Malnutrition is a major problem amongst people with drug and alcohol addictions. In fact, research has revealed 70% of addicts suffer from vitamin D deficiency as well. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in very few foods, added to others, and available as a dietary supplement. It promotes calcium absorption in the gut, and maintains adequate serum calcium and phosphate concentrations to enable normal mineralization of bone. Without sufficient vitamin D, bones can become thin, brittle, or misshapen. So how much is enough vitamin D in a diet? The answer relies on many different factors.

Are you getting enough Vitamin D?


Vitamin D is unique because it is a vitamin and a hormone the body can produce from the sun. However, many people, even those who don’t suffer from addiction can easily be deficient. This is because vitamin D is scarce in most food choices, and the sun isn’t always around for everyone. Most dermatologists recommend taking supplements rather than risk taking in harmful rays of the sun.

Some factors that affect our ability to produce vitamin D include:

  • age
  • air pollution
  • cloud cover
  • color of skin
  • exposed body parts
  • latitude
  • season
  • sunscreen
  • time of day

Few foods have naturally occurring vitamin D, so food manufacturers have been fortifying foods and beverages with the nutrient. Common foods that have added vitamin D include orange juice, cereal, milk, and yogurt. These foods have something in common—they all include calcium. This is an ideal pairing, because vitamin D is needed for maximum absorption of calcium from the intestine. It helps build strong bones and teeth, and can also help prevent osteoporosis.

The recommended amount of vitamin D for adults up to age 69 is 600 IU/day, and 800 IU/day for those age 69 and older. In order to achieve this amount, it is recommended to attempt to do so with foods containing fiber and phytonutrients, among other nutrients. Generally, eating a diet heavy in fatty fish or fish liver oils may be enough naturally occurring vitamin D, but most people will need to eat fortified foods or take supplements to reach the correct amount. Good sources of vitamin D include:

  • fortified dairy like milk and some yogurts
  • mushrooms
  • eggs
  • cheese
  • beef liver

When dealing with an addiction and recovery, diet is crucial. Be sure to check nutritional facts on food labels to help satisfy vitamin D requirements, and ask for help from a medical professional if it’s troublesome to meet the daily recommended amount.

Treating addiction is complicated, but can absolutely be successful. Treatment Now has a staff of recovery experts who are available to answer any questions, so call today at 844-438-8689