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Vitamin D Supplements: Benefits and Side Effects

by Health News

Vitamin D is the best health supplement for the regulation of the minerals calcium and phosphorus in the body. It also plays an important role in maintaining proper bone structure and preventing osteoporosis. Unlike many other vitamins, Vitamin D is not easy to get from the diet. The most common way people get Vitamin D is from sunlight, which is problematic for a couple of reasons. First, sun exposure is cumulative throughout our lives and can severely damage the skin and even cause skin cancer. Second, people living in the upper Northern hemisphere often don’t get enough sunlight to produce adequate Vitamin D in their bodies. For these reasons, many people rely on nutritional dietary supplements to get their recommended daily requirement of Vitamin D.

In addition to being an essential nutrient, Vitamin D supplements are sometimes used to help treat certain health conditions. Not surprisingly, it is often used therapeutically for osteoporosis, bone pain, low calcium and bone loss in people suffering from kidney failure.  It has also been included in the treatment of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, muscle weakness, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, bronchitis, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and tooth and gum disease.

The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for Vitamin D varies by age and pregnancy status. For people 1-70 years of age it is 600 IU daily; 71 years and older, 800 IU daily; pregnant and lactating women, 600 IU daily. For infants ages 0-12 months 400 IU is recommended.

Vitamin D is likely safe when taken in recommended doses. Most people do not experience side effects with Vitamin D unless they take too much. Some side effects of taking too much Vitamin D include weakness, fatigue, sleepiness, headache, loss of appetite, dry mouth, metallic taste, nausea, vomiting, and others. Taking too much Vitamin D over a long period of time can cause excessively high blood-calcium levels. Be sure to discuss Vitamin D supplementation with your health care practitioner.

Are you getting enough Vitamin D in your diet?

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