Vitamin D, Calcium and Kids: Are They Building Strong bones? According to an article by Patti Neighmond (“Recipe For Strong Teen Bones: Exercise, Calcium And Vitamin D”), there’s a relatively small window of time during which our bones do most of their growing. In fact, she claims that between the ages of 9 – 15, 90% of our bone mass develops. And yet, she points out, only 15% of teenagers drink milk, with girls accounting for only 9%. The reasons for this lack of milk drinking seem to be simply that drinking milk is not considered ‘cool’ and the fear of weight gain. The ‘uncool’ness of drinking milk has been addressed by the “Got Milk?” ads for many years.Read More >
You will need both of these nutrients if you want to stay healthy and strong. Calcium, which is the mineral that’s necessary for proper body function and healthy teeth, is stored in your bones which is why they say to drink your milk. However, calcium can only be absorbed by the body with vitamin D. So, no vitamin D means no absorption of calcium which means no strong bones. So in order to have the body of a superhero, you’ll need a diet chock full of both. Today we’ll give you some ideas for food choices that have healthy levels of vitamin D and calcium.
Sardines, Salmon, Catfish, & Tuna
Sardines, salmon, catfish, and tuna are all fish that have high levels of vitamin D. Some fish like salmon and tuna also have other healthy nutrients such omega 3 fatty acids. Sardines are actually your super food on this list; this type of fish not only contains vitamin D but also has a good amount of calcium as well. You’ll learn to love them. A 3 ounce serving of salmon contains 100% of your vitamin D while a 3 ounce serving of tuna has about 40%.
There’s a reason they say to drink your milk. One cup of milk provides about 30 percent of the calcium you need on a daily basis. But get this, you can also buy milk fortified with vitamin D, so you’re basically killing two birds with one stone here.
Yogurt is another great source of calcium that’s often also fortified with vitamin D. Include some yogurt into your daily routine and you can get up to 30% of your daily calcium and 20% of your vitamin D in just one serving. There’s also many brands of fat free yogurt out there, which is just another perk of eating yogurt.
Cheese is made from milk, which means you’ll be getting your daily dose of calcium with a good serving of cheese in your diet. An ounce and a half of cheddar cheese has more than 30% of the calcium you need, but remember you still need vitamin D as well, which cheese lacks.
You can find many kinds of fortified foods in your supermarket, especially breakfast foods. Look for certain cereals that contain vitamin D and other nutrients. Orange juice with calcium and vitamin D can also be purchased.
Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds also help to build strong bones. Half a cup of almonds gives you around 12% of your calcium needs, while other kinds of nuts have lots of protein which helps to bulk up your bones. You can also try brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds.
The key to getting vitamin D from eggs is in the yolk. One egg has about 6% of your daily vitamin D needs, so eat a couple to get the right amount.
Written by: Luu Chang, Dental Assistant Salary
Luu is a writer at Dental Assistant Salary, which provides all the info you need to get started as a dental assistant. Learn more about the occupation at http://dental-assistant-salary.net
The importance of Vitamin D cannot be overstated—it is absolutely essential for optimum health. In order to give you a basic understanding of vitamin D and how you can get it, I have provided the following questions and answers.
What is vitamin D?
Vitamin D is actually a steroid hormone your body naturally produces (synthesizes) when your skin is exposed to sunlight.
According to Mitchell A. Fleisher, M.D., D.Ht., D.A.B.F.M., Dc.A.B.C.T., Homeopathic Family Medicine & Nutritional Therapy, Vitamin D3, cholecalciferol, is a critically important nutrient that is much more than just a vitamin. It actually acts as a steroid hormone involved in multiple physiological pathways essential for health and well-being, including mineral and bone metabolism, and normal cardiovascular, neurological and immune system function. Adequate levels of vitamin D3 (i.e., greater than 50 nanograms per millimeter) help prevent bone loss (osteopenia and osteoporosis), atherosclerotic heart and blood vessel disease, Alzheimer’s disease, several different forms of cancer, as well as being the very best prevention for viral influenza.
Where can I get vitamin D?
The two sources of vitamin D are:
- Exposure of your skin to sunlight
- Vitamin D3 from supplements and diet
Which way of getting vitamin D is more beneficial?
There is a significant difference between the two different ways of getting vitamin D.
Vitamin D from the sun
The vitamin D your body naturally produces when your skin is exposed to sunlight can be stored by your body until it is needed. During the summer months, when ultraviolet B (UVB) light levels are high, the vitamin D your body produces is stored in your cellular tissues, so your body can tap into it during the winter months, when the sun’s levels of ultraviolet light are lower and your body is less able to synthesize vitamin D. Also, vitamin D from the sun does influence your mood.
Vitamin D from supplements and diet
The most important issue here is that your body doesn’t store the vitamin D you get through supplements and diet, so you must get more every day. Also, vitamin D3 you get from supplements and diet does not influence your mood.
Why is vitamin D so important?
Vitamin D supports the proper function of cells. According to the Vitamin D Council there is a connection between low vitamin D levels and colds and flu, bone health, asthma, rickets, multiple sclerosis, fatigue, depression, Type II diabetes, preeclampsia, colorectal cancer, other cancers, and more.
Who is most at risk of having low vitamin D levels?
Large segments of the U.S. population are very much at risk. In his groundbreaking book, The Vitamin D Cure, James Dowd, M.D., writes Current statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tell us that more than half of the general population is vitamin D deficient regardless of age. And about 70 percent of elderly Americans and 90 percent of Americans of color are vitamin D deficient. Add to the mix people who are overweight or obese because of dietary imbalance or inactivity, and the totals are staggering.
What should I do to make sure I don’t fall prey to vitamin D deficiency?
What you can do is become intimately familiar with your number—your body’s level of vitamin D3. Ask your doctor to test your body’s level of vitamin D3. If your insurance won’t pay for it, do it anyway. It will be the best money you have ever spent. Once you know your number, you can put together a plan that involves sun exposure, diet and supplements to give your body the best defense against many of the illnesses that plague our society today.
Written by: Michael J. Russ & Peter Zahner, Authors
About the Authors
The questions posed in this article are an excerpt from the newly published eBook, Sun Care Decoded: Answers to Questions You Didn’t Know to Ask ( www.amazon.com) by Michael J. Russ, and Peter Zahner, who invented MelanSol certified 100% natural moisturizer, sunscreen, and sunburn gel.
By now most of us know that an adequate intake of vitamin D is necessary for our bodies to absorb the calcium we need to build and keep strong bones, but now there’s evidence that vitamin D is a much more interesting and versatile little vitamin than previously thought.
According to an article on the website www.vitalchoice.com, (“Vitamin D Aids Muscle Strength, Resiliency, and Recovery”), the role this vitamin plays may be much more than just helping us to absorb our calcium. According to this article, vitamin D may play a major part in helping our muscles recover after strenuous exercise or even muscle injury.
Vitamin D is a multi-talented vitamin. It boosts blood levels quickly and efficiently and regulates certain processes that help muscles move, repair, and grow. According to the article, a study conducted at the Orthopedic Specialty Hospital in Utah found that leg strength was recovered more quickly in a group of adults who had higher levels of the vitamin in their systems than in those with a lower amount, as tested before and after a strenuous workout. The doctors performing this study concluded that higher vitamin D levels appear to protect against muscle weakness caused by muscle damage. In another study, doctors in Britain found that ballet dancers showed greater strength, higher vertical jumps, and less injuries than a control group after being put on a 2000 UI regimen of D3 for a period of 4 months.
It also seems that vitamin D’s benefits extend beyond that of muscle repair after a tough workout. According to the article “What Vitamins Should You Take Before Surgery?” (www.huffingtonpost.com), vitamin D assists the cellular repair and growth required after any type of surgery.
In another study, Professor of Orthopedic Surgery and Chief of the Metabolic Bone Disease Service at New York’s Hospital for Special Surgery Joseph Lane, MD and colleagues reviewed the charts of 723 men and women scheduled for orthopedic surgery from January, 2007 to March, 2008. Their conclusion was that a vitamin D deficiency in people scheduled for orthopedic surgery occurs 50% of the time. This condition is fixable, and according to the doctors involved in the study, “We recommend that people undergoing a procedure that involves the bone or the muscle should collect their vitamin D if they want to have better results, with an earlier, faster recovery. What we are saying is “wake up guys, smell the coffee; half of your patients have a problem, measure it, and if they are low, then fix it.'”
Vitamin D is interesting in that not only can it be absorbed from outside food & supplement sources, but the body can also manufacture it from sunlight. But no matter how we get it into our bodies, there seems to be plenty of evidence to suggest that not only is vitamin D important to daily bone health, but to muscle recovery after strenuous exercise, and bone and muscle repair after injury and/or surgery.
Written by: Tricia Doane, Rust Built, Marketing Services
Vitamin D is a unique vitamin because the body synthesizes it when the skin is exposed to ultraviolet B (UVB) rays from the sun.
This fat soluble vitamin can also be obtained from eating sardines, salmon, tuna, mackerel and other oily fish, as well as by taking fish liver oils. Egg yolks, beef liver, and dairy products like cheese also contain some vitamin D.
Vitamin D is vital for bone health because it helps the body absorb calcium from the food that is being digested in the intestines. After absorption, vitamin D is still needed by the body to maintain normal levels of this important mineral in the blood.
Vitamin D is also needed by the body to make new bone from the absorbed calcium in a process known as mineralization. Its importance is seen clearly in children who develop rickets when they have vitamin D deficiency. These children have poorly mineralized bones which are soft and unable to bear their weight, and thus they develop bow legs and knock knees.
Adults also need vitamin D to maintain healthy bones since its deficiency causes osteomalacia. This condition, which is also characterized by defective mineralization, results in painful bones which are thin and thus more likely to break.
Middle aged menopausal women also need vitamin D since its deficiency worsens into osteoporosis. The progressive loss of calcium and bone mass in osteoporosis, which results in brittle bones that break easily, can be reduced by Vitamin D.
To prevent these complications of its deficiency, foods which are fortified with vitamin D should be added to the diet. Examples of such foods include fortified orange juice, cereal and milk, which can be taken to start each day.
This increased dietary intake should be combined with basking to help the body make its own vitamin D. This can be done by exposing bare arms and legs, without sunscreen, to the sun for 5 to 10 minutes.
Though the amount of vitamin D made with this method depends on many factors, like the time of the day, the season of the year, cloud cover, skin pigmentation and the amount of sunscreen applied, basking between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. twice a week can ensure the body has adequate amounts of the sunshine vitamin to make and maintain healthy bones.
Medical Disclaimer: Please consult your doctor regarding questions about Vitamin D and bone health.
Written by: Dr. Marian, Freelance Medical Writer
Vitamin D is a lesser known, but albeit vital, component of a healthy lifestyle. When you get enough of vitamin D’s benefits, you will have healthy bones. Vitamin D is part of regulating mineral levels in the body, phosphorus and calcium. It plays a very important role in healthy bone structure.
It’s found in two forms: D2 and D3….D3 is the higher recommended of the two, because of its similarity to the vitamin D created by your own body when you get ample amounts of sunlight. The amount of sunlight an individual needs to get enough of vitamin D’s benefits depends on the fairness or darkness of the skin. Dark-colored skins produce vitamin D more slowly than fair-skinned people. As little as 15 minutes per day is sufficient for a light-skinned person, but a darker-complexioned person may need 2 hours or more.
It’s not necessary to burn or even tan to get enough of vitamin D’s benefits. The more skin is exposed to the sunlight, the sooner that healthy amounts of vitamin D are produced within your body. In cloudier climates, in the winter, and in certain parts of the world where sunlight is scarce during certain parts of the year, supplements are recommended. For people who work indoors all week, a supplement is advised. Then get plenty of natural sunlight on Saturday and Sunday.
The occurrence of vitamin D deficiency is very high in older adults. This may be due to staying indoors more and not getting outside enough. For these folks, taking a vitamin D supplement is definitely prescribed for them to get enough of vitamin D’s benefits (www.webmd.com). They, especially, need all the help that vitamin D gives to metabolize and utilize calcium to have healthy, strong bones.
Recommended supplemental dosages vary from different organizations in the United States, from 800 IU to 5,000 IU per day (www.vitamindcouncil.org). Vitamin D is not water-soluble, meaning that it’s not expelled from the body easily like other vitamins. However, it’s not easy to take too much vitamin D to the point of being harmful.
The vitamin D produced naturally in the body by getting sun exposure on the other hand, is water-soluble and leaves the body quickly. It’s difficult to get vitamin D from foods, as there are few foods with vitamin D in them. Milk and orange juice can be found fortified with vitamin D. Fish, beef liver and egg yolks naturally contain vitamin D.
Research clearly demonstrates that vitamin D is crucial for good health. Get enough of vitamin D’s benefits by getting adequate sunshine, and take supplements in winter months or when working indoors. Scientists say that there are more than 3,000 genes that are affected by vitamin D levels and have identified vitamin D receptors throughout the entire body.
Ruby Moseley, Rust Built, Marketing Services
Photo Credit: http://consciouslifenews.com
Osteoporosis is “a medical condition in which the bones become brittle and fragile from loss of tissue, typically as a result of hormonal changes, or deficiency of calcium or vitamin D” (1). Osteoporosis is more commonly known as a disease of the bones. As a result of osteoporosis, “your bones become weak and may break from a minor fall or, in serious cases, even from simple actions like sneezing or bumping into furniture.” (2)
Osteoporosis is not a disease to be taken lightly. As osteoporosis is a condition in which your bones become brittle and fragile, osteoporosis can cause severe pain, affect your posture, and can limit your mobility. Most common areas of osteoporosis in the body are hip, spine and wrist, but other bones can break easily as well.
Osteoporosis is also difficult to detect as it is better known as a silent disease since bone loss occurs without symptoms. “Osteoporosis develops very slowly over a period of many years. The condition may creep up on the patient without any obvious symptoms initially – it can take several months, and even several years to become noticeable” (3). “People may not know that they have osteoporosis until their bones become so weak that a sudden strain, bump, or fall causes a hip to fracture or a vertebra to collapse” (4). Early signs of osteoporosis include difficulty standing, sitting up straight and joint pains.
How can osteoporosis be prevented? Some factors of osteoporosis you cannot change such as your age, gender, body size, ethnicity, and family history, however, there are steps that you can take to keep your bones healthy:
- Eat a healthy diet with enough nutrients such as calcium and vitamin D
- Do not drink in excess or smoke
Osteoporosis might be the most common bone disease known by most people; however, there are a variety of other bone related diseases. Two other bone diseases which are commonly known are called Osteogenesis Imperfecta and Paget’s Disease of Bone.
Osteogenesis Imperfecta is “a genetic bone disorder characterized by fragile bones that break easily” (7). This disease is more commonly known as “brittle bone disease.” Osteogenesis Imperfecta is caused by a mutation on a gene which in turn, affects the body’s production of collagen in bones and tissues. Although there is no cure for Osteogenesis Imperfecta, symptoms can be managed with a healthy lifestyle, medication, or surgery.
The second bone related disease is Paget’s Disease of Bone which “causes bones to grow larger and weaker than normal.” (5). Paget’s Disease of Bone may cause pain and lead to medical problems. The disease is treated with medicines that slow the breakdown of bone tissue and quite possibly surgery if the disease progresses.
Sharan Kaur, Rust Built, Marketing Services
1. “Osteoporosis” http://www.dictionary.com
2. “What is Osteoporosis?” http://www.nof.org/articles/7
3. “What is Osteoporosis? What Causes Osteoporosis?” http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/155646.php
4. “Osteoporosis Overview” http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Bone/Osteoporosis/overview.asp
5. “Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases” http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Bone/default.asp
6. “What Is Osteoporosis?
Fast Facts: An Easy-to-Read Series of Publications for the Public” http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Bone/Osteoporosis/osteoporosis_ff.asp
7. “Facts about Osteogenesis Imperfecta” http://www.oif.org/site/PageServer?pagename=AOI_Facts
The tread on your tires thins and wears out after miles and miles of usage, right? In a similar fashion, the cartilage—a cushioning shock absorber where our bones come together–may thin and wear out over time, and with years of usage. Here are four simple strategies to keep your joints healthy for as long as you want to use them.
- Throughout life, keeping your joints healthy will ease problems when you grow older. Vary your exercise to keep your joints healthy, so that one area of your body is not over-taxed, resulting in damage. Injuries when you are young may develop into arthritis later in your life. Alternate high-impact workouts with low-impact activities, like swimming and walking, and strength training. Stretching will nourish the joint
- Watch inflammation. After exercise, the joints may be inflamed due to the release of synovial fluid. Applying ice to the joints used will decrease the swelling and aid in the natural repair cycle that healthy joints go through. Exercise also sends oxygen-rich blood, nourishing joints and cartilage.
- Eat a healthy diet to keep joints healthy. Fish oil, such as salmon and tuna, may reduce the levels of inflammation in the joints, because they’re loaded with omega-3 fatty acids. Research is beginning to imply that vitamin D may protect and keep your joints healthy, by reducing inflammation.
- Losing weight is the best way to lessen cartilage strain and slow the progression of osteoarthritis, which affects us as we age. Joints that support extra weight, such as the knees, experience small tears that break down the cartilage. The less they have to support the better, and the healthier your joints will be.
Consult your doctor about taking supplements, such as calcium, vitamin D, glucosamine/chondroitin and fish oil for healthy shock absorbers,…uh…,healthy joints for your lifetime.
Ruby Moseley, Rust Built, Marketing Services