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January 1, 2008 at 10:45 AMComments: 1 Faves: 0

Women's Bones Depend On Vitamin D

By Smarty More Blogs by This Author

What is Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is an extremely important vitamin. It exists in several forms, some of which are more absorbable than others.

Why is Vitamin D important?

  • Vitamin D is extremely important because of its relationship with calcium. Vitamin D signals the intestines to increase the absorption of calcium and phosphorous. It also works to maintain healthy levels of calcium in the blood.
  • This means that vitamin D is essential for strong bones. Without vitamin D, the body will not have enough calcium to keep bones healthy.
  • Vitamin D also helps keep the immune system healthy and helps with cell growth.

What happens when there is not enough vitamin D or calcium?

  • Without healthy levels of vitamin D and calcium, the bones become weak, brittle, and prone to breakage. Deformities or thin bones may also result from deficiency of either of these vitamins.
  • Children who do not get enough vitamin D may develop rickets. Adults who are vitamin D deficient sometimes get osteomalacia. Osteomalacia results in muscle weakness and weak bones.

How do I get vitamin D?

  • The good news is that vitamin D is easy to get. Usually, people will get enough vitamin D from their diets and from modest exposure to UV radiation in sunshine, which is necessary for the skin to synthesize vitamin D.
  • Only 10-15 minutes of sun exposure twice per week is required to meet vitamin D requirements.
  • Some climates, especially northern ones with heavy cloud cover, may not provide enough sunshine for the skin to synthesize adequate vitamin D. If you live in a climate like this, you should be careful to get enough vitamin D from your diet.

Good Sources of Vitamin D

  • Fish like cod, salmon, tuna, sardines, and mackerel
  • Cod liver oil
  • Fortified dairy products
  • Fortified cereals
  • Multivitamins

Women and Vitamin D

  • Women are especially prone to bone diseases and osteoporosis.
  • Studies indicate that over 50% of women are not meeting their vitamin D requirements.

Who may be at risk for Vitamin D deficiency?

Some people are more at risk for vitamin D deficiency than others. The following are risk factors for vitamin D deficiency.

  • African Americans, especially women and children- Darker pigmented skin synthesizes vitamin D less efficiently
  • Kidney problems where the kidneys cannot convert vitamin D to the form needed by the body
  • People who are allergic to milk
  • Those with lactose intolerance
  • Strict vegetarians and vegans
  • People who cannot adequately absorb nutrients
  • Older adults
  • Women who wear religious coverings that severely limit sun exposure
  • Post-menopausal women

If you think you are not getting enough vitamin D in your diet, you should take a high-quality vitamin supplement.

Sources:

http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/vitamind.asp

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1 Comment

  • insightful, I say why risk the deficiency take a supplement!

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