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It’s all in the D-tails

Posted by bmagnus On May - 10 - 2010

There has been plenty of recent research on Vitamin D, as we have discussed before. With this much new information about how important the “sunshine vitamin” is for us, it shouldn’t be surprising that scientists are re-evaluating just how much we need to stay healthy.

The International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) is on the case with new recommendations on Vitamin D consumption, including recommendations for older people and obese people. They estimate that to maintain adequate Vitamin D levels in the blood, older people need to take 800 to 1000 IU/day. IU stands for “international unit,” and 1 IU of Vitamin D works out to 0.025 micrograms. For obese people, those with osteoporosis, or those who don’t get outside in the sun regularly, 2000 IU is recommended. Although they did not address other diseases thought to have a relationship to low Vitamin D levels, it probably would not hurt for those patients to consider testing for low levels and supplementing accordingly.

Sun exposure might well be a red herring for the industrialized world. While light skinned people can generate 20,000 IU in a short period of sun exposure that only works where sunlight is fairly direct. Above 30 degrees latitude (think north of New Orleans), only the most intense summer sun can provide the kind of UVB exposure that it takes to generate these quantities of Vitamin D. Supplementation is all but essential.

His Take: While it would certainly be preferable for us to be able to use sun exposure to generate our own natural vitamin D, even here in Las Vegas it turns out that it’s tough to get enough sun to make enough D. One could resort to artificial, high intensity light sources but indoor tanning has fallen out of vogue to say the least. Fortunately a quality Vitamin D caplet can be had for little money at most local health food and supplement shops. I take 2000 IU twice a day, just for the record.

One Response to “It’s all in the D-tails”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Bridget Magnus, Warren Magnus. Warren Magnus said: New post at Age Against the Machine: It's all in the D-tails http://bit.ly/auaaeW […]