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How Do Vitamin D Supplements Work

Signs Of Vitamin D Deficiency

How Vitamin D Works

Before talking to your doctor, check yourself for signs of vitamin D deficiency. According to a study published in May 2015 in Psychiatry Research, depression is a common symptom of deficiency. In addition, a June 2014 article in Archives of Women’s Health’s suggests an increased likelihood of postpartum depression, which further supports the link between insufficient vitamin D and depression.

Additional symptoms, according to University Health News, include:

  • Anxiety

How Do Vitamins Work

Contributed by Dr. Jeffrey Blumberg

Whether it’s being able to see at night1 or nourish our skin,2 vitamins assist us with the physiological processes that make life possible. Think of them as a full-time construction or maintenance crew that helps us to work, grow, and develop properly.

While vitamins might not take the spotlight as the crew chief, the various jobs our bodies need to do would not be possible without their help.

Ideally, we get the vitamins we need from the foods we eat.2 In the body, proteins, carbohydrates, and fats combine chemically with other substances to provide energy and build body tissue. Enzymes produced from specific vitamins, initiate or accelerate these chemical reactions.3, 4 For example, the B vitamins help with the formation of active enzymes that help transfer energy from the food we ingest to the body.3

Which Vitamin D Supplements Are Recommended For Pregnant Women

It is likely you will be taking various supplements during your pregnancy, so it is important that it contains at least 10µg of vitamin D or you take an individual vitamin D3 10µg tablet.

A good pregnancy support supplement duo is folic acid and vitamin D, as folic acid is also very important for pregnancy.

Taking supplements formulated specifically for pregnant women makes sure that you do not risk taking too much vitamin A, which is not recommended during pregnancy.


  • Vitamin D is vital for pregnant women for their own health and the healthy development of their baby
  • Pregnant women should take 10 micrograms of vitamin D each day

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What Causes Extremely Low Vitamin D

There are a variety of reasons why you could become vitamin D deficient: You arent getting enough vitamin D from your food intake. You are not absorbing enough vitamin D from your dietary intake You dont receive enough exposure to natural light, which is a problem.

But Isnt The Suns Radiation Dangerous

Vitamine: Vitamin D Supplement How Long Does It Take To Work

Only if in excess.

For example, even though Sun exposure stimulates your skin to become better at protecting you from sunburns, too much Sunlight will harm you.

Fortunately, you have a built-in warning system: your sense of temperature.

For example, imagine its a sunny Summer Sunday noon and youve overslept.

When you finally get out of the house and out into the welcoming sunlight, how would you describe your experience?

Enjoyable, pleasant. It lightens you up, both figuratively and literally.

The warmth feels cozy and inviting.

But… after a few minutes under the burning midday Summer Sun, how do you begin to feel?

Your eyes are hurting from all the squinting and your skin is crying for a shade. You are sweating, as your organism attempts to lower your temperature.

Are you in danger yet? Not if you listen to these warning signs and look for a shade.

After a few minutes hiding from the Sun, however, youre ready for yet another pleasant incursion through the burning heat.

In contrast, if you were to ignore these warning signs and would force yourself to stay under the burning Sun, youd risk harming your skin.

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How Do You Ensure You Have Enough Vitamin D

The recommended daily allowance of vitamin D is 600 international units for most people ages 1 to 70, according to the Food and Nutrition Board at the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. For people over the age of 70 its 800 IU, and for infants its 400 IU.

But its not easy to get that much vitamin D through diet and sunlight alone. The average amount of the nutrient that an individual gets from food and drink rarely exceeds 288 IU per day. Even drinking milk fortified with vitamin D will get you only 100 IU per 8-ounce glass, and the same goes for most plant-milk substitutes that are fortified with vitamin D.

Thats why many people take vitamin D supplements. The Endocrine Society recommends that adults take 1,5002,000 IU per day in supplements to avoid vitamin D deficiency, and 1,000 IU per day for infants and children. Yet recommendations vary widely. Keep in mind that there can be too much of a good thing with vitamin D, which is why the FNB set an upper limit of 4,000 IU per day in supplementation for people over age 9 and 1,0003,000 IU for infants and children up to age 8, depending on age. Dosages beyond those increase the risk for death, cancer, and cardiovascular events, as well as falls and fractures in seniors.

How Long Does It Take For Supplementation To Raise Your Vitamin D Blood Levels

Most people take vitamin D with the goal of correcting a deficiency.

How can long does this take?

After you begin supplementing with vitamin D, it may take up to a week for your blood levels to rise significantly.

How much theyll raise, however, will be dependent on at least 2 factors:

  • 1
  • Your dosage how much vitamin D you take and how frequently you take it.

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Vitamin D Is Associated With Levels Of Both Serotonin Important For Mood Regulation And Melatonin Which Regulates Our Sleep

Evidence suggests there may be a relationship since vitamin D is associated with levels of both serotonin, important for mood regulation, and melatonin, which regulates our sleep. Low levels of either hormone could contribute to SAD symptoms. Researchers have yet to carry out a definitive randomised control trial, however, and the exact mechanism by which vitamin D bolsters the hormones is unknown. One theory is that vitamin D receptors which are found in many parts of the brain and concentrated in the hypothalamus, a region involved in our circadian timing play a part in controlling the bodys hormone levels.

Research has found that vitamin D plays a wider role in our mental health, from depression to schizophrenia, as well as in brain development, but how it plays a role also remains unclear. A meta-analysis published earlier this year found that while there is a correlation between lower vitamin D levels and depression, that didnt necessarily mean D caused depression.

Again, perhaps depressed people just went out less and got less sunlight.

Sunshine serum

If studies are inconclusive, though, perhaps that doesnt reflect on the importance of vitamin D. Perhaps its the fact that most of them are based on supplements, not sunshine.

Some experts believe that vitamin D is most effective when its from the sun, not supplements

How Long Does It Take For Vitamin D To Work

How do vitamins work? – Ginnie Trinh Nguyen

In this article youll learn the answer to two questions:

  • How long does it take for supplementation to raise your vitamin D blood levels?
  • How long does it take for you to feel the effectsof vitamin D?

Did you notice the subtle difference?

Raising your vitamin D levels is important, but if you suffer from an autoimmune disorder theres so much more that vitamin D can do for you.

For example, Dr. Coimbra, in Brazil, and many other Doctors, worldwide, are using high-dose vitamin D therapy to stop the progression of serious autoimmune disorders, like multiple sclerosis.

Thats why, in the second half of this article, youll learn how much time vitamin D takes to help you feel relief.


And, In case you’re wondering how vitamin D can be used to put such serious diseases into remission be sure to take a look at my book How Not ot To Diw With True High-Dose Vitamin D Therapy.

Here are some of the glowing Amazon reviews:

Erick Hernandez

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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.

What Happens If I Take Too Much Vitamin D

Taking too many vitamin D supplements over a long period of time can cause too much calcium to build up in the body . This can weaken the bones and damage the kidneys and the heart.

If you choose to take vitamin D supplements, 10 micrograms a day will be enough for most people.

Do not take more than 100 micrograms of vitamin D a day as it could be harmful. This applies to adults, including pregnant and breastfeeding women and the elderly, and children aged 11 to 17 years.

Children aged 1 to 10 years should not have more than 50 micrograms a day. Infants under 12 months should not have more than 25 micrograms a day.

Some people have medical conditions that mean they may not be able to safely take as much. If in doubt, you should consult your doctor.

If your doctor has recommended you take a different amount of vitamin D, you should follow their advice.

You cannot overdose on vitamin D through exposure to sunlight. But always remember to cover up or protect your skin if you’re out in the sun for long periods to reduce the risk of skin damage and skin cancer.

Page last reviewed: 03 August 2020 Next review due: 03 August 2023

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Are Sprays Better Than Tablets

There’s no evidence to suggest this is a more effective way to absorb vitamin D, despite what some companies’ marketing implies.

A randomised, controlled trial , concluded that sprays are just as effective as tablets, but not better.

Many of the volunteers did say that they preferred the spray to taking a tablet, which is understandable – supplement fatigue can kick in if you’re having to to take other medicines in tablet form daily.

If you’re more likely to stick to taking vitamin D regularly if it’s in spray or gummy form it might be worth forking out the extra cost – you can shop around for the cheapest deals using our pricing tips above.

Advice For Adults And Children Over 4 Years Old

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During the autumn and winter, you need to get vitamin D from your diet because the sun is not strong enough for the body to make vitamin D.

But since it’s difficult for people to get enough vitamin D from food alone, everyone should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D during the autumn and winter.

Between late March/early April to the end of September, most people can make all the vitamin D they need through sunlight on their skin and from a balanced diet.

You may choose not to take a vitamin D supplement during these months.

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How Long Does It Take For You Tofeel The Effects Of Vitamin D

Each individual reacts differently to supplements.

In the case of vitamin D, how long itll take for it to work in your case is dependent on 3 factors. Two of them are already familiar to you, as we have just covered them:

  • 1Your starting vitamin D blood level.
  • 2Your dosage how much vitamin D you take and how frequently you take it.

If you want to feel the effects of vitamin D, though, you need to take into account a third essential factor:

  • 3Your bodys ability to utilize the vitamin D you are supplementing it.

In practical terms, this means that you can have a high-level of circulating vitamin D but your body may still be unable to activate it and have it reach the places where it is most needed.

Take my wife Miriam, for example. Even though at one point she was taking 40,000 IU of vitamin D every day, she wasnt feeling any significant improvement in her joint pain.

Her vitamin D blood levels were well above 100 ng/mL and it still seemed vitamin D was worthless at helping her with her autoimmune disorder.

It took her a much higher dosage to finally find relief.

You can learn more about Miriams story here.

What was the problem?

Factor number 3.

As it often happens with those of us suffering from autoimmune disorders, Miriams body is resistant to vitamin D.

There should have been more than enough vitamin D circulating in Miriams blood, but her immune cells werent reacting to it.

What Type Of Vitamin D Is Best For Children

The government recommends a supplement of at least 10µg of vitamin D for children over the age of 1 and 8.5-10µg for babies under 1 year old.15

But getting children to take a supplement in tablet or capsule form is easier said than done we get it! Thankfully, there are some child-friendly supplements out there.

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The Best Vitamin D Book Out There

Honestly, after getting diagnosed with MS and not wanting traditional pharmaceutical treatment I did a solid amount of research into natural remedies… Of all the books I purchased on Amazon in reference to treating MS with vitamin D, this book has been my favorite! It’s very informative and an easy read! I recommend it for anyone looking into vitamin D treatment and especially those who are following the Coimbra protocol!

Gabriel F. MD

Do I Need To Take A Vitamin D Supplement When Im Pregnant

Do Supplemental Vitamins Actually Work?

It is especially important to make sure your vitamin D levels are topped up when you are pregnant.

Not only will it help keep you healthy and your immune system healthy throughout your pregnancy, but it also plays an important role in your babys development.

A growing baby in the womb cannot make its own vitamin D, so it relies on you to have enough in your body for both of you. It allows your body to absorb calcium and phosphate to help your babys bones grow, especially in the second half of your pregnancy.

Read more about the importance of vitamin D in pregnancy here.

The Department of Health England recommends that pregnant women receive 10 micrograms of vitamin D per day.13

As this is difficult to obtain through diet and sunlight absorption alone, a supplement could be helpful to top levels up, especially for women who are pregnant during spring or winter and women with darker skin as they wont absorb as much sunlight.

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The Risks Of Very Low Levels

Theres no question that additional vitamin D is helpful if someone is low or deficient, says F. Michael Gloth III, M.D., an associate professor in the division of geriatric medicine at Johns Hopkins Universitys medical school. But no trial has shown any benefit for giving vitamin D in any population thats already getting enough.

In 2018, long-awaited results from a study that looked at the effects of vitamin D and fish oil pills in more than 25,000 people ages 50 and older were published in The New England Journal of Medicine. Known as the VITAL trial, it found that taking 2,000 IU of vitamin D daily didnt cut cancer or cardiovascular risks compared with a placebo. But few of the people in the study had low blood levels of vitamin D.

Still, some research questions how helpful it is to raise low vitamin D levels. For example, doctors commonly recommend that older adults take vitamin D pills to help prevent falls and fractures. But a 2018 analysis of 81 studies, published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, failed to support this, although only a few of the trials included people with really low levels.

Moreover, too much vitamin D may actually contribute to fractures. A 2019 study published in JAMA found that people who took 4,000 or 10,000 IU a day saw a reduction in bone density compared with those who took 400 IU.

Between May And August

Sun exposure in the cooler months before, during and after winter, is important. Head outside for 30 minutes of sunshine in the middle of the day.

  • Having dark skin is associated with decreased rates of vitamin D production and people with darker skin may need 36 times more sun exposure to get the same level of vitamin D production as people with lighter skin. Talk to your doctor about sensible sun exposure for your skin type.
  • You can’t get vitamin D by sitting inside by a sunny window UVB waves do not pass through glass. You need to be in direct sunlight.
  • Using sunbeds to boost vitamin D levels is not recommended. Using sunbeds is associated with an increased risk of melanoma, which rises with greater use and earlier age of first use.

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