Are you getting enough Vitamin D? Many of us are not, and when you're not, it has very noticeable affects on your health and well being. It's very difficult to get enough Vitamin D in your diet since there are very few natural sources of it. Aside from the Vitamin D produced by your body when exposed to the sun, here is a (short) list of food rich in this key Vitamin.
⦁ Salmon (128% DV per serving)
⦁ Sardines (44% DV per serving)
⦁ Tuna (23% DV per serving)
⦁ Fortified Milk (16% DV per serving)
⦁ Egg (Yolk) (11% DV per serving)
And that's about it. As you can see, it's very difficult to get sufficient quantities of Vitamin D in your diet without supplementation. Vitamin D can also be created photochemically whenever your bare skin is exposed to sunlight, and we all know that Americans aren't getting enough sun.
So, why is it important? The name itself is a bit misleading, as it's technically a pro-hormone and not a vitamin. Vitamin D is a key player in keeping your bones and teeth healthy, as it is very important for regulating calcium and phosphorus. In fact, it's so important for your bones that not getting enough can lead to stress fractures! Vitamin D has also been shown to protect against cancer, diabetes, and multiple sclerosis; so if you're in genetic danger of acquiring one of these conditions, Vitamin D is especially important for you. It's also key for maintaining a healthy immune system and regulating your mood. Many people who are deficient in this vitamin end up with depression. That's the reason why people living closer to the poles are generally more depressed. There's just not enough qualitity sunlight in those parts of the world.
How much should you be taking? Obese people, pregnant people, and the elderly need higher amounts of Vitamin D. According to the FDA, EVERY person should be taking in 600 IUs of Vitamin D per day. I believe, like in many other ways, that the FDA is full of shit. 600 as a bare minimum may be okay, but the FDA does not account for age, bodyweight, or pregnancy. Also, there is no possible way to overdose on Vitamin D, your body simply discards anything over it's maximum absorption capability. So no worries when it comes to possibly taking in too much.
The general consensus for recommended daily intake is 1,000-4,000 IUs. So about 180-660% of the FDA's recommendation. Be sure that you're getting enough of this vital nutrient, your body will thank you!