Vitamin D: Milk Does a Body Good

Do you remember as a child being told to drink three glasses of milk a day and the commercials that announced “Milk does a body good?”

Have you seen the billboard and magazine ads with funny photos of celebrities with white mustaches and the words “Got Milk?”

Do you think someone is telling us milk is good for us?

They’re right. Milk, espec-ially when it is low fat or skim, helps women because they are at greater risk for osteoporosis.

Because dairy products contain calcium, they help us maintain strong bones — the best way to reduce osteoporosis risk.

Dairy products also contain Vitamin D, which helps promote calcium absorption, maintains muscle strength, and promotes bone growth and repair.

Vitamin D has been known for helping in the fight against colds, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, depression, asthma and weight gain.

Vitamin D can be found naturally in egg yolks and fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna or mackerel.

Milk is fortified with Vitamin D, which also is found in some cheeses and yogurt and breakfast cereals.

People who spend time outside can absorb Vitamin D from the sun. When the sun’s ultraviolet rays strike the skin, Vitamin D is produced.

With so many options, Vitamin D deficiency is still common today, possibly because soft drinks are too often the beverage of choice.

We are depriving our bodies of the many benefits of Vitamin D and doing harm by taking in too many sweeteners, caffeine and carbonation.

As women age, the ability to synthesize Vitamin D declines, and it becomes difficult to convert Vitamin D to its active hormone form.

An adequate daily intake is 400 international units (IU) for adults 51 to 70, and 600 IU for people older than 70.

A level of 2,000 IU is considered the “’upper tolerable limit.”

If you don’t get enough Vitamin D, it may be necessary to supplement your diet with a multivitamin tablet, which normally contains 400 IU of Vitamin D.

Most people who are at risk of Vitamin D deficiency show no symptoms, making it more important to get levels checked.

Some risk factors may include — obesity, digestive disorders like celiac disease, age (over 50), some medications and high blood pressure.

Changing your diet to include Vitamin D will help you overcome and prevent Vitamin D deficiency.

When it is time to choose a beverage with your meal, choose low fat or skim milk.

Remember, “Milk does a body good” so make the right choice for you and your family.