fortified breakfast cereals
  • Suggested Vitamin D and Calcium intakes:
    • Men ages 51-70:   1,000 mg of Calcium, 600 IU Vitamin D
    • Women ages 51-70:   1,200 mg of Calcium, 600 IU Vitamin D
    • Everyone ages 70+:   1,200 mg of Calcium, 800 IU Vitamin D

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