Campus News

Nutritionist discusses vitamin D consumption

Sina Gallo, associate professor in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences’ nutritional sciences department, spoke with to discuss the role of vitamin D in body homeostasis, or balance.

New research has found that almost half of the U.S population is vitamin D deficient, and this can mean a lot of things for the health of the nation.

“Vitamin D increases calcium absorption in the gastrointestinal tract,” explained Gallo. This means that it is important to help your body take in calcium from the food that you eat.

But, making suggestions for how people can eat more vitamin D can be difficult.

“Public health guidance, such as that coming from the Institute of Medicine (IOM), needs to be conservative to balance the risk of toxicity in a population,” said Gallo. “A number of other factors affect vitamin D status, including endogenous production (i.e., through sun exposure), adiposity, age, latitude, etc., which makes one recommendation for all individuals difficult.”

When it comes to the supplement market that provides vitamin D artificially, there are a lot of options. It’s important to know what the right fit for your health is, and Gallo suggest working with your doctor to make that decision.

“In cases where an individual may be at risk for deficiency, higher intake may be warranted – and this decision should be made in consultation with a health care professional who can monitor for any signs of risks or toxicity,” she said.