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Healthy Diet Plans >>  Vitamin Diet >>  Vitamin D supplements
Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin, which is absolutely essential for the proper functioning of the human body. The main functions of this vitamin in the body are the proper absorption of calcium, strengthening the bones, developing the teeth, regulating the thyroid gland and improving the process of blood clotting. This vitamin is also known as the Sunshine Vitamin, because sunlight is its most common source. Therefore, in order to get an adequate amount of Vitamin D, doctors advise people to get some sunlight for around 10 to 15 minutes each day. However, exposure to the sunlight is not possible for several people, due to various reasons, like living in cold regions, skin problems, lack of time, religious factors, and so on.
Hence for such people, health experts recommend alternate sources of this vitamin, such as Vitamin D supplements and foods. While there are many different food items that can provide the body with Vitamin D, most of them are unsuitable for people who are following a vegan diet. Hence, vegans are generally advised to add Vitamin D supplements to their diet.

Vitamin D supplements

One of the best ways that people can put an end to a deficiency of Vitamin D is by taking Vitamin D supplements. There are several different brands of Vitamin D pills and capsules that can be taken by adults. Health experts advise patients to take the Vitamin D supplements along with some calcium, for better absorption. However, certain medications, mineral oils, antacids and diuretics can interfere with the absorption of the Vitamin D and therefore they should be avoided.

Most brands of formula milk, regular cow’s milk as well as soymilk have been fortified with Vitamin D, so that children get an adequate amount the nutrient. However, recent studies have shown that there are several children around the world who are suffering from a deficiency of Vitamin D. There are some varieties of Vitamin D supplements for children too, which are available in the form of syrup. Vitamin D supplements for kids can either be mixed in certain meals or can be given to the child directly.

Vitamin D supplements during pregnancy

Pregnant women are usually asked to add a few supplements to their diet, such as Folic acid, Calcium and Iron, to name a few. Earlier on it was believed that taking Vitamin D supplements during pregnancy could lead to birth defects in the baby. However, that belief has changed completely now. Recent studies indicate that taking Vitamin D supplements during pregnancy has several benefits, since it can prevent preterm birth and can reduce the risks of an infection in the baby. Moreover, Vitamin D is vital for the growth and development of the infant, especially with regard to bone health and immune function.

While there are several advantages of taking Vitamin D supplements, an overdose of them could lead to harmful and severe side effects. Therefore, in order to avoid such Vitamin D supplements side effects, it is essential to check with a doctor, for daily recommended doses.

Submitted on January 16, 2014