Study: Excess Body Fat Correlates to Low Vitamin D Levels

Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, is a fat-soluble nutrient produced the body naturally through regular exposure to the sun. Aside from sunshine, Vitamin D is also sourced from tuna, salmon, eggs, and sardines. While it is known that Vitamin D helps the body absorb Calcium effectively, recent studies suggest that it has a critical role in protecting the body against diabetes, heart failure, bone health, cancer, and respiratory tract infection.

The Link Between Vitamin D and Health

Researchers from the Leiden University Medical Center and VU University Medical Center presented their findings regarding the link between Vitamin D and excess fat. The study examined the data from the Netherlands Epidemiology of Obesity involving men and women between the ages of 45 and 65. The researchers noted that the lower levels of Vitamin D are correlated with the total body fat and liver fat among men and abdominal fat among women. The research suggests that individuals who have higher amounts of abdominal fat are at risk of Vitamin D deficiency; thus they should consider getting their Vitamin D levels checked.

Americans Suffer from Low Vitamin D Levels

While Vitamin D is one of the essential vitamins that the body needs, many studies noted that a large percentage of the population is deficient. In the survey conducted by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), about 8.1% of the people in the United States suffer from Vitamin D deficiency. This equates to a gap in one out of 10 Americans. For the body to carry its natural physiological function, it is crucial to take in between 400 and 800 IU (10 to 20 micrograms) per day. Higher intake of Vitamin D will also benefit the body.

This is the reason why the Food and Drug Administration has approved the fortification of milk and other beverages with Vitamin D. In fact, fortifying milk with Vitamin D has been done since the 1930s, but it is only now that people are taking heed. While many food companies are strengthening their products with Vitamin D, there is still a challenge when it comes to introducing more of it on products.

Food Manufacturers Jumping on Vitamin D Bandwagon

The deficiency of Vitamin D among the broader American population has led to the manufacturers to create products that are infused with Vitamin D. Products that are fortified with Vitamin D should be labeled appropriately.

Vitamin D provides an off-taste to the product; thus ingredients place importance on creating custom premixes and employing the right blending techniques to avoid the lousy mouthfeel of Vitamin D. This is to ensure that milk products still taste the same, especially among children. What many food companies do not know about is GrandFusion…NutriFusion developed GrandFusion blends to concentrate naturally occurring, plant-based vitamins. GrandFusion blends include plant-based versions of Vitamin D, Vitamin D2, and Vitamin D3. The blends are so concentrated that the consumer will never taste the product when adequately blended into the product.

But with the food and beverage manufacturers advertising that their products are fortified with Vitamin D, are the consumers paying attention to the labels or not? We are still not sure, and after almost 100 years of enriching milk, we still see low vitamin D levels. Only time will tell if these new Vitamin D infused products well attract attention and grow into essential products for consumers.

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Infographic: Healthy Look at The World of Vitamins

Check out this in-depth infographic into the world of vitamins by 16 Best.

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Adding Vitamin D in Food Can Reduce Respiratory Infections

Millions of people suffer from respiratory infections every year. Respiratory infections including coughs, flu, pneumonia and bronchitis are typically caused by virus or bacteria. In the United Kingdom alone, about 3.25 million people suffer from at least one type of respiratory infection per year. Most of these infections occur during the winter months when the weather is cold, wet and dreary.

Researchers believe there is a plausible explanation why people get such infection during the winter months. Studies have shown that the occurrence of respiratory infection may also be attributed to the lack of exposure to sunlight – the leading source of Vitamin D. For the body to function properly, you need to take in at most 10,000 IU per day. Unfortunately, sun exposure can be quite difficult during the winter months.

Epidemic of Respiratory Diseases During Winter Time

Experts believe that respiratory infections can be lessened if people add more vitamin D to their diets during the winter. In fact, this will not only prevent people from incurring diseases, but it will also help NHS cut down its costs.

However, in the UK alone, there is a huge deficiency of the sunshine vitamin. Researchers from the Queen Mary University advise against fortification as it can significantly change the cost of food. Fortification may be a good idea for people who show significantly low levels of serum vitamin D.

But instead of fortification, one of the best solutions to this problem is to encourage people to bolster their Vitamin D intake through food. The problem is that food sources that are rich in vitamin D are only limited to oily fishes and shitake mushrooms. While getting vitamin D from food is important, one of the best ways to get this nutrient is to spend some time under the heat of the sun. Other options for food companies is to add natural vitamin D to food from sources like shiitake mushrooms. NutriFusion developed a stand-alone Vitamin D2 and D3 for food manufacturers to add to a variety of food without impacting flavor or texture.

Benefits of Vitamin D Against Respiratory Infections

About 70% of the population in the United Kingdom suffer from respiratory infection every year. Regularly taking vitamin D can reduce the risk of respiratory infection by 10% and reduces the need to take prescription antibiotics.

The study conducted by the researchers from the Queen Mary University places profound importance on fortification, but some authors believe that fortification should only be given to people who are at risk of developing osteomalacia that is the weakening of the bones due to low levels of vitamin D.

How does vitamin D fight against respiratory infections? Vitamin D plays a significant role in boosting the immune system. If you look at the cells of the immune system closely, they have receptors for vitamin D. Once the vitamin D adheres to the receptors thus reducing the levels of cytokines–a type of inflammatory proteins and increasing the amount of anti-microbial proteins.

Whether people take vitamin D-fortified foods or just bask in the sun as much as they can, the truth is that vitamin D can make significant improvements to the immune system resulting in a lowered risk for respiratory diseases.

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Vitamin D Deficiency in Kids?

Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for growing kids. The new recommended daily dietary allowance for Vitamin D is 600 UI per day. Most parents think their child is getting enough vitamin D from milk and playtime in the sun. Surprisingly, several studies have shown vitamin D deficiencies in children of all age groups. A recent survey by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh has revealed that the daily dietary allowance of vitamin D is insufficient for children. Participants in the study consumed almost twice the amount of the vitamin, and it still proved to be inadequate. Therefore, we now need to re-define how much of the vitamin is “enough”.

The significance of Vitamin D

vitamin d sunlight Vitamin D is not only necessary for healthy bones, but also helps prevent some major chronic diseases that may occur later in life. Deficiency may also result into bone-softening or rickets. The excessive low levels of the vitamin may have its basis in lifestyle changes. Preventing deficiency will only be possible by increasing the intake of vitamin D in children and all age groups.

The research at Pittsburgh University was conducted on 73 white candidates and 84 black candidates from ages between 8 to 14 years old. The kids were administered with a dosage of 1,000 UI of Vitamin D3 or with a placebo. The study spanned over six months during which blood tests were conducted to check vitamin D levels.

The result was that the baseline concentration was higher in the kids who received supplements as compared to those who were administered with the placebo. At first, the Vitamin D levels in the children (even those who were given supplements on a daily basis) remained small. Therefore, the degree of vitamin D was effectively raised in children who were given 1,000 UI of Vitamin D3. But, by the end of 6 months, this level too wasn’t sufficient.

Vitamin D Deficiency in Kids

Kumaravel Rajakumar, a professor of pediatrics at Pittsburgh University and the leading authority on the research stated that “Our findings suggest that the currently recommended daily dietary allowances of vitamin D of 600 UI may be inadequate for preventing vitamin D deficiency in children.” The administered dosage of the vitamin did no harm to the participating children. Therefore, it is safe to assume that the parameters be re-evaluated again.

Meanwhile growing children must be given the adequate amount of the essential vitamin in school lunches through fortified formulas and milk.

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NutriFusion Vitamin D From Shiitake Mushrooms

shiitake mushrooms vitamin D deficiency nutrifusionWe have always understood the importance of vitamin D for our essential micronutrient blends. Most people wonder how we supply a natural form of vitamin D since it primarily comes from the sun. Shiitake mushrooms are one of the few foods high in vitamin D because they naturally absorb the vitamin from sunlight and store it. We use shiitake mushrooms in all of our blends to provide an ample amount of natural vitamin D at a given level. If you are interested in learning more about our GrandFusion fruit and vegetable blends, please visit your respective category.