It all started in a very uncomplicated way – with a doctor’s request to include vitamin D in a blood test followed by a test laboratory‘s refusal. After a bit of convincing and offering to pay for the test, the doctor finally decided to call the laboratory to find out which of the check boxes was to be tick marked. But this was not the end of the battle. To her surprise and to ours, the laboratory told her they do not provide such tests and recommended another department at the hospital. There were several more phone calls, and to cut to the quick: the doctor finally landed in a particular department where vitamin D was being tested. Do you dare guess, which department this was? No less than oncology. And this is what we call prevention?
Vitamin D is important mainly for the growth of the bones and therefore plays a very essential part when something goes wrong with bones and joints.
Just because your grandmother and mother had osteoarthritis doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a genetic issue and therefore the funny pain in your shoulders needs to be adressed as irreversible osteoarthritic cartilage deterioration. It is entirely possible that they both just had a low level of vitamin D, which led to the problem.
Knock knees can indicate similar trouble which, if not treated, can lead to more serious issues.
Vitamin D also plays a role in insulin production and in the function of the immune system.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the link between vitamin D deficiency and Alzheimer’s disease or dementia risk has been observed and is now under further study.
The Mayo Clinic suggests an RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) for an adult of 600 international units (IU) of vitamin D a day, and people above 70 years of age should increase the dosage by another 200 IU. With reduced sunshine, the intake should be even higher. Higher doses are also usually recommended while treating vitamin D deficiency and should be supervised, because extremely high dosages of vitamin D for longer periods of time are considered toxic.
The required intake can be accomplished simply with drops – although it is important not to overdose – but today we will focus on getting the job done naturally.
Most of vitamin D it is produced by the body while exposed to sunlight.
When there is diminished sunshine, it is essential to provide the required vitamin D amount by choosing the right foods, such as:
Fatty fish (salmon, tuna, trout…)
Wild Salmon 100 g 988 IU of vitamin D
Herring 100 g 1,628 IU
Fortified Milk or orange juice – varies from brand to brand, ranging from cca 100 IU of vitamin D in 240 ml
Fortified Yoghurt – varies from 115 – 127 IU in a cup
Egg yolk about 100 IU
Cod liver oil – 1 tbsp provides 1,300 IU of vitamin D