Michael van Straten
Michael van Straten
australiaphen375.com

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is the vital key to strong and healthy bones. Together with sufficient calcium it's essential for your bones as without it the body can not absorb calcium from your food. In childhood lack of vitamin D prevents the bones from hardening and causes rickets, a condition which leads to bone deformity, bow legs and disability. A lack of vitamin D in adults results in osteomalacia - softening of the bones. It doesn't matter how much calcium you get from your diet or supplements, but without vitamin D the end result will almost certainly be osteoporosis, causing loss of height and a greatly increased risk of fractures of the hip, spine and almost any other bone in your body.

The body can manufacture it's own vitamin D and this takes place when skin is exposed to ultraviolet light from the sun. Vitamin D formed in this way is stored in the skin and slowly released into the blood and then converted into a hormone-like chemical in the liver and kidneys. It's this active form of vitamin D that the body needs to extract calcium from food. If you don't get enough sunshine on your skin - 10-15 minutes a day on arms, legs, and face without sun block and early morning or late afternoon is perfectly safe - and you're not eating sufficient of the vitamin D rich foods, then you certainly can't maintain strong bones or teeth.

Those at special risk are the elderly, vegetarians, vegans, breastfeeding and pregnant women, and anyone who spends little time outdoors during the summer. The Asian community is often at risk due to traditional clothing, diet and lifestyle. Anybody in these groups or with a family history or diagnosis of osteoporosis must take a vitamin D supplement. But be careful vitamin D at ten times the daily need can be very toxic to children, 25 times is dangerous for adults. Don't give more than a teaspoon of cod liver oil to the kids each day, or exceed this amount during pregnancy.

The official RDA is 5 micrograms but 10 micrograms daily is a much more sensible target to aim for, especially if you're over 60 and your diet is not a good source of vitamin D.

Few foods contain vitamin D but this fat-soluble nutrient is abundant in oily fish. There are modest amounts in eggs and it is added to margarines. There is no vitamin D in any fruit, vegetables and other plant foods.

The 10 micrograms that is essential will be obtained from 1 teaspoon of cod liver oil, 45 g of herring or kipper, 55 g mackerel, 80 g canned salmon or tuna, 135 g canned sardines. Eggs and margarine are fair sources too.


BEST SOURCES

COD LIVER OIL
This is not only the richest of all sources but has a wide range of anti-inflammatory properties that help with arthritis and other joint and muscle pains. There are now products available that are taste and odour free like Neutra Taste from Seven Seas.
210 mcg / 100 g
Percentage of daily requirement: 105% from average teaspoonful
Vitamin D score: 10/10

HERRINGS AND KIPPERS
20 mcg / 100 g
Percentage of daily requirement: 240% from average 120 g portion
Vitamin D score: 10/10

SMOKED MACKEREL
8 mcg / 100 g
Percentage of daily requirement: 120% from average 150 g portion
Vitamin D score: 10/10

SARDINES - FRESH GRILLED
12.3 mcg / 100 g
Percentage of daily requirement: 148% from average 120 g portion - 3 sardines
Vitamin D score: 10/10

SARDINES - CANNED IN TOMATO SAUCE
Canned sardines are a great bone booster as they're not only rich in vitamin D but they're a great source of calcium as long as you eat the bones which have already been softened during processing.
8 mcg / 100 g
Percentage of daily requirement: 112% from average 140 g portion
Vitamin D score: 10/10

GRILLED TROUT
11 mcg / 100 g
Percentage of daily requirement: 165% from average 115 g portion
Vitamin D score: 10/10

GRILLED SALMON STEAK
9.6 mcg / 100 g
Percentage of daily requirement: 115% from average 120 g portion
Vitamin D score: 10/10

EGGS
1.75 mcg / 100 g
Percentage of daily requirement: 18% from two boiled eggs
Vitamin D score: 2/10

 

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