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Can You Buy Vitamin D

Vitamin D And Depression

Where Can I Get Vitamin D?

Multiple researches have found low levels of circulating vitamin D in patients with depression. Some researches have also found that people who took vitamin D supplementation noticed an improvement in their symptoms of depression.

Vitamin D receptors are found all over the brain including the hippocampus which controls your memory and emotional functions. Vitamin D deficiency can alter the functions of the hippocampus and therefore can lead to depression.

Vitamin D deficiency can also influence neurotrophic agents and in turn, abnormal behavior of these neurotrophic agents can cause psychiatric disorders like depression.

Serotonin synthesis is also affected by vitamin D deficiency. This affects the normal functioning of serotonin and can cause depression-like symptoms.

Including vitamin D in your daily routine can significantly reduce depressive symptoms and elevate your mood.

How To Choose The Right Vitamin D Supplement For You

Before diving into the world of vitamin D supplementation, call up your doctor and get your blood levels tested. This is the only way youll know if you have a vitamin D deficiency. From there, your doc will be able to determine a dose thats ideal for you.

You may have noticed that all the vitamin D supplements on this list surpass the recommended intakes we mentioned earlier. Theres also a daily upper limit of 100 mcg for children over 9 years old, adults, and folks who are pregnant or breastfeeding. A severe deficiency sometimes requires a larger dose at first, followed by maintenance dosage.

When you browse this list or go shopping for a vitamin D supplement, consider your specific needs. Do you prefer capsules, gummies, or liquid? There are a bunch of options, so pick one that works with your current routine and preferences.

Its also important to pay close attention to ingredients so you dont choose a product that contains something youre allergic to or that you avoid for personal reasons. Third-party certifications like United States Pharmacopeia and National Sanitation Foundation are also a bonus!

Advice For Infants And Young Children

The Department of Health and Social Care recommends that babies from birth to 1 year of age should have a daily supplement containing 8.5 to 10 micrograms of vitamin D throughout the year if they are:

  • breastfed
  • formula-fed and are having less than 500ml of infant formula a day, as infant formula is already fortified with vitamin D

Children aged 1 to 4 years old should be given a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D throughout the year.

You can buy vitamin D supplements or vitamin drops containing vitamin D at most pharmacies and supermarkets.

Women and children who qualify for the Healthy Start scheme can get free supplements containing vitamin D.

See the Healthy Start website for more information.

Read Also: How To Figure Out What Vitamins You Need

Why Certain People May Need A Vitamin D Supplement

Why are some groups at greater risk of low vitamin D levels? In most cases, it can be traced back to their diet or lifestyle. Take vegans, for instance. Many have low vitamin D levels because they avoid foods that are rich in vitamin D including meat, fish, egg yolks, and dairy products that have been fortified with the vitamin. One study published in February 2016 in PLoS One found vitamin D serum concentration was 34 percent lower among study participants who followed a vegan diet compared with those who ate meat and dairy.

But there are ways to get added Vitamin D into your diet as a vegan. For instance, plant milk beverages, such those made from soy, oats, and almond, are often fortified with vitamin D to the level found in fortified cows milk , according to the National Institutes of Health. Check the nutrition facts label for the actual amount.

People with obesity also may need a supplement. Research has suggested the possible reasons for deficiency include a lower dietary intake of vitamin D among obese men compared with nonobese men and women, the possibility that obese people expose less skin to the sun , and a decrease in the absorption rate of vitamin D among people whove had bariatric or gastric bypass procedures. Indeed, one study suggested recommendations for vitamin D targets should be based on body weight rather than simply suggesting 600 IU for everyone across the board.

Does Vitamin D3 Give You Energy

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Increasing vitamin D intake is thought to improve energy. A clinical trial was done examining fatigue levels in patients who were identified as vitamin D deficient. These patients were given vitamin D3 supplementation to increase blood levels of vitamin D, and the results showed a significant improvement in fatigue levels. Scientists have shown this may be due to vitamin Ds effect at the cellular level where it augments mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation in skeletal muscle. This decreases muscle fatigue.

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Do I Have A Vitamin D Deficiency

Most people living in first-world countries dont have many vitamin deficiencies. We can get most of the nutrients we need through food alone, and many foods have vitamins added to them to ensure that we get enough. Vitamin D deficiency, however, is still rampant, even among otherwise healthy people.

The main reason why is lack of sun exposure. Contrary to what you might think, just walking around outside on a sunny day usually isnt enough, even if you live on a tropical island. Clouds and shade dramatically cut down on ultraviolet lightthe stuff that your skin needs to produce vitamin Dand window glass blocks it completely. Furthermore, the National Institutes of Health explain that wearing sunscreen with an SPF of eight or more wont allow your body to absorb enough light to make D, although its obviously important to use some anyway to avoid sunburn and long-term skin damage.

Ethnicity also plays a factor. Melanin is a pigment that darkens the skin, but it also reduces the skins ability to absorb vitamin D. African Americans and Hispanics typically have more melanin than white people, so they tend to be more deficient.

Senior citizens are also in jeopardy. A trial in the American Journal of Geriatric Pharmacotherapy stated that elderly subjects had insufficient D levels, despite vitamin D intake consistent with national recommendations.

The Final Verdict On Vitamin D

No bones about it, the endocrinologists we interviewed agree with our dermatologist.

“Just being outdoors, you get a fair amount of sun exposure and some sun-related generation of vitamin D, says Dr. Insogna. Because skin cancer, particularly melanoma, can be such a devastating disease, it’s best to use sunblock when outdoors in strong sunlight for any prolonged length of time. Because this may limit the amount of vitamin D you get from sun exposure, make sure your diet includes sources of vitamin D from foods or supplements, he says.

Both your skin and your bones will thank you.

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Foods That Are Bad For Your Bones

Ideally, you never want to exceed 4,000 IU per day, Clifford says. Too much vitamin D can lead to anorexia, weight loss, irregular heartbeats, and excessive urination.

It gets more serious when you end up with excess calcium absorption, which puts your heart, kidneys, and blood vessels at risk.

Symptoms of vitamin D toxicity include:

  • Loss of appetite

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Vitamin D Recommended Daily Intake

Mayo Clinic Minute: How much vitamin D do you need?

The recommended dose for vitamin D varies by age. Experts recommend a daily dose of:

  • 400 IU for infants under 12 months

  • 600 IU for people between ages 1 and 70

  • 800 IU for people who are 71 years and older

As you can see, these doses are far less than the 50,000 IU concentrated supplements often recommended for people with low levels of vitamin D.

Also Check: What Should Your Vitamin B12 Level Be

What Protects From Fractures

For older patients at risk of vitamin D deficiency, supplements can have a major impact. They can prevent osteomalacia, a softening of the bone that makes fractures more likely.

A University of Auckland meta-study reported that vitamin D supplements had little effect on bone density.

We would not expect vitamin D supplements to have a large impact on bone density unless the deficiency was severe, he says. Then their impact could be significant.

Improving bone density is not the only way to prevent fractures especially in older patients. Vitamin D can also have huge benefits for muscle function, cognition and falling.

One study found no evidence that vitamin D supplements reduced mortality, or prevented falls or fractures. A different study found no evidence that vitamin D supplements reduced overall mortality. Drilling down into the type of supplement taken, however, vitamin D3 significantly reduced mortality while vitamin D2 slightly increased mortality.

Mylab Box At Home Vitamin D Test

myLab Box offers their at-home vitamin D test across all U.S. states except New York.

A person provides a finger-prick blood sample to take the test, and the company claims that a person can get their results within 25 days.

In some cases, a person may receive a free consultation with a doctor to discuss their results. If a persons test indicates they may have a vitamin D deficiency, myLAB Box suggests they share their test results with a doctor to get further advice.

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Other Ways To Get Vitamin D

If youre not ready to hop on the supplement train, youre able to get in vitamin D through food and sunshine . There arent many foods that naturally contain vitamin D, but the National Institute of Health stating fatty fish and fish oils are among the best sources. The top 3 food sources include:

  • Cod liver oil, 1 tablespoon: 1360 IU
  • Rainbow trout, 3 ounces: 645 IU
  • Sockeye salmon, 3 ounces: 570 IU

Your skin also absorbs UV rays from the sun and coverts it into vitamin D. The amount you get is all dependent on time of day, cloud coverage, skin melanin, and sunscreen. Some researchers claim getting outdoors between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. for about 5 to 30 minutes twice per week will lead to sufficient vitamin D synthesis.

What If I Get Unclear Results

Bioconcepts Vitamin D3 5000iu Super Strength Capsules

Vitamin D test results will be straightforward and indicate a persons vitamin D level based on a given range. However, a person can consider discussing their results with a doctor if they have problems or questions about their test results.

Some people may be at a higher risk of developing a vitamin D deficiency.

These include people with:

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Risks Of Low Vitamin D Levels

In severe cases, low-levels of vitamin D can cause rickets or osteomalacia in children.

Rickets is a condition that leads to soft bones. It can cause severe bone deformities such as bowed legs and spine curves.

Rickets in adults is known as osteomalacia or soft bones. This can cause frequent bone fractures, muscle weakness and bone pain.

Who Should Take Vitamin D

Some people may be at an increased risk of low or inadequate vitamin D levels. Older adults and people with darker skin may have trouble naturally producing enough vitamin D from sun exposure. People with health conditions such as Crohns disease, celiac disease or ulcerative colitis may have difficulty absorbing vitamin D. Individuals who have had gastric bypass surgery or who are obese may also require more vitamin D than others. Supplemental vitamin D may be a great option for these individuals as well as for anyone who is concerned about their daily vitamin D intake. People who do not consume dairy or animal products may also benefit from vitamin D supplementation. Your healthcare provider can help you determine if supplemental vitamin D is right for you.

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Vitamin D Vs D: Differences Similarities And Which Is Better For You

Drug overview & main differences | Conditions treated | Efficacy | Insurance coverage and cost comparison | Side effects | Drug interactions | Warnings | FAQ

The D vitamins are fat-soluble vitamins that play an important role in calcium absorption and bone health, as well as immune function. Our skin produces vitamin D when exposed to sunlight, but due to the skin cancer risk, many people avoid sun exposure or use sunscreen, which prevents the body from producing vitamin D. Many types of milk and dairy products, along with orange juice, are also fortified with vitamin D. Still, many of us do not get enough vitamin D and need to take a supplement. There are two forms of vitamin D dietary supplements: vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 , and it is important to understand their differences when choosing which vitamin D supplement to take.

Coverage And Cost Comparison Of Vitamin D Vs D3

I Get My Vitamin D From Food…

Vitamin D2 in prescription form is commonly covered by most commercial and Medicare insurance plans. The over-the-counter formulations are typically not covered by commercial or Medicare insurance plans. The price can vary greatly depending on dosage. The average cost of the 50,000 IU dose for 12 weeks of therapy is $47.99. With a coupon from SingleCare, this price drops to as low as $11.

Vitamin D3 is over-the-counter, and therefore is typically not covered by insurance plans. The price varies depending on dose. D3 can cost as $40 but if your doctor prescribes the medication you can get it for as low as $20 with a SingleCare discount coupon.


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How Much Vitamin D You Need

You should give your baby 5 micrograms of vitamin D as a supplement every day from birth to 12 months. Your baby needs this whether they are breastfed or formula-fed.

The Department of Health recommends:

  • breastfed babies from birth to 12 months have a daily supplement containing 5 micrograms of vitamin D
  • formula-fed babies should not have a vitamin D supplement unless they take less than 300ml of infant formula a day

Children from the age of 1 year and adults need 10 micrograms of vitamin D a day. This includes pregnant and breastfeeding women and people at risk of vitamin D deficiency.

Read more about vitamin D for babies 0 to 12 months and vitamin D supplements for children aged 1 to 4 years

A microgram is 1,000 times smaller than a milligram . The word microgram is sometimes written with the Greek symbol followed by the letter g .

Sometimes the amount of vitamin D is expressed as International Units . 1 microgram of vitamin D is equal to 40 IU. So 10 micrograms of vitamin D is equal to 400 IU.

How To Choose The Best Vitamin D Supplement

As with all supplements, not every bottle of vitamin D is created equal. The good news is that finding a high-quality supplement doesnt have to be hugely complicated. Some factors to keep in mind while you shop:

  • Choose vitamin D3, if you can. If you see vitamins D2 and D3 on the store shelf, go with the latter. Both vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 increase levels of the vitamin in the blood, but D3 might lead to a greater and longer increase than D2, explains Jinan Banna, R.D., Ph.D., associate professor of nutrition at the University of Hawaii at Mnoa.
  • Dont go dose crazy. More isnt always better, and very high amounts can actually be toxic. Most people do well between 800 and 2,000 IU daily, Dr. Levitan says. Your doctor can help you decide the right amount for you based on a current blood test.
  • Consider the delivery method. One study foundthat vitamin D in gummy form may be more absorbent than capsules or tablets. Another study concluded that liposomal vitamin Dthe kind delivered with certain lipidscan also enhance absorption. But if youd rather just take a pill, youll still benefit, Largeman-Roth says.
  • Look for trusted verifications. Choose products that have been verified by independent certifiers, like the US Pharmacopeial Convention or NSF International, all three experts say. Either verification ensures that youre getting the amount of D listed on the product label, without a side of unwanted ingredients or additives.

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Do You Need To Take A Vitamin D Supplement

The majority of adults dont get enough vitamin D from food and sun exposure. As a result, most adults would benefit from a vitamin D supplement depending on factors such as age, skin tone, where you live, and whether you have certain medical conditions, Dr. Levitan explains.

You may need a supplement, especially in the non-summer months, if you live in a northern latitude where the suns rays are weakeranywhere north of San Francisco, Denver, St. Louis, or Richmond, Virginia, Harvard Health experts say. You might also be short on D if youre older or have darker skintwo factors that make it harder for skin to convert sunlight into vitamin D.

The bottom line? If you live in a very sunny state and spend plenty of time outside and eat plenty of fatty fish, you probably dont need a supplement, Largeman-Roth says. If you dont tick those boxes, talk to your doctor, who can check your vitamin D levels with a simple blood test and determine if a supplement is right for you.


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