OLDER PEOPLE MAY NEED VITAMIN D PILLS.txt
OLDER PEOPLE MAY NEED VITAMIN D PILLS
Gabe Mirkin, M.D.
A study from New Zealand shows that Vitamin D deficiency is common
in older people, particularly those who do not go outside in the
Vitamin D is found in egg yolks, liver, and fatty fish such as
salmon and it is added to butter, cream, milk and margarine. These
foods provide only half the vitamin D requirement for most North
Americans. We get the rest from sunlight which converts a
cholesterol compound in skin to a vitamin D precursor that is
converted by the liver and kidneys to vitamin D.
Since many North Americans restrict high-cholesterol foods, they
must depend on sunlight. Light-skinned people need 10 minutes a day,
while dark-skinned ones need up to 30 minutes. Most people can meet
half their vitamin D requirement by taking two cups of milk a day.
Strict vegetarians need to eat fortified foods or take 5 to 10
micrograms of vitamin D pills each day. Caution: Vitamin D is stored
in your body fat, and too much can poison you.
SJ Ley, CC Horwath, JM Stewart. Attention is needed to the high
prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in our older population. New
Zealand Medical Journal, 1999, Vol 112, Iss 1101, pp 471-472.
Address Ley SJ, Univ Auckland, Dept Community Hlth, Auckland 1,