Mapping Vitamin D Requirements

A number of recent studies have demonstrated the importance that Vitamin D plays in bone health. It's so important that taking calcium for your bones doesn't help much if your body's level of vitamin D isn't sufficient. That's because this micronutrient's job is to help the intestines absorb calcium into your bloodstream.

Vitamin D also contributes to muscle function. Consider a recent Swiss study of women in their 80s. One group took a daily dose of 800 IU vitamin D and 1,200 mg calcium. They performed better on mobility tests and suffered half as many falls as another group of women in their 80s who took only calcium.

The Bigger Picture. Current vitamin D recommendations are 200 IU for people age 50 and younger, 400 IU between the ages of 51 and 70, and 600 IU for those over 71. A survey conducted in 2004 found that 2 out of 3 Americans between 50 and 70 years of age did not receive the recommended amount of Vitamin D. This is especially important for people living north of Denver, Indianapolis and Philadelphia (40 degrees latitude), because wintertime sunlight isn't strong enough to provide ample Vitamin D through exposure. It's never too early or too late to start keeping your bones and muscles healthy by keeping up with your vitamins and minerals.
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Mooooo-ve over vitamin d!
Sep 18, 2007