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Vitamins (cont.)

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is known by most as the sunshine vitamin. The ultraviolet rays from the sunlight help your body produce vitamin D when they hit your skin for at least 10 minutes. The sunlight is not the only way to get vitamin D. Foods like seafood, mushrooms, and egg yolks naturally contain this vitamin, and other foods have it added so you can reach your needs with your diet.

Vitamin D is needed to maintain blood levels of calcium and phosphorus. A deficiency in children can cause rickets, a disease that causes soft, weak bones; this results in skeletal deformities (bowed legs), impaired growth, bone pain, and dental problems. In adults, a deficiency can cause osteomalacia and osteoporosis.

The recommendations for vitamin D are listed as an adequate intake in micrograms (mcg) and international units (IU):

Age Vitamin D
Birth to 13 years 5 mcg (200 IU)
14-18 years 5 mcg (200 IU)
19-50 years 5 mcg (200 IU)
51-70 years 10 mcg (400 IU)
71+ years 15 mcg (600 IU)

Next: Vitamin E


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