Vitamin D


What is Vitamin D and why is it important?

  • Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin found in certain foods. It can also be made by our bodies after exposure to sunlight.
  • Vitamin D helps your body maintain normal levels of calcium and phosphorous in your blood.
  • Together, Vitamin D and calcium are essential for strong, healthy bones. They can help prevent osteoporosis.

Am I at risk for low Vitamin D levels?

  • Everyone can benefit from a little more Vitamin D, but certain people may be at risk for low levels. Consider additional Vitamin D supplementation if you:
    • are over 50 years old
    • have been diagnosed with low bone density
    • get very little sun exposure
    • have kidney disease or another disease that affects absorption of minerals
    • are lactose intolerant
    • are vegan
    • have darker skin

How much Vitamin D do I need?

  • Current guidelines suggest that women get 1,000 IU (international units) of Vitamin D3 each day.
  • Sometimes, higher doses of Vitamin D may be recommended.
  • Unless specifically instructed by your healthcare provider, you should not take more than 2,000 IU per day.

Is there anything I should consider before starting Vitamin D?

  • Vitamin D can interact with some medications (such as drugs for high blood pressure and heart problems). If you take daily medications, check with your doctor before starting Vitamin D supplements.
  • Taken at normal doses, Vitamin D has very few side effects.
  • Signs of a possible overdose of Vitamin D include:
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Weakness
    • Constipation
    • Unexplained weight loss
    • Disorientation
    • Kidney or heart problems

Where can I get Vitamin D?

  • The best way to get Vitamin D is through sunlight. Just 10-15 minutes of sun exposure (without sunscreen) a couple times a week is usually enough to maintain adequate levels of Vitamin D. But we live in Oregon, so…
  • Vitamin D can also be found as a vitamin supplement. You can find Vitamin D tablets or capsules at most drug stores. Oral Vitamin D pills are sold in two forms: Vitamin D2 and Vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 seems to have a stronger effect, so try to find this form.
  • There are a few foods that contain Vitamin D naturally and some others that have had Vitamin D added to them (like fortified milk or cereals). The list below can give you a good idea where to get Vitamin D in your food:

 

 Food

 Serving Size

 IU per serving

 Cod Liver Oil

1 tablespoon 

1,360 IU 

 Salmon (cooked)

 3 1/2 ounces

 360 IU

 Mackerel (cooked)

 3 1/2 ounces

 345 IU

 Sardines (canned, in oil, drained)

3 1/2 ounces 

 370 IU

 Milk (Vitamin D fortified)

1 cup 

 98 IU

 Margarine (Vitamin D fortified)

 1 tablespoon 

 60 IU

 Pudding (made with fortified milk)

1/2 cup

 50 IU

 Dry Cereal (Vitamin D fortified)

 3/4 cup

 40-50 IU

 Beef Liver (cooked)

3 1/2 ounces 

 30 IU

 Egg

 1 whole

 25 IU

Location & Directions

Women's Health
Center of Southern
Oregon, PC
1075 SW Grandview Ave., Suite 200
Grants Pass, Oregon
97527
P: 541-479-8363
Fax:541-476-2841

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HEREDITARY BREAST AND OVARIAN CANCER TESTING
Do you have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer? Hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome is an inherited condition that results in an increased risk for these types of cancer. BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes account for the majority of hereditary breast and ovarian cancers. Knowing if you have a BRCA gene mutation can help you know your risk and what solutions might be best for you. Women’s Health Center now offers BRCA testing. It does not tell you whether or not you have cancer, but will detect any mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. It is a simple test, taking only a very small amount of blood or oral rinse sample for analysis. Knowing your test results can also help your doctor or other provider manage your health care needs more effectively. Many insurance companies cover genetic testing services for hereditary cancer. Women’s Health Center will work with you prior to scheduling your test to determine your insurance coverage. If you have questions if a BRACA test is right for you, call us at 541-479-8363.