Should Elderly Persons Take A Vitamin D Supplement
To answer this question, we need to reflect on what is probably the most important principal of drug therapy which is, the possible risks of therapy must outweigh its possible benefits.
In the case of vitamin D this risk/benefit ratio is skewed far in favor of benefits. Vitamin D has many therapeutic benefits ranging from maintaining bone metabolism and strength to reducing the prevalence of colon cancer.
Toxicity can include non-specific symptoms such as anorexia, weight loss, polyuria and heart arrhythmias. The primary toxicity concern is elevated serum calcium concentration which can lead to vascular and tissue calcification with subsequent damage to kidneys, blood vessels and the heart. Risks are minimal, especially at recommended doses and most reports suggest a toxicity threshold for vitamin D of 10,000 to 40,000 International Units per day and serum concentrations of 200-240 ng/mL. for that severe toxicity to occur. Those doses and concentrations are not recommended but highlight the fact that at more reasonable doses and concentrations discussed below toxicity is not a big concern for most patients.
So, with possible benefits being great, and possible risk minimal, many elderly people are appropriate candidates for vitamin D supplementation.
How Much Vitamin D Should I Take
A high percentage of adults, somewhere between 50 percent and upward of 90 percent depending on ethnicity and location, are believed to be at least somewhat deficient in vitamin D. It makes sense then that vitamin D is now one of the most widely consumed supplements, though you may wonder how much vitamin D should I take. Its a tricky question, but its important to get enough of this essential vitamin.
Deficiency in vitamin D is a real problem considering that this nutrient has been shown to promote health by helping with absorption of minerals like calcium, aiding in bone health, boosting immune function, supporting growth and development, and much more. If you spend little time outdoors in the sun, have dark skin, are over the age of 70 or live in northern regions of the world where theres less sunshine year-round, then youre more likely to experience vitamin D deficiency symptoms.
When it comes to reaping the many benefits of vitamin D, you may be wondering how much vitamin D should I take? The optimal amount of vitamin D to take in supplement form depends on a number of factors for example, if youre already deficient in vitamin D, your diet, age, health status, where you live and so on. As you can see, answering the question of how much vitamin D I should take isnt necessarily cut and dry.
How Much Vitamin D Should I Take For Specific Conditions
How much vitamin D should I take if Im deficient?
If a blood test has revealed that youre low in vitamin D, you can either take smaller doses for a long period of time to bring your level up, such as 5,000 to 10,000 IU per day, or a high dose administered over the course of several weeks. For adults with low vitamin D levels, the Endocrine Society recommends taking at least 1,5002,000 IU per day.
If youre taking a very high dose all at once, such as more than 40,000 IU, then its possible that side effects may occur due to vitamin D toxicity. The best thing to do is talk with your doctor about supplementing with higher doses of vitamin D if you are severely deficient or have a very low level according to a blood test.
How much vitamin D should I take for depression?
Theres some evidence that low vitamin D levels are linked with depression, although this doesnt mean that vitamin D deficiency causes depression. Rather, its speculated that people who dont spend much time outside or eat vitamin D foods may also be more likely to develop depression. The dosages of vitamin D used in studies that have focused on depression have varied, typically between 600 IU/day to 4,000 IU/day.
How much vitamin D should I take to lose weight?
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Taking Vitamin D3 Once A Week Or Once Per Day
It occurred to me to ask you if I would be able, for example, to take like 5000iu or 10,000iu once a week or taking like 1000iu or 2000iu per day is the better choice?.
|Oil Carrier or Powder Form? Will your supplement that you recommend be able to raise the D Levels?. I’ve read conflicting reports that an oil based carrier is better to raise the levels than a dry powdered form or tablets and now I’m so confused, lol! Thanks!!!!|
|You need to take vitamin d with a meal You just need to take vitamin d with a meal. It doesn’t work better ‘with an oil carrier’, it just works better if you take it with a meal that contains some fat The reason that I do NOT recommend getting vitamin d with an oil carrier is that the oil carriers are VERY often rancid and it’s almost always in the form of vegetable oils, which are HORRIBLE for your health. From my experience nearly ALL of the side effects that people experience from taking vitamin d are from the oil carriers in the vitamin d. So just get the dry vitamin d and eliminate the possibility of rancid oils and the negative health effects of vegetable oil…Kerri Knox, RN|
Good Sources Of Vitamin D
From about late March/early April to the end of September, most people should be able to make all the vitamin D they need from sunlight.
The body creates vitamin D from direct sunlight on the skin when outdoors.
But between October and early March we do not make enough vitamin D from sunlight. Read more about vitamin D and sunlight.
Vitamin D is also found in a small number of foods.
- fortified foods such as some fat spreads and breakfast cereals
Another source of vitamin D is dietary supplements.
In the UK, cows’ milk is generally not a good source of vitamin D because it is not fortified, as it is in some other countries.
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Which Type Of Vitamin D Should I Take
Most supplements contain vitamin D3, also known as cholecalciferol. Studies suggest that this increases blood levels a little better than vitamin D2 .
Both these versions of vitamin D require processing by the liver and kidneys. People with liver or kidney disease may need to get a special type of supplement from their doctors.
Although Vitamin D supplements are usually taken daily, they also come in higher doses, which may be prescribed for weekly or even monthly dosing.
How Much Vitamin D Do You Really Need
How much vitamin D do you need to ensure strong, healthy bones? Unfortunately, there isnt an easy answer.
Its incredibly controversial, says Neil Binkley, MD, a UW Health geriatrician and internationally recognized researcher who leads the UW Osteoporosis Clinical Research Program. The experts in the field are quite polarized. I try to be somewhere in the middle because I really believe that we simply dont know.
Why all the controversy about the sunshine vitamin? Doctors determine whether an individuals vitamin D level is normal, insufficient or deficient by measuring serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D in the blood. But the measurement has historically been problematic and difficult to standardize, and experts dont agree on the optimal level.
Another problem: Randomized trials of vitamin D supplementation havent required that participants start with low levels, so its difficult to draw clear conclusions from such research. Additionally, there is substantial variation in 25-hydroxyvitamin D increase after individuals begin vitamin D supplementation.
Heres what we do know about this controversial vitamin:
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Other Ways To Get Enough Vitamin D
There are other ways to get vitamin D beyond just taking a supplement. Sunshine is an excellent source of vitamin D, and so are many foods.
Spending 10 to 20 minutes in the sun provides 1,000-10,000 IUs of vitamin D. The amount of time you should spend in the sun and the number of IUs youll get will vary on the season, where you live in the world, and how dark your skin is. No matter where you are, the short time in the sun that you spend daily should be unexposed so that your body can adequately absorb the light.
Try incorporating vitamin D-rich foods into your diet, too. Here are some options:
- Fatty fish are high in vitamin D.
- Some mushrooms, like portobello and maitake, have proper levels of vitamin D, especially if theyre grown using UV light.
- The United States fortifies milk with vitamin D. Still, raw milk is known to have naturally occurring vitamin D as well. It may even have a higher concentration of nutrients.
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What Does Vitamin D Do
Probably one of the most talked-about vitamin in Canada is vitamin D, and for good reason!
Vitamin D is known as a vitamin but it is actually a hormone that is manufactured in our skin when we come in direct contact with ultraviolet rays from sun exposure.
As you can imagine, here in Canada we donât always have so much of that which is why the risk for vitamin D deficiency is typically higher in the Northern Hemisphere.
According to Health Canada, a minimum of 40% of Canadians may not meet the vitamin D requirements during the wintertime .
So why is vitamin D important? The benefits of vitamin D in the body are vast as it plays an influential role in many health outcomes. Vitamin D plays a significant role in overall health but particularly in immune and bone health. It is needed for the absorption of calcium and bone mineralization as it enhances the absorption of this mineral in the intestines .
Too little levels of vitamin D can result in low calcium levels in the blood, which can decrease bone density and increase the risk of brittle bones and bone diseases. In combination with calcium, having adequate vitamin D levels is essential for strong and healthy bones.
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What Is The Recommended Daily Dose Of Vitamin D
The recommended daily allowance , which is the amount that will meet the nutritional requirements of 97%98% of healthy individuals, for vitamin D in persons over 70 years of age is 800 International Units . This RDA was calculated under the assumption that a person’s vitamin D would be obtained primarily through diet and supplements and not sun exposure.
This RDA is consistent with 25-Hydroxyvitamin D serum concentrations of approximately 20 ng/mL which is at the low end of the range of concentration generally considered to be adequate for bone health and overall health in healthy adults.
The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey has estimated that women in the US > 70 years of age have an average total vitamin D intake from food of only 156 IU per day.
These data indicate that insufficient vitamin D intake may be common. But, keep in mind that there is no consensus about what vitamin D concentrations should be maintained when used in COVID-19. The 25D serum concentration assay, which best reflects the body’s vitamin D status, is readily available and can be used to help individuals decide whether a vitamin D supplement is appropriate for them.
Q: Do Some People Naturally Have Lower Vitamin D Levels Than Others
A: People with darker skin pigmentation tend to have lower levels, as do people who use sunscreen, dont spend much time outdoors, or are overweight or obese. This is because vitamin D is fat soluble, so it gets trapped in fatty tissue and cant be used by the body as it should be. Gastrointestinal surgery, like gastric bypass, makes it difficult to absorb vitamin D. And as we age, we dont absorb vitamin D well, and we produce less.
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People Who Should Not Opt In
You should not opt in to receive the vitamin D supplement if:
- you are already taking, or are prescribed, a vitamin D supplement by your GP or healthcare professional
- you are already taking, or are prescribed, a medication that contains vitamin D by your GP or healthcare professional
- you are under the age of 18
- you have a medical condition or treatment that means you may not be able to safely take as much vitamin D as the general population
If you are one of the following groups or have any of the following medical conditions, you should not opt in through this process and you should speak to your GP or healthcare professional at your next appointment. There are some groups who need to be particularly careful including those under the care of a renal, endocrinology or cancer specialist. This could include people with high vitamin D levels, kidney stones, too much parathyroid hormone, cancer , severe kidney disease and a rare illness calledsarcoidosis.
What Should Ones Vitamin D Level Be
This question has been hotly, hotly debated. At this time, it depends on whom you ask.
The Institute of Medicine believes a blood level of 20-40 ng/mL should be adequate. The Endocrine Society, the American Geriatrics Society, and some other expert groups recommend a level of at least 30 ng/mL.
As noted above, the party line which I consider reasonable is that most people dont need their vitamin D level checked. In the absence of certain health problems, a low vitamin D level is unlikely in someone who takes a daily supplement.
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Vitamin D: The Healthy Aging Dose
Confused by all the back and forth in the media about vitamin D?
Dont be. Theres actually a pretty easy and straightforward approach that most older adults can take.
In this post, Ill explain what I recommend to most of my older patients, and why.
Ill also address the following frequently asked questions:
- Which type of Vitamin D should I take?
- Do I need to have my vitamin D blood level checked?
- What should ones vitamin D level be?
- Will vitamin D really prevent falls or fractures?
- Will vitamin D prevent dementia, cancer, and/or premature death?
- I am outside a lot. Do I need a vitamin D supplement?
- I heard that a higher level of vitamin D is better for you. How much is too much?
By the way, Im updating this post in part because I was disappointed by the recent NY Times article Why Are So Many People Popping Vitamin D?
Among other things, this article should have had a different headline. The key problem the article describes is that there are too many people being tested for vitamin D. The article does not make the case that too many people are taking vitamin D supplements.
In fact, vitamin D supplementation remains recommended by experts. And as Ill explain below, there are good reasons to believe that vitamin D supplementation is especially useful for older adults.
Now, I do agree with the article in that many people seem to have unrealistic expectations of what vitamin D can do for them.
How Much Vitamin D3 Should I Take Daily
How much vitamin D3 should I take daily? Thats the short answer it depends on age. But we have discussed below the article more details about the topic. Vitamin D is very important for good health. Also known as a sun vitamin, it is made on your skin when exposed to sunlight. Despite this, vitamin D deficiency is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies in the world. Up to 42% of adults in the US have low levels of vitamin D, which can cause health problems. Vitamin D is very important for bone health and immune function. This article discusses the amount of vitamin D you need in your life.
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How Do I Get The Vitamin D I Need
Dont run out to the drug store to buy vitamin D pills just yet. Your body produces vitamin D when the skin is exposed to sun, and it is estimated that most people need 1,000 to 1,500 hours of sun exposure throughout the spring, summer, and fall to obtain the necessary amount of vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency is very common and on the rise. This is mostly due to vigilant sun protection, since sunscreen with SPF 30 reduces vitamin D production by 95%. Of course, as a dermatologist I am not advocating for prolonged sun exposure, but small amounts can go a long way, as the skin produces vitamin D that can last at least twice as long the vitamin D you take in through foods or supplements. Vitamin D can also be obtained through other sources, including fatty fish , foods fortified with vitamin D , beef liver, cheese, and egg yolks. Of course, vitamin D supplements are needed for people most at risk for deficiency, including breastfed infants, older adults, people with limited sun exposure, darker skinned individuals, and overweight individuals.
What Is Vitamin D 5000 Iu
Vitamin D is a nutrient essential for calcium level regulation, strong bones, and healthy immune function.
There are two ways people can get vitamin D: sun exposure and diet . You get most of your vitamin D from sun exposure. The rest comes from the diet. Most people need about 600 to 800 IU of vitamin D per day through their diet .
Vitamin D 5000 IU is a high-dose supplement that can help treat vitamin D deficiency, which occurs when people dont get enough vitamin D through the sun or their diet.
This happens quite frequently: people who live in northern climates or those who spend most of their time indoors often dont get enough exposure to sunlight. Whats more, very few foods naturally contain vitamin D .
The vitamin D 5000 IU supplements you see in your local drugstore typically contain vitamin D3, a form of vitamin D that is naturally found in fatty fish. Vitamin D2, the other form, is derived from plant sources. Youre more likely to see D3 in supplements, as research has shown that D3 is more effective than D2 in raising vitamin D levels .
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