Have you gotten your vitamin D today? Adequate levels of vitamin D are essential for the maintenance of your systemic and ocular health.

 

What is Vitamin D and what does it do? It is a fat-soluble steroid hormone that helps calcium be absorbed in the gut and the regulation of serum calcium and phosphate concentrations. Its job in the body is: to help bones grow and for bone remodeling, protect against certain autoimmune diseases (like multiple sclerosis, type I diabetes, colorectal and breast cancer,) and to reduce inflammation and blood pressure.

 

Where can you get Vitamin D? Everyone has heard that we make vitamin D from being in the sun: which is true! UV-B rays allow the body to synthesize vitamin D. In addition to the sunlight, vitamin D can be obtained from supplements and certain foods, such as fish oil and fortified milk. The Institute of Medicine’s Food and Nutrition Board established an upper limit of 2,000 IU of vitamin D3 as supplementation.

 

So where do the eyes come into play with vitamin D? One study indicated that there was an association with serum vitamin D levels and early macular degeneration. Also one study showed that patients that had a vitamin D deficiency were more likely to have hypertension, diabetes and diabetic retinopathy.

 

It is a sad reality that many Americans are deficient in Vitamin D. But we know that with adequate exposure to sunlight, an effective diet and use of supplementation you can keep your vitamin D at healthy levels.

 

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