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Vitamin D: Is Your Patient Getting Enough?

Vitamin D Is Your Patient Getting EnoughFor mental health and physical health, the vitamins and nutrients we put into our bodies play a significant role. One vitamin that is easy to overlook is vitamin D. If your patient is testing low for vitamin D, it’s important to discuss how to correct the issue. Here are a few points to go over with your patient.

Why is Vitamin D Important?

Vitamin D plays a critical role in keeping the body in good condition. For starters, vitamin D helps the body better absorb calcium for bone growth and strength. Without vitamin D, bones can become extremely fragile or misshapen.

How Much Vitamin D Does the Body Need?

Just like with any other vitamin, the recommended daily dose varies based on the individual. Although there are differing opinions across the field, many experts will recommend the following:

  • Infants up to 12 months old: 400 IU/day (1,000 IU/day max.)
  • Children 1–3 years old: 600 IU/day (2,500 IU/day max.)
  • Children 4–8 years old: 600 IU/day (3,000 IU/day max.)
  • Ages 9–70:  600 IU/day (4,000 IU/day max.)
  • Over 80:  800 IU/day (4,000 IU/day max.)

Vitamin D Deficiency.

In addition to fragile or misshapen bones, vitamin D deficiency has been linked to a number of diseases including heart disease, colon cancer, and breast cancer, as well as weight gain and depression.

Who is at Risk For Vitamin D Deficiency?

For starters, people who spend all day indoors are likely to experience a deficiency because they are not exposed to natural sunlight. Other people at risk include people who are on a vegetarian or vegan diet or people with dark skin.

How to Increase Vitamin D?

Natural sunlight has been most commonly known as a source of vitamin D, but extended exposure to UV radiation over time can increase the chance of cancer. Unless your patient lives in southern parts of the country, it’s likely that they don’t receive enough vitamin D from sunlight especially in the winter months when sunlight hours are much more limited. Consuming foods such as mushrooms, oily fish, caviar, tofu, or fortified dairy products can help boost vitamin D intake.

Can Your Patient Have Too Much Vitamin D?

Just like with anything else, vitamin D intake should be monitored and limited within the recommended range. Too much vitamin D can result in kidney stones, constipation, and high blood calcium levels.

Vitamin D and Mental Health.

Studies show that a vitamin D deficiency may also lead to decreased mental health such as confusion and depression. If your patient is experiencing mood swings, monitoring their diet to ensure they are getting enough vitamin D may make a substantial difference. Also, Relora® from InterHealth was demonstrated in clinical studies to help boost mood and overall happiness. Learn more about Relora® on our website or by calling us today at 1-800-783-4636.

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