What Supplement Should I Take If I Am At Risk Of Low Vitamin D
The UK government recommendation stays at a minimum of 10µg vitamin D a day for vulnerable groups like the over 65s, people with darker skin and those who cover a lot of their skin for religious reasons, etc.
They just recommend that you take it all year round, and not just in autumn and winter.
We hope this guide has helped you determine which vitamin D supplement is best for you.
As always, this information cannot replace medical care, so please check with your doctor before trying any new supplements.
Our Bodies Were Designed To Get Vitamin D From Sunshine
As direct sunlight reaches the skin , Vitamin D precursors are created in the skin tissue in large quantity and then converted by the liver and later the kidneys to the active form of Vitamin D known as 1-,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3. Other forms of Vitamin D3 obtained from supplements are also converted by the kidneys to active Vitamin D3.
Vegan Vitamin D Capsules
Capsules are what most people imagine of when thinking of vitamin supplements. Alas, many vitamin D tablets and capsules contain a non-vegan source of vitamin D3, such as sheep lanolin or fish oils.
Dont worry though, we have a solution! Our Mushroom Vegan Vitamin D Capsules contain 25µg of vitamin D2 in each capsule and you only have to take one a day.
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How Can I Help Prevent Vitamin D Deficiency
The goals of treating and preventing the lack of vitamin D of treatment and prevention are the sameto reach and keep an adequate level of vitamin D in the body. Your healthcare provider will let you know if you need to take or keep taking vitamin D supplements. If so, they will also let you know how much you should take. You might also want to consider:
Eating more foods that contain vitamin D: See the vitamin D food sources table included in this article. Keep in mind that foods alone usually don’t meet the daily recommended levels of vitamin D.
Getting some exposure to sunshinebut not too much: Exactly how much sun exposure is needed isnt clear. 10 to 15 minutes of sun exposure two to three times a week to the face, arms, legs or back may be all that is needed to absorb a suitable amount of vitamin D. You might need more sun exposure if:
- You are older.
- You have a darker skin color.
- You live in northern climates.
The use of sunscreen, and standing behind a window, prevents vitamin D from being produced in the skin. However, you should remember that too much sunshine increases the risk of skin cancer and ages the skin. That is why taking an appropriately dosed D supplement is far safer than intentionally getting routine sun exposure.
Myth: You Can Get Vitamin D Sitting By A Glass Window
If you believe that by enjoying warm rays of sunshine streaming through a glass window at home or in your car you will improve your vitamin D status, think again.
Your body produces vitamin D when UVB rays penetrate your skin layers and react with chemicals within your skin. Glass and plexiglass block all UVB radiations that you need to trigger vitamin D synthesis in the skin.
On the other hand, sitting indoors by a glass window can have an opposite effect. Glass cant filler out UVA radiations, which can give you a tan and a sunburn. Long exposures to UVA rays can also cause skin cancer.
You cant improve your vitamin D levels from sunlight through a glass window as it blocks UVB rays which you specifically need to trigger vitamin D production in the skin.
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What Happens When You Take Your Daily Vitamin D3
When you take a Vitamin D supplement, the vitamin passes from your bloodstream into your liver.
From here, it goes to the kidneys where it turns into calcitriol.
It is then released back into your bloodstream and can now enter your bodys cells where it attaches to Vitamin D receptors.
At this point, it can get to work regulating the minerals calcium and phosphorous. Clever stuff!
Fact: Vitamin D Supports Eye Health
Vitamin D is important for your eye health and its anti-inflammatory properties may help in conditions such as age-related macular degeneration, dry eyes, myopia and diabetic retinopathy.
This study showed that vitamin D supplements reduces inflammation and improves the symptoms associated with dry eye syndrome. It also stimulates tear secretion, which keeps eyes moist and reduces the risk of infections.
Vitamin D3 is a crucial nutrient for eye health as it reduces inflammation, improves tear function and may reduce the risk of macular degeneration, dry eyes and diabetic retinopathy.
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How Is Vitamin D Different From Other Nutrients
To get a better understanding of vitamin D and scientists long-held fascination with its functions, it’s first good to know that not all vitamins and minerals operate in the body alike.
We’re discovering that vitamin D behaves much less like a vitamin and much more like a hormone, says Robin Foroutan, RDN, an integrative dietitian at the Morrison Center in New York City and a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. That means vitamin D acts as a messenger rather than a participant in metabolism, potentially affecting everything from weight to how organs function.
How Does Sunlight Give Us Vitamin D
When we get sunlight on our skin, our body produces a substance called cholecalciferol.
This is then turned into calcidiol and then calcitriol by the liver and kidneys.
Calcitriol is what your Doctor would measure to assess your Vitamin D levels.
There are three ways to get enough Vitamin D:
During sunny months, your body might make excess calcidiol. But it will not go to waste. Any extra will be stored in your body fat as a kind of back up for those grey winter days.
Experts think that just 10 minutes of sunlight on your skin is enough to avoid Vitamin D deficiency. So get outside when you can!
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Can Vegans Take A Vitamin D Supplement
Vegans can be more susceptible to a vitamin D deficiency. The double whammy of not getting enough sunlight during the winter months and not being able to eat most of the food sources of vitamin D can make it a little more difficult.
However, even with meat, dairy and eggs off the menu, there are still natural vegan sources of vitamin D like mushrooms for vitamin D2 and lichen for vitamin D3.
As these are limited, a vitamin D supplement is recommended. Especially for vitamin D3 as we dont think many vegans will be chowing down on some lichen!
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Vitamin D Deficiency
Severe lack of vitamin D causes rickets, which shows up in children as incorrect growth patterns, weakness in muscles, pain in bones and deformities in joints. This is very rare. However, children who are deficient in vitamin D can also have muscle weakness or sore and painful muscles.
Lack of vitamin D is not quite as obvious in adults. Signs and symptoms might include:
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Why Are Vitamins Important To Your Body
Vitamins don’t provide energy, like carbohydrates, proteins and fats, but they are essential compounds that help the body grow and function optimally. Thirteen essential vitamins help boost your immunity, strengthen your bones, heal wounds, bolster your eyesight and assist you in obtaining energy from food — among multiple other functions. Without adequate vitamin intake, you may feel lethargic, be vulnerable to infection and develop other serious complications that can endanger your health and life.
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Vitamin D Is Important Because It
- Helps prevent bone fracture
- Supports immune, brain, and nervous system
- Supports lung functioning and cardiovascular health.
- Improves mood as well!
These were the benefits of Vitamin D to our body. Nowlets see the problems due to the deficiency of Vitamin D-
- Weaker bones, prone to breaking
- Rickets can be developed in children, which prevent their bones to grow properly and delay their growth. It may also result in causing the problem to their immune system
- Adults, on the other hand, are prone to osteomalacia and osteoporosis, which are the key culprits for low bone density and make them weaker and brittle
- Increased chances of cardiovascular conditions, autoimmune problems
- Chances of neurological diseases
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Why Is Vitamin D So Important For Your Health
Internal Medicine World Report
Vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins for our overall health, but many people in the United States, as well as worldwide, are not getting enough of this vitamin. And the only way to know if you’re getting enough of this vitamin is by doing an expensive test. And everyday it seems, new studies show new reasons why this vitamin is so important to our health.
Although vitamin D can be stored in your body fat until it is needed, the problem is that it’s not so easy to get enough vitamin D into your body.
The main job of vitamin D is to keep the right amount of calcium and phosphorus in your blood?these are the 2 nutrients that work together to make your bones strong. If you don’t have vitamin D in your body, only a small amount of the calcium from your diet can be absorbed by your body, and only a little more than half of phosphorus is absorbed. Without enough calcium and phosphorus being absorbed in your body, your bones would become brittle and break easily.
Until recently, experts believed that the main role of vitamin D was to keep our bones healthy and prevent them from breaking up. But new research has shown many other reasons why this vitamin is so important for our health.
Why Do I Need Vitamin D And How Do I Get It
You can get vitamin D in three ways: through your skin, from your diet, and from supplements. Your body forms vitamin D naturally after exposure to sunlight. But too much sun exposure can lead to skin aging and skin cancer, so many people try to get their vitamin D from other sources.
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Can You Ever Have Too Much Vitamin D
Yes. You can get too much vitamin D if you overdo the supplements. Interestingly, you cannot get too much vitamin D from the sun. Vitamin D toxicity is, thankfully, quite rare but can lead to hypercalcemia and together the symptoms can include:
- Ataxia .
Do not take higher-than-recommended doses of vitamin D without first discussing it with your doctor. However, your doctor might recommend higher doses of vitamin D if he or she is checking your blood levels and adjusting your dose accordingly. Also, be cautious about getting large doses of vitamin A along with the D in some fish oils. Vitamin A can also reach toxic levels and can cause serious problems.
What Is The Importance Of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is important for calcium homeostasis and for optimal skeletal health. The major function of vitamin D is to increase the efficiency of calcium absorption from the small intestine. Heaney and colleagues demonstrated that maximum calcium absorption occurs at levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D greater than 32 ng/mL.
Vitamin D also enhances the absorption of phosphorus from the distal small bowel. Adequate calcium and phosphorus absorption from the intestine is important for proper mineralization of the bone. The second major function of vitamin D is involvement in the maturation of osteoclasts, which resorb calcium from the bones.
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What Does Sunshine Have To Do About Getting Enough Vitamin D
Sunlight has many health benefits. Your skin produces vitamin D when it is exposed to sunlight, or the ultraviolet B radiation from the sun. Your skin’s ability to make vitamin D depends on these factors:
The season: This depends on where you live. Due to the ozone layer, and the zenith, UV-B light doesn’t reach the earth in Cleveland, OH for six months of the year.
- The time of the day: The sun’s rays shine brightest between 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
- The level of cloud cover and the extent of air pollution.
- Your location: The UV light levels in cities near the Equator are higher. Vitamin D is made by the UV-B radiation from sunlight.
- Your skin’s melanin content: Melanin is a pigment that causes skin to turn brownish-black. It can be found in your eyes, hair, and skin. Skin can get tanned by melanin. To get enough vitamin D from the sun, you need to expose your skin to more sunlight.
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.
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Helps Maintain Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
Research indicates that there could be major benefits of vitamin D for type 2 diabetes. In particular, it could help manage blood sugar and control other complications associated with diabetes. It may even play a role in prevention.
There are many factors involved in the development of diabetes, and low levels of vitamin D seem to be one such factor. This is likely due to the fact that calcium plays a role in insulin secretion, and vitamin D is needed so that calcium can be utilized by your body.
More studies are needed on whether supplementing with vitamin D can have long-term improvements for diabetics.
How Does Vitamin D Affect Womens Health
Sometimes a little bit of sunshine is the best medicine. A walk in the park or a bike ride probably puts you in a good mood, and a moderate amount of sun is also good for your physical health. While youre outside soaking up rays, your body is busy making vitamin D. Thats good news, because this hormone thats boosted by exposure to sunlight plays an important role in womens health.
We have known for a long time about vitamin Ds critical role in bone health. More recently, though, vitamin D has been linked to having a potential role in a number of chronic diseases, including heart disease, cancer, inflammation and autoimmune disease.
Erin Michos, M.D., associate director of preventive cardiology at the Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease, explains why vitamin D is important for womens health and how to make sure youre getting enough.
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Myth: Sun Exposure Is The Best Way Of Getting Vitamin D
It is true that your body makes vitamin D when you expose your skin to the sunlight. More specifically, the UVB rays of the sunlight reacts with cholesterol present within skin layers and convert it into pre-vitamin D3. This form enters the bloodstream and travels to the liver and other tissues, and finally to the kidneys, where it is converted into calcitriol – an active form of vitamin D3 that your body can now use to carry out various functions, including calcium absorption.
Ideally, you can make almost all the vitamin D you need by getting out in the sun for about 15-20 minutes a few times a week. But this process depends on many factors, such as where you live, the colour of your skin, season, air quality, cloud cover and also the time of the day you go out and seek sun exposure.
Important things to remember: