| Lin Ivey
Big or small — each member of your family should be taking a vitamin D supplement. D3 is a MUST in every household and should be used EVERY season! Unless you can bask in the bright sun FULLY NUDE for nearly an hour EVERYDAY 😉 you just are not converting enough D3!
WHAT THE D
D3 is a fat-soluble vitamin (we can store it ya’ll!) that helps the body use calcium and phosphorous. These minerals build and maintain healthy bones and strong teeth. Vitamin D is unique — it can be synthesized by the body after exposure to direct sunlight (UV rays). This is why it is commonly referred to as the ‘sunshine vitamin!’ Keep in mind roughly 1 hour of full body sun exposure is necessary for the body to start converting inactive D into active D3!
Studies suggest over HALF of North Americans are D3 deficient — adults and infants alike. That’s a pretty scary thought! Side effects of low vitamin D include:
D3 should be introduced at birth and continued through adulthood.
- (0 — 12 months) Infant Dosing: 0 — 400 IU, introduce in milk/formula!
- (1 to 13) Children Dosing: 400 — 1000 IU, bring on the gummies!
- (13 and up) Adult Dosing: 1000 — 4000 IU, gummy double up
What food sources provide Vitamin D? The majority of our dietary D3 is from fortified foods such as cow, goat and plant milks, margarine and some calcium fortified orange juices.
The few natural sources of D3 in Canada’s food supply are fatty fish(halibut/mackerel) and egg yolks. Because of these limits, anyone on a plant-based diet is advised to supplement daily!
Isn’t my baby getting D3 through my breast milk?
Even fully breastfed infants do not get enough vitamin D! Breast milk does contain small amounts of vitamin D (less than 25 IU/litre) but certainly not adequate amounts for rapidly growing little ones. Supplementation(via a dropper) is necessary to avoid softening of both bones and teeth.
How much is TOO much?
D3 is considered safe when taken in appropriate doses. However, overconsumption can be harmful. Exceeding the recommended limit of 4000 IU on a regular basis can lead to: weakness, nausea, vomiting, disorientation, weight loss, heart rhythm problems or kidney irritation/damage.
Do I still supplement on beach days?
Anyone else miss mom’s strict orders: streaky sunblock from nose to toes before you were let loose to make sand castles? Me neither 😉 and studies suggest sunscreen impairs D2 to D3 conversion! Because we still need to protect ourselves from harmful UV rays it is recommended that even on sunny beach days, supplementation is encouraged. My rule of thumb — high RDA during cloud cover seasons and low RDA during the sunny months!
But my kids drink milk and play outside!
Sorry gang, it still is not enough. Due to sunscreens, lifestyle changes such as the move to plant-based eating kids are absorbing lower amounts of vitamin D and nearly half of toddlers are deficient.
Vitamin D influences a wide variety of biologic pathways and is essential for all age groups. Increased dietary intake, sun exposure and SUPPLEMENTATION can prevent many preventable adulthood illnesses, rickets, immune dysfunction and underdeveloped teeth. Before starting your family on any vitamin or supplement, ALWAYS consult with your family doctor or Naturopath!
D3: Deficiency and Immune Function