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August 30, 2011 at 6:49 AMComments: 2 Faves: 0

Getting Enough Vitamin D

By Jessica Corwin MPH RDN More Blogs by This Author

Information from registered dietitian Jessica Corwin on how to achieve the proper level of Vitamin D on a daily basis.
Host, Gerry Barnaby Hey, what’s happenin’, Barnaby here.  Another HelloLife Moment about a controversial subject, a lot of people wondering, am I getting enough Vitamin D? So let’s talk to Jessica Corwin who is a Registered Dietitian.  You know, Jessica, I’m hearing that there is some controversy about even the classification of Vitamin D – is it a hormone?  Is it a vitamin? What’s the deal with that?
Health Coach, Jessica Corwin, RD - That’s a very good question.  You know we’ve always looked at Vitamin D - it’s a standard vitamin  - but we’re not sure if it’s actually more of a hormone, more of a steroid?  We are seeing some examples where it may be actually reducing our inflammation in our bodies.  There’s some other things we are looking at but the science is yet out, I mean the jury’s still debating the topic.
Barnaby - Well you know what I find interesting is a lot of people are thinking, ‘How am I going to get Vitamin D?’, ‘What sort of foods?’ and we’re going to be talking about that but I think maybe doctors recommend most getting sunlight.  But then, Jessica, get sunlight, don’t get sunlight, I mean, what’s up with that?
Jessica - That’s a really tricky one.  Because our skin can actually produce the right form of Vitamin D that we need in our bodies but, the sun can also cause skin cancer, so we’re told to stay out.  And if you’re using any sunscreen at all, your skin is not going to be able to produce that Vitamin D.  So they  - while they recommend that you could go out in the sun up to 20 minutes each day, that still could increase your risk of skin cancer. So, the better option would be to look at Vitamin D from foods or supplements.
Barnaby - Ok, let’s talk about the foods.  I guess I was looking around and the number one pick for food with Vitamin D is fresh salmon.  Good recommendation?
Jessica - Very good recommendation.  Those fatty fish like the salmon, the mackerel, the sardines – those are  great sources of Vitamin D.  And the same would be, there’s a little Vitamin D in egg yolks, there’s some in your fortified milks, no matter if it’s cow or plant based milks, as well as in your fortified breakfast cereals.  You just gotta really pay attention to the label to see if it does have that Vitamin D.  And what’s tricky is, it’s really, really, really difficult to get enough Vitamin D from foods alone.  I mean, if you think of fortified orange juice.  You’d have to drink a couple gallons every day just to try and get enough.
Barnaby - That is crazy!  Well, speaking of a couple gallons a day, I drink about a gallon of milk – fat free – every two days, and I know there’s Vitamin D in that.  Surely that’s gotta be enough Vitamin D for me, is it?
Jessica - Still would not be enough.  We need to get at least 600 international units - it’s the unit of measure they use for Vitamin D – every day.  And that’s quite a huge amount, I mean, if you really wanted to get a great source, cod liver oil would be a great source by downing a couple tablespoons of that, but that would certainly be an acquired taste.
Barnaby - Right, well, so how about a supplement?
Jessica - A supplement would be a very good option and there’s a couple different forms of Vitamin D out there.  There’s Vitamin D 2 and Vitamin D 3.  Now, if you’re a vegan, you’re probably going to want to opt for D 2, but, D 3 is much better absorbed in the body.  And the research – there’s some conflicting research out there, but for the most part, everyone’s pretty much agreed that Vitamin D 3 is better absorbed for your body.
Barnaby - Well, here in America, where a little is good, a lot is better, is there any danger to over-consuming Vitamin D?
Jessica - There certainly is.  There is a tolerable upper intake that we’re recommended to get.  We do not want to take over 4,000 international units each day, because Vitamin D is one of those fat-soluble vitamins.  So as we absorb it, it stays remaining right in our body, it stays within us.  So we’re not going to be excreting it like the water soluble vitamins.  So if its stays in you, you’re going to eventually build up some toxic levels.  You really want to keep an eye on those supplements and see how much Vitamin D you’re getting.
Barnaby - Man, it sounds like a delicate balance, so for that, it demands more reading and research – which you can find right here on  Because Jessica Butcher, Registered Dietician, writes great articles about stuff that she’s finding – cutting edge stuff.  So, always refer back to because we’re all about matching your commitment to a healthy lifestyle.  Now go out there and get yourself some Vitamin D!

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  • this was a nice reminder of how important Vitamin D is. I like to take the Caltrate 600+D

  • Vitamin D is a tough micronutrient for many to attain sufficiently through diet alone and thankfully supplementation seems to be safe! Unfortunately research does not seem to indicate the same for calcium as these supplements are no longer advised for postmenopausal women... stay tuned for more details in an upcoming blog.

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