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Why does a woman need vitamin d

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Vitamin D is necessary for building and maintaining healthy bones. That's because calcium, the primary component of bone, can only be absorbed by your body when vitamin D is present. Your body makes vitamin D when direct sunlight converts a chemical in your skin into an active form of the vitamin calciferol. Vitamin D isn't found in many foods, but you can get it from fortified milk, fortified cereal, and fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines. The amount of vitamin D your skin makes depends on many factors, including the time of day, season, latitude and your skin pigmentation.

SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Vitamin D For Women - do you have signs of Vitamin D deficiency?

SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: 8 Signs Your Body Is Begging for Vitamin D

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Jump to content. Your body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium. Calcium keeps your bones and muscles—including your heart—healthy and strong. People who do not get enough calcium and vitamin D throughout life have an increased chance of having thin and brittle bones osteoporosis in their later years. Thin and brittle bones break easily and can lead to serious injuries. This is why it is important for you to get enough calcium and vitamin D as a child and as an adult. It helps keep your bones strong as you get older and protects against possible breaks.

Your body also uses vitamin D to help your muscles absorb calcium and work well. If your muscles don't get enough calcium, then they can cramp, hurt, or feel weak. You may have long-term chronic muscle aches and pains. Getting enough vitamin D helps prevent these problems. Children who don't get enough vitamin D may not grow as much as others their age. They also have a chance of getting a rare disease called rickets , which causes weak bones. Calcium should always be taken along with vitamin D, because the body needs vitamin D in order to absorb calcium.

Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding need the same amount of calcium and vitamin D as other women their age. Most people get enough calcium, but some people may not get enough vitamin D. Many foods are fortified with calcium and vitamin D, and your body uses sunshine to make its own vitamin D. From age 9 through 18, girls need more calcium from foods to meet the daily recommended intake. If they cannot get enough calcium from foods, a calcium supplement may be needed.

Blood tests for vitamin D can check your vitamin D level. But there is no standard normal range used by all laboratories. Calcium is in foods such as milk, cheese, and yogurt. Vegetables like broccoli, kale, and Chinese cabbage have calcium. You can get calcium if you eat the soft edible bones in canned sardines and canned salmon.

Foods with added fortified calcium include some cereals, juices, soy drinks, and tofu. The food label will show how much calcium was added. Vitamin D is in foods such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel. These are some of the best foods to eat when you are trying to get more vitamin D. Other foods that have vitamin D, but in small amounts, include cheese, egg yolks, and beef liver. You can also get vitamin D from fortified foods such as milk and some cereals, orange juices, yogurts, margarines, and soy drinks.

Some people who do not get enough calcium and vitamin D may need supplements. Calcium supplements are available as citrate or carbonate. Calcium carbonate is best absorbed when it is taken with food. Calcium citrate can be absorbed well with or without food. Spreading calcium out over the course of the day can reduce stomach upset and helps your body absorb the calcium better.

Try not to take more than milligrams mg of calcium supplement at a time. It is possible to get too much calcium and vitamin D. Older women who take calcium supplements need to be careful that they do not take too much. The amount of calcium and vitamin D you get every day from all sources—including food, sunshine, and supplements—should not be more than the amount shown by age in the table below for "upper level intake.

It means this is the maximum amount of calcium or vitamin D that is safe to take. If you get too much calcium, you may get kidney stones, and if you get too much vitamin D, your kidneys and tissues may be damaged.

Too much vitamin D can cause nausea and vomiting, constipation, and weakness. Getting too much vitamin D increases the amount of calcium in your blood. If this happens, you can become confused and have an irregular heart rhythm. Calcium and vitamin D may interact with other medicines. A drug interaction happens when a medicine you take changes how another medicine works. One medicine may make another one less effective, or the combination of the medicines may cause a side effect you don't expect.

Some drug interactions are dangerous. Also tell your doctor about all of your current medical problems. Author: Healthwise Staff. This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.

Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content. To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.

Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated. Top of the page. Getting Enough Calcium and Vitamin D. Topic Overview Why is it important to get enough calcium and vitamin D? What is the recommended daily amount of calcium and vitamin D? Recommended calcium and vitamin D by age footnote 1 footnote 2 Age Recommended calcium intake milligrams a day Recommended vitamin D intake international units a day years years 1, years 1, years 1, Males years 1, Females years 1, 71 and older 1, Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding need the same amount of calcium and vitamin D as other women their age.

Who may not get enough calcium and vitamin D? Things that reduce how much vitamin D your body makes include: Dark skin, such as many African Americans have. Age, especially if you are older than Digestive problems, such as Crohn's or celiac disease. Liver and kidney disease. How can you get more calcium and vitamin D? Vitamin D supplements are available as ergocalciferol D2 and cholecalciferol D3. Are there any risks from taking calcium and vitamin D? Upper level intake for calcium and vitamin D by age footnote 3 Age Upper level calcium intake milligrams a day Upper level vitamin D intake international units a day years 2, 2, years 2, 3, years 3, 4, years 2, 4, 51 and older 2, 4, If you get too much calcium, you may get kidney stones, and if you get too much vitamin D, your kidneys and tissues may be damaged.

Dietary reference intakes DRIs : Recommended dietary allowances and adequate intakes, elements. Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine Dietary reference intakes DRIs : Recommended dietary allowances and adequate intakes, vitamins. Institute of Medicine Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service Nutrient data laboratory. Credits Current as of: August 21, Top of the page Next Section: Related Information. Previous Section: References Top of the page. Current as of: August 21,

Taking too much vitamin D can cloud its benefits and create health risks

Jump to content. Your body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium. Calcium keeps your bones and muscles—including your heart—healthy and strong. People who do not get enough calcium and vitamin D throughout life have an increased chance of having thin and brittle bones osteoporosis in their later years.

One component of bone strength is measured as bone mineral density, or BMD: the amount of mineral content in an area of bone. Bones might seem static or unchanging, but they are living tissue that is constantly rebuilding itself through an ongoing process of repair and maintenance.

Join AARP at 1 p. Learn more. A report from the Institute of Medicine setting new guidelines for vitamin D and calcium increases the recommended levels of D, but maintains or decreases the recommended levels for calcium. Most Americans and Canadians, the report states, are getting enough vitamin D and calcium, although older men and women may fall short.

What are the health benefits of vitamin D?

Vitamin D is pivotal to the absorption of calcium and maximizing bone health. Women suffer great morbidity and mortality related to osteoporosis and fractures, which may be decreased by interventions such as vitamin D. In addition, extraskeletal benefits of vitamin D have been postulated including positive effects on cancer. Both the classical and nonclassical functions of vitamin D will be discussed here, with a focus on women. Although vitamin D deficiency is currently a hot topic of discussion, the debate started long ago. Initially identified as a vitamin in the s, scientists now define it as a prohormone. By , food and drinks were being fortified, but it was not well monitored, and children experienced toxicity, causing many countries to stop fortification. From the liver, the 25 OH D travels to the kidneys where it is converted into 1,dihydroxyvitamin D 1,25[OH] 2 D or calcitriol , which is the active form of vitamin D.

How Much Vitamin D — or Calcium — Do You Need?

Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium. Calcium is one of the main building blocks of bone. Vitamin D also has a role in your nervous, muscle, and immune systems. You can get vitamin D in three ways: through your skin, from your diet, and from supplements. Your body forms vitamin D naturally after exposure to sunlight.

You can also get it through certain foods and supplements to ensure adequate levels of the vitamin in your blood.

Vitamin D deficiency means that you do not have enough vitamin D in your body. Vitamin D is unique because your skin actually produces it by using sunlight. Fair-skinned individuals and those who are younger convert sunshine into vitamin D far better than those who are darker-skinned and over age

Get the Facts on Calcium and Vitamin D

Vitamin D is having its day in the sun. In recent years, research has associated low blood levels of the vitamin with higher risks of everything from heart disease, diabetes, and cancer to mood disorders and dementia. The findings have not gone unnoticed.

If you buy something through a link on this page, we may earn a small commission. How this works. A human body produces vitamin D as a response to sun exposure. A person can also boost their vitamin D intake through certain foods or supplements. Vitamin D is essential for several reasons, including maintaining healthy bones and teeth. It may also protect against a range of diseases and conditions, such as type 1 diabetes.

The Role of Vitamin D Supplements in Women’s Health

Diane E. With conflicting nutritional information available from multiple sources, it's hard to decide not only what to eat, but what, if any, supplements to take. It's commonly recommended that women — especially as they get older — should take calcium and vitamin D supplements to help strengthen bones and protect against future fractures broken bones. However, the U. Preventive Services Task Force USPSTF recently concluded that there isn't enough proof that taking these supplements before or after menopause prevents fractures in women who never had fractures before, and that the possible harm supplements may cause is unknown.

Read about vitamin D deficiency treatment, causes, symptoms, signs, A review of vitamin D levels in women, years of age, over 10 years found It simply means that there is a possible relationship, and more studies need to be.

Recent media reports and studies have left many confused about calcium supplements and their effect on the heart. While some studies have suggested a possible link between calcium supplements and heart-related problems, substantial evidence supports that taking the recommended amount of calcium supplements poses no risk to the heart. What we know is that experts agree getting enough calcium is critical for bone health and overall health. NOF recommends that women age 50 and younger get 1, mg of calcium from all sources daily and that women age 51 and older get 1, mg. For men, NOF recommends 1, mg of calcium daily for those age 70 and younger and 1, mg for men age 71 and older.

Calcium and vitamin D: How much do you need?

And even worse, they say the supplements may increase the risk of death from other diseases. Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services.

COVID-19 Update

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. Have you forgotten your password? In this article, the author looks at complications and issues caused by vitamin D deficiency in women. Interest in vitamin D has been growing over the past 10 years, and is often seen by some as a necessary nutritional supplement to the diet.

Learn about our expanded patient care options for your health care needs. Erin Donnelly Michos, M.


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