What is Vitamin D and why is it important?
- Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin found in certain foods. It can also be made by our bodies after exposure to sunlight.
- Vitamin D helps your body maintain normal levels of calcium and phosphorous in your blood.
- Together, Vitamin D and calcium are essential for strong, healthy bones. They can help prevent osteoporosis.
Am I at risk for low Vitamin D levels?
- Everyone can benefit from a little more Vitamin D, but certain people may be at risk for low levels. Consider additional Vitamin D supplementation if you:
- are over 50 years old
- have been diagnosed with low bone density
- get very little sun exposure
- have kidney disease or another disease that affects absorption of minerals
- are lactose intolerant
- are vegan
- have darker skin
How much Vitamin D do I need?
- Current guidelines suggest that women get 1,000 IU (international units) of Vitamin D3 each day.
- Sometimes, higher doses of Vitamin D may be recommended.
- Unless specifically instructed by your healthcare provider, you should not take more than 2,000 IU per day.
Is there anything I should consider before starting Vitamin D?
- Vitamin D can interact with some medications (such as drugs for high blood pressure and heart problems). If you take daily medications, check with your doctor before starting Vitamin D supplements.
- Taken at normal doses, Vitamin D has very few side effects.
- Signs of a possible overdose of Vitamin D include:
- Unexplained weight loss
- Kidney or heart problems
Where can I get Vitamin D?
- The best way to get Vitamin D is through sunlight. Just 10-15 minutes of sun exposure (without sunscreen) a couple times a week is usually enough to maintain adequate levels of Vitamin D. But we live in Oregon, so…
- Vitamin D can also be found as a vitamin supplement. You can find Vitamin D tablets or capsules at most drug stores. Oral Vitamin D pills are sold in two forms: Vitamin D2 and Vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 seems to have a stronger effect, so try to find this form.
- There are a few foods that contain Vitamin D naturally and some others that have had Vitamin D added to them (like fortified milk or cereals). The list below can give you a good idea where to get Vitamin D in your food:
IU per serving
Cod Liver Oil
3 1/2 ounces
3 1/2 ounces
Sardines (canned, in oil, drained)
3 1/2 ounces
Milk (Vitamin D fortified)
Margarine (Vitamin D fortified)
Pudding (made with fortified milk)
Dry Cereal (Vitamin D fortified)
Beef Liver (cooked)
3 1/2 ounces
February is National Heart Month
It’s National Heart Month and your heart probably needs a little love! Just think of what it does…. beat after beat it works tirelessly to sustain us from the womb to our very last breath. It gives us so much and it asks only one thing of us in return: love. However too few of us truly love our hearts. We take for granted that it will serve us dutifully and we don't give it the kindness, care and adoration it deserves. Here are some steps to help you love your heart!
1)Empowerment: love yourself enough to want to take care of your heart.
2)Communicate effectively: get to know your heart by learning your risk and your family history.
3)Create date nights: treat your heart to fresh veggies, fruits, nuts, whole grains, fish and a glass of red wine.
4)Share fun activities: get your heart pumping with activities to build endurance, foster bonding and family time.
5)Be vulnerable: listen to your heart and make seeking medical care for symptoms a priority.
6)Show commitment: prioritize your heart by monitoring blood pressure, cholesterol, weight and blood sugar.
7)Protect: keep your heart safe by avoiding tobacco.
8)Radiate positivity: train your mind to speak kindly to your heart, de-stress and express gratitude.
9)Demonstrate trust: believe in your heart's devotion to you.