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With Vitamin D Vitamin D is called the sunshine vitamin as sunlight is the best source for obtaining vitamin D. During the shorter fall and winter months it can be difficult to obtain enough vitamin D. It's astounding that as much as 70 percent of American kids are deficient in vitamin D. Low vitamin D levels have been linked to colds and flu. A recent study linked respiratory infections and disorders, such as asthma, with low vitamin D levels. Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption and is needed for bone growth. We are just beginning to understand the link between vitamin D and seasonal colds and flu. Vitamin D stimulates your white blood cells to make cathelicidin. Cathelicidin attacks a wide variety of pathogens, including fungi, viruses and bacteria. Vitamin D helps prevent heart disease, diabetes and cancer. That’s because vitamin D is a steroid hormone that influences every cell in your body. As beneficial as vitamin D is, it can be difficult to obtain during the winter months, because sunlight is still the best source. Very few foods contain vitamin D. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin. Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel and fish liver oils are the best sources. Small amounts of vitamin D are found in egg yolks, beef liver and cheese. Checking vitamin D levels is easy and inexpensive. When you are having your child’s annual check-up ask for the pediatrician to check his/her vitamin D levels. It costs about $30. Vitamin D drops are inexpensive and easy to incorporate into your family's daily routine. Normal vitamin D levels are over 32, but the OPTIMAL level is between 50 and 70. If you have a disease, then you'll want your level to be over 70. Vitamin D Dose Recommendations Age Below 5         35 unites per pound per day 5 – 10          2500 units Adults         5000 units