Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for health and wellbeing. It assists the body in maintaining the correct levels of calcium and phosphorus, which are essential to bone and blood health. Vitamin D deficiencies are common, and they have been linked to health concerns including cancer, cardiovascular disease, multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis and diabetes.
The current recommendation for Vitamin D consumption is about 600 IU per day for children and adults. There are several ways to meet this recommendation. The body can produce vitamin D with the assistance of sunlight, but this is difficult in modern society because individuals are encouraged to use sunblock and avoid prolonged sun exposure. Vitamin D is found in many foods, including milk, salmon, egg yolks and beef liver. Two forms of vitamin D supplements are also available, Vitamin D2 and Vitamin D3, with Vitamin D3 believed by some experts to be the superior form due to the body’s ability to absorb it with ease.
Recommended intake levels for vitamin D are provided by the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) system. In the below tables the intake levels are presented separately for men and women for different life stages.
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