How much Vitamin D should a Woman take

by Sharon Hopkins

Vitamin D is a nutrient that is present in few foods. It can also be naturally synthesized in the body in the presence of sunlight. Most of the edible sources of this vitamin have the nutrient synthetically added in. Even though the vitamin can be synthesized in the body or derived from natural resources, it is biologically inert and needs two processes of hydroxylation within the body in order to be activated.

The first hydroxylation of the vitamin occurs in the liver and the second occurs in the kidney. Vitamin D is very essential in the body since it promotes calcium absorption in the body. Adequate calcium serum levels have to be maintained in order to ensure the normal mineralization of the bones. This vitamin is also essential in promoting the growth of the bones and their remodeling them as we grow older. Vitamin D is one of the leading factors that prevents rickets and osteomalacia in children and adults respectively.

There are many other roles of vitamin D in the human body and therefore, consuming the daily recommended dietary intake is extremely necessary. However, the food and nutrition board has not yet been able to prescribe an ideal intake of the vitamin. Unlike other nutrients, where the daily recommended intake takes into consideration your age, sex, and levels of physical activity, there are no such considerations for Vitamin D yet. Vitamin D is also often viewed as a steroid hormone. In tiny quantities, vitamin D does act like a hormone enabling the activation of nuclear receptors. Just like hormones are required in individualized dosages, vitamin D too needs to be individualized. The ideal range, therefore, can vary.

The earlier recommended allowances of vitamin D were largely based on the prevention of rickets. However, since the body also has the ability to synthesize the vitamin, there is no consensus over how much of the vitamin should be included in the diet. A rough estimate places the ideal intake to be around 2000 International Units. However, it is not clear whether those who have larger exposure to the sun should consume a smaller quantity of the vitamin. Recent researches have proved that both children and adults can easily consume up to 5000 International Units without any health consequences. In fact, those who consume vitamin D regularly are comparatively healthier and live longer than those who do not.

Though the debate over the right quantity of vitamin D that should be consumed continues, it is clear that consuming more than the recommended amounts do not harm the body in any way.

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