My son was laying his head down for sweet slumber when he just needed to utter a few more syllables…
“I love you, Mom.”
Nope. Try again.
“Mom, what is Vitamin D?”
Yep…that was his final thought of the night.
It’s a vitamin…your body needs it, now go to sleep you hyper-aware being.
Fine. I’ll google it and have an in-depth report on your desk in the morning, sir.
Apparently my super health conscious son isn’t the only one who lays awake at night concerned with Vitamin D.
I stumbled upon this gem in my research.
Canadian health officials recently released these hilariously true advertisements to encourage people to get the recommended doses of Vitamin D. Although it appears they ended up encouraging a little something extra.
Canada cares. Message received.
I personally have never given vitamin D any thought…or vitamins in general for that matter. Which definitely means I am deficient in all of them.
Dammit. I knew moving to Canada would have been a solid decision. Cheap prescription drugs, Publicly funded health system, Mounties, birthplace of Ryan Gosling and now friendly little reminders about vitamin deficiency and sex.
After lamenting my life choices for a bit, I found that vitamin D is important because it prevents rickets.
Rickets? Yep. It’s a real thing. A disease that occurs in children who are deficient in vitamin D. Their bones soften and become weak.
Don’t worry, it’s extremely rare now. So…if like me you’ve also slacked off in the vitamin department, your kids are probably still safe.
Especially since certain companies decided that even kids of lazy parents deserve to be protected from rickets and they’re fortifying products such as milk, yogurt, cereal and orange juice with vitamin D.
Milk companies have actually been fortifying milk with vitamin D since the 1930’s, which significantly helped to decrease the occurrence of rickets at a time when it was rampant. This was a popular alternative to the cod liver oil that people were having to choke down. 1-3 tablespoons a day could keep the rickets away…yum.
If you’ve been purchasing brands that aren’t fortified in some weird attempt to be thrifty your kids may still be safe…
One source claims that if you spend 2-3 days per week in the sun for 1/4 of the time it takes to get a sunburn your skin should soak up enough to produce a significant amount of vitamin D.
I personally don’t know how long it takes either of my children to get a sunburn…I was busy making the mistake of protecting them from skin cancer.
Once you figure out how long it takes to make them extra crispy just taper it back to one quarter of the time. Easy enough. Good ol’ Mother Nature for the win.
It’s also naturally occurring in fatty fish such as salmon, tuna and mackerel. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that this doesn’t include frozen fish sticks.
Either way the kids would be highly offended if I dared to serve them fish…so would “the smart one.” Their tastes fall somewhere in the realm of carbs and melted cheese. If there’s ever an epidemic from lack of vitamins that can be found in carbs we’re going to be just fine.
I digress because my son’s original question was, “What is Vitamin D?! Blah, blah, blah…”
So, officially, Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin responsible for calcium being absorbed into the gut and bones. And in case you don’t know…fat soluble means the vitamin can be dissolved in fats within the body as opposed to vitamins that are water soluble.
Extra “Fun” Fact: You can in fact have too much of a fat soluble vitamin in your body because they remain stored in the body tissue. This condition is referred to as hypervitaminosis. No, I didn’t make that up. Water soluble vitamins, however, are carried to the body’s tissue but they don’t remain there.
So…we all need the D. Get some.