Vitamin D is quite unique. Both a vitamin we consume and a hormone we make, it is often referred to as the sunshine vitamin because the process of making it in our bodies is initiated by sunlight hitting our skin (and is ultimately synthesized in the kidneys).
We can also get vitamin D from food sources. But the truth is, it’s actually pretty difficult to get adequate vitamin D from foods. Few foods are actually good sources (fatty fish like tuna and salmon are!), and most of those sources are fortified (like dairy products and breakfast cereals). Because of this, vitamin D has recently been the subject of much research and discussion.It is thought that 1 billion people worldwide have low blood levels of vitamin D. This is especially problematic for those living in northern latitudes where the type of sunlight exposure necessary for adequate vitamin D synthesis isn’t up to par for the majority of the year.
In my last post, the new recommendations were addressed. But what was missing? Were there gaps?
According to some experts, the final guidelines may have fallen short in a few key areas. Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health (some of whom served on the panel in developing the guidelines) believe these areas are:
*Sodium – 2300 mg/day is still the upper limit; many feel this should have been lowered to 1500 mg/day
*Vitamin D – new research has provided evidence that we may need to supplement our diets with Vitamin D since there are few food sources that provide us with adequate amounts; the current recommendation is less than 1000 mg/day, thought to be too low by experts
*Dairy – too much emphasis may be placed on this group as a calcium source, especially since much of the public does not consume low-fat dairy foods, as suggested
*Refined grains and red meat – too lax in recommen...