Why does Vitamin D intake vary among individuals?
Vitamin D is a hot topic, especially in areas of the United States that have low amounts of daily sunshine. As Dietitians, we are often asked about the supplementation of Vitamin D due to its variability of 'intake' depending on the region of which you live in.
Vitamin D is found in some foods such as salmon, herring, sardines, egg yolk, milk, and mushrooms. However, it is difficult to receive all of your vitamin D through food alone.
Vitamin D and the sun...
Because it is nearly impossible to get all of your vitamin D daily needs from food---our bodies have adapted to synthesize vitamin D from the sun. Unfortunately--- many people live in areas that rarely see the sun (insert sad face here). And even if they do! --- the UV rays usually aren't strong enough to produce satisfactory amounts of vitamin D, therefore causing a deficiency.
For most people, this deficiency can be translated to 'seasonal depression' --- a diagnosis that requires vitamin D supplementation to improve moods and productivity. Vitamin D also aids in calcium absorption and is therefore connected to bone health.
Why pregnant women should be aware of vitamin D intake ...
Recent studies have found a correlation with gestational diabetes and vitamin D deficiency in the first and second trimesters. Women who were shown to be more consistently vitamin D deficient had a 4.6 times higher risk of developing gestational diabetes during their pregnancy. Although the mechanism as to how the two are related is unknown, this information can indeed be used to help in the prevention of gestational diabetes.
How can you meet your daily needs without sunny days?
Prenatal vitamins and supplements do indeed provide a mother with her vitamin D needs---however, we can of course use food to help meet our daily requirements. As stated before, there are a number of foods that can aid in vitamin D intake.
Salmon, mushrooms, and eggs are all wonderful sources of vitamin D. Dairy products also contain notable amounts of vitamin D.
For those who live in the sun...
If you are fortunate enough to live in a place that has an abundance of sunshine on a daily basis, this is not a nutrient you need to worry about! You lucky ducks...
For those of you who live in places where vitamin D is not attainable from the sun OR you are one to stay inside ---even on the sunniest of days, Mamas Maternal Health can help you meet your vitamin D needs through a balanced diet and lifestyle!
Thank you for reading and please sign up on our mailing list for Mamas Maternal Health updates and weekly blog posts at www.mamasmaternalhealth.com!
Until next time!
Mikayla and Cassie
Mamas Maternal Health Registered Dietitians/Lactation Counselors
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