Why should I take D3?
What is the function of D3? And how much should I take?
Without enough vitamin D, it wouldn't matter how much calcium you ate to keep your bones strong because vitamin D controls the absorption of dietary calcium. Vitamin D also regulates the growth of cells, including cells that activate your immune response and kill bacteria. Ongoing research suggests that vitamin D may help prevent cancer and lower blood pressure. Since you can’t be certain how much vitamin D your body makes from sunlight, you
should include 15 micro grams, or 600 international units, of vitamin D in your daily diet.
Although I've known doctors to prescribe much more than this, specially in pregnancy. You can always requests a test to check your D levels at your doctors office. Or check in with your Midwife to see what they suggest. Most people will benefit from a much larger level of D3 added to their daily routine than they imagine. Research also shows that D3's taken while breastfeeding continue to aide in the babies brain development and even contribute to health or above average, language and development of basic motor skills. (More on this in a separate post!)
Most foods aren't natural sources of vitamin D, which is why milk is fortified with 100 international units per cup. Other types of dairy products may be enriched with vitamin D, but since enrichment is not required, check the nutrition facts label to check for the amounts. The best natural sources are fish, especially trout and salmon, which have approximately all the recommended daily value in a 3-ounce serving. The same portion of canned tuna, halibut and rock-fish has 156 to 229 international units. You’ll get 44 international units from a large egg. The vitamin D in mushrooms varies because some are purposefully exposed to ultraviolet light to increase the amount.
But I thought Fish we're safe to eat in pregnancy?
- Atlantic and Pacific mackerel