Women's Health Care
of Western Colorado

and Mesa Midwives

Bringing quality obstetrics, gynecology and midwifery

to Grand Junction and Western Colorado.

From the Doctors:

Vitamin D

If you have followed the health related media over the past few years you have likely heard a lot about vitamin D.  There are actually several vitamin Ds but vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) and vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) are the ones important to humans.  People get vitamin D2 through the foods they eat while vitamin D3 is produced by our skin in response to sun exposure.  As little as 10 minutes of sun exposure per day may generate some vitamin D production.


There have been many claims in recent years about the benefits of vitamin D.  While most of these claims are unfounded, vitamin D does play a very important role in maintaining the appropriate levels of calcium and phosphorus in our blood.  This results in protection from osteoporosis and high blood pressure among other things.  Current research about these health benefits led the Institute of Medicine to issue new recommendations for vitamin D consumption this year.


The updated recommendations for Vitamin D:

People age 1 – 70 should consume 600 International Units (IU) per day.

People older than 70 should consume 800 International Units (IU) per day.


There are very few foods that are a good source of vitamin D.  In the United States fortified milk and cereal products are the major source.  Seafood and eggs also provide an above average supply of vitamin D.  Although sunlight is another source, the widespread use of sun block (which is important) has also led to decreased vitamin D production for many people.  Because of these factors, vitamin D supplementation should be considered.

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