Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin found in a small number of foods. Some foods may be fortified with vitamin D and it is also available as a supplement. It is produced naturally by the body through sun exposure when ultraviolet rays hit the skin and trigger vitamin D synthesis. Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption in the gut his and it is essential for maintaining normal levels of calcium and phosphorous levels. This is why you generally hear about vitamin D and calcium together. Without vitamin D bones can become brittle and weak and the combination of calcium and vitamin D can help prevent osteoporosis.
The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamin D is 600 IU for men and women. Foods that contain vitamin D are fatty fish, beef liver, cheese, and eggs. Foods fortified with vitamin D include some types of milk, cereal, orange juice, and yogurt. Many people meet the RDA through sun exposure. However, recently new research on vitamin D and cancer risk has lead to a focus on making sure people are maintaining normal levels. Supplements are available and may be recommended by a Registered Dietitian or Doctor. It is important to note that the Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) for vitamin D is 4,000 IU per day in men and women over 19 years of age.
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