Lack of Sunshine Causes One Million Deaths a Year
(new studies suggest - see links below)
Vitamin D Is Not Actually A Vitamin But A Steroid Hormone Precursor
Vitamin D comes from two sources: food and sunlight. Some of the best food sources are liver, egg yolks, and fish.
Children/babies and Vitamin D
Dr. Mercola's Comment:
This is an important article for me as it completely updated my view about vitamin D. I had always wondered why this was the ONLY vitamin that breast fed babies need (only if they are not regularly exposed to sunshine). The answer is that Vitamin D is NOT a vitamin but a steroid hormone precursor that is NOT naturally present in food. This explains why the most perfect food on the planet for humans, human breast milk, is "deficient" in vitamin D.
Vitamin D is one of the only supplements that a breast-fed baby will need, but this is only if the baby is not exposed to sunshine. The darker the skin of the baby the more sun exposure will be required for the baby to generate enough vitamin D. Even if the child does not develop rickets, less than optimal bone development and other problems will occur without adequate vitamin D. Typically parents are so concerned about calcium for proper bone growth and health, but in most cases the vitamin D is far more important.
Certain drugs have also been shown to interfere with vitamin D absorption and metabolism, including cholestyramine (Questran), Dilantin, and phenobarbital.
Additionally, because vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, any drug or substance that interferes with fat absorption may cause problems, as may a low-fat diet.
RDA for Vitamin D Too Low for Those with Little Sunlight Exposure
Many people who are not exposed to adequate amounts of sunlight are suffering from significant vitamin D deficiencies, especially if their diets are also low in it. Therefore, the authors of this study are recommending that the RDA (recommended daily allowance) for adults be raised to 1000 IU.
Sunlight exposure of the skin is known to be the most important source of vitamin D.
This study looked at the vitamin D status of sunlight-deprived individuals compared with those with normal sunlight exposure. This Danish study used veiled Arab women and veiled ethnic Danish.