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Vitamin D: What's The Truth?

By HERWriter
 
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Vitamin D: What's The Truth?

When my son was born, there were few things I knew how to do. So much of parenting is experiential, which is why it is so easy to judge the woman in aisle 4 parenting her tantrummy toddler and so hard to keep your energy for a child who seems to gain more energy with every passing year.

I did “know” one thing: Vitamin D drops. I had to give them to him everyday. I tucked them in the cabinet with his thermometer and baby Tylenol and I didn’t miss a single dose.

I live in Canada and I am not a fan of anything akin to a polar vortex. There is much of the year where I find indoor replacements for all of our activities, because this seems preferable to frostbite. Vitamin D is necessary.

Right?

Turns out, my certainty was unfounded, even though every nurse and physician insisted on it.

There are some experts that say that even those who are Vitamin D deficient (hello, everyone in Canada) don’t need to supplement and that vitamin D is not the cure-all that we might have hoped.

Vitamin D is not really a Vitamin. It is a hormone (say what?). It helps to promote the absorption of Calcium in the body. Vitamin D3 is found in fish and sunlight. Vitamin D2 is found in plant-based foods, including mushrooms. (1)

The current guidelines for vitamin D was based on a group of elderly people who didn’t get much sunlight and were prone to fractures. But people need only be outside for a short period of time without sunscreen to reap the benefits. If housebound, supplementation may be crucial, but that certainly isn’t true for most of us.

In addition, more supplementation is not necessarily better. An increased dosage actually showed an increased number of fractures and falls. In search of better health, some people believe that the more vitamin D, the better. This is not true. Unsafe amounts are more than 4,000 IU per day (600 IU is the recommended amount for most healthy adults). As with anything in life, the trick is to make sure that you are moderate. (2)

Moderation: the key to good health.

It is certainly not the same thing to take a supplement and to stand outside in the sunshine, otherwise we would be replacing our vacations with a pill.

 

1.     Brown, Jessica. Should Everyone Be Taking Vitamin D? BBC. http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20181010-do-vitamin-d-supplements-work  Retrieved 4 March 2019.

 

2.     Taking Too Much Vitamin D Can Cloud Its Benefits And Create Health Risks. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/taking-too-much-vitamin-d-can-cloud-its-benefits-and-create-health-risks Retrieved 5 March 2019.

 

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3.     Kolata, Gina. Why Are So Many People Popping Vitamin D? The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/10/health/vitamin-d-deficiency-supplements.html  Retrieved 6 March 2019.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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