Salt Lake City, UT -- (ReleaseWire) -- 01/03/2021 --Vitamin D plays a role in boosting immunity. Yet an Intermountain Healthcare study found many Utah adults have low vitamin D levels, Intermountain registered dietitian nutritionist Katie McDonald said.
In a study of over 41,000 Utah adults between 35 and 75 years old, Intermountain Healthcare found that about 60 percent had low vitamin D levels, and as many as 20 percent were very deficient in Vitamin D.
People with high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity, among other health issues, were more likely to have vitamin D deficiency.
Vitamin D can be manufactured in the skin with frequent, direct exposure to 20 minutes of midday sun, but that's hard to come by from November to March in Utah.
"Eating vitamin D-rich and fortified foods will help keep vitamin D levels up to boost health and wellbeing in the winter months," McDonald said.
McDonald recommends trying the following foods to get the recommended 600 international units of vitamin D for people ages 1-70 years, or 800 international units for people over 70 years old:
Fatty fish such as trout, salmon or mackerel, beef liver, egg yolks, and ultraviolet-exposed mushrooms are among the few natural food sources containing vitamin D.
Milk, some orange juices, and some cereals are vitamin-D fortified. However, one serving of these fortified foods provides about one-third of the recommended daily value, so people need at least 3 servings of these each day.
"If you are concerned about vitamin D deficiency, speak to your health care provider about your risk factors," McDonald said. "However, eating a healthy diet that includes rich sources of vitamin D is always a good idea. If your dietary sources of vitamin D are limited or you have factors that put you at risk for vitamin D deficiency, a vitamin D supplement is an alternative to discuss with your health care provider."
About Intermountain Healthcare
Intermountain Healthcare is a not-for-profit system of 24 hospitals, 215 clinics, a Medical Group with 2,500 employed physicians and advanced practice clinicians, a health insurance company called SelectHealth, and other health services in Idaho, Utah, and Nevada. Intermountain is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare by using evidence-based best practices to consistently deliver high-quality outcomes and sustainable costs. For more information, see intermountainhealthcare.org.