Ways To Get Vitamin D
You can get vitamin D from sunlight exposure, dietary sources, and supplements.
Getting ample vitamin D through sun exposure can be straightforward, but you do need to make sure you donât get sunburned .
In food, vitamin D can be found in beef liver, egg yolks, and fatty fish like salmon and tuna. There are also many fortified foods, like milk and dairy products, that provide your body with vitamin D.
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:
- 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.
What Are The New Dris For Calcium
The DRIs for calcium are based on evidence related to bone health, largely from the results of calcium balance studies. Calcium balance, which can be positive, neutral or negative, compares total calcium intake with urinary and fecal excretion of calcium. It is used to determine the accumulation and level of bone mass.
|Adequate Intake rather than Recommended Dietary Allowance.|
The IOM report states that there are no additional health benefits associated with calcium intakes above the level of the new RDA.
Total calcium intake should remain below the level of the new UL to avoid possible adverse effects. Long-term intakes above the UL increase the risk of adverse health effects, such as kidney stones.
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Precautions Regarding Vitamin D Intake
If you notice signs of vitamin D side effects and youre at risk for experiencing vitamin D toxicity due to taking more than 300,000 IU in the past 24 hours or more than 10,000 IU per day for the past several months then stop taking vitamin D and visit your doctor right away for a blood test. Your doctor will test you for hypercalcemia and also discuss any symptoms youre having.
While taking too much vitamin D can be dangerous in some instances, keep in mind that getting too little vitamin D is also problematic. Your goal should be is to strike a balance and get the amount of vitamin D your body needs without taking excessive quantities.
How To Calculate Your Personal Vitamin D Dosage
Vitamin D Dosage needs to be tailored to each person. This is partly because the dose you need depends on the vitamin D level you are trying to achieve.
This is what we mean by vitamin D levels
25D Blood levels
The optimum range is where vitamin D most effectively promotes good health and fights disease.
Would you like to learn how to maintain this optimum level? It will take less time than drinking a cup of coffee!
In fact, you only need to know two things
There are two steps.
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How Much Is Too Much
Because high doses of some supplements can have risks, how do you know when its OK to take more than the RDA or DV?
One way is to look for the UL of a nutrient. With many vitamins and minerals, you can safely take a dose much higher than the RDA or DV without coming close to the UL.
For instance, the average person can take more than 50 times the RDA of vitamin B6 without reaching the upper limit. But some people develop symptoms of nerve pain with these higher levels of B6. So you should always be cautious. Here are some things to keep in mind:
Some supplements are riskier than others. With some vitamins and minerals, the upper limit is pretty close to the RDA. So its easy to get too much. For example, a man who takes just over three times the RDA of vitamin A would get more than the upper limit. High doses of vitamin A and other fat-soluble vitamins like E and K can build up in the body and become toxic. Other risky supplements include the minerals iron and selenium.
Supplementsare designed to be additions to your diet.Popping pills is not the answer to good health. Experts say you should eat a well-balanced diet and take supplements to fill in any nutritional gaps. Some people take a multivitamin with minerals for nutritional insurance.
Your Value Is Between 30
This value is officially considered to be normal. However, vitamin D experts still consider this to be too low. Still, this level of vitamin D is sufficient to ensure that calcium is adequately absorbed, making the risk of broken bones quite low.
Research has also shown that this level of vitamin D strengthens the immune system better, enabling it to fend off infections easier. However, one may need a higher level in order to get through the winter without becoming ill.
If your vitamin D blood level is e.g. 25 ng/ml or higher and you want to increase them, you can take the following amount of vitamin D :
To reach the mentioned value.. take this vitamin D Dose per day:
40 ng/ml ..800 IU 50 ng/ml ..2500 IU 60 ng/ml ..4600 IU 70 ng/ml ..7300 IU
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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:
Who Should Avoid Vitamin D
How much vitamin D is too much if you take other daily medications? Because vitamin D can interact with some medications, vitamin D supplements should not be taken by anyone who takes these prescription drugs:
- Epilepsy drugs, such as phenobarbital and phenytoin
- The weight loss medication called Orlistat
People who have any of the health conditions listed below should not supplement with vitamin D without being monitored by a doctor:
- Williams syndrome
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Vitamin D Supplement Safety
Your body produces vitamin D when exposed to the sun, but many people may not get enough due to a variety of factors. Because of this, people often turn to vitamin D supplements. Unfortunately, it isnt uncommon for people to overdo it.
A 2017 study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association found that between 1999 and 2014, there was an increase in the number of American adults taking daily vitamin D supplements of 1,000 IU or more. Of these, 18% exceeded 1000 IU each day and 3% took more than 4,000 IU per day, which may place them at a higher risk of experiencing some adverse effects related to excessive vitamin D.
In most cases, you can get all of the vitamin D you need naturally without supplementation through sun exposure and diet. A 15-minute walk outside each day with your extremities exposed can boost vitamin D production. .
Eating foods that are naturally high in vitamin D or are fortified with the nutrient can help. Foods you can eat to boost your vitamin D levels include:
- Egg yolks
- Fatter fish such as tuna or salmon
- Cod liver oil
If you do decide to take a vitamin D supplement to correct a deficiency or because you are unable to get an adequate amount through sunlight and diet, always follow your doctors guidelines and do not take more than recommended amounts.
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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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Recommended Daily Intake Of Vitamins And Minerals
– The above-stated values are not meant for diagnosis, these are mainly reference values for informational purposes.
– Most of these values are based on a 2000 calorie intake for people of 4 or more years of age. This reference is applied because it approximates the caloric requirements for postmenopausal women. This group has the highest risk for excessive intake of calories and fat.
– Values on labels are stated Daily Reference values of Recommended Daily Intake . The RDI is a renewed value referring to the old Recommended Dietary Allowance . All values in this table are new RDI values.
– Maximum values are based on Food and Drug Administration values, the World Health Organization , BBC Health values, the European Union Directive and values from various other governmental and private agencies in the USA and the UK.
– Values from the World Health Organization may be somewhat lower than those of the FDA for various vitamins and minerals. Examples of differences : Mg: -60 mg, Vitamin B6: -0,5 mg, Vitamin B12: -4 µg, vitamin C: -15 mg, Vitamin K: -35 mg, folate: -220 µg.
– Elements that have a recommended daily intake within µg range are sometimes referred to as trace elements .
Information on vitamins can be found from the vitamins overview page
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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Vitamin D Dose Depending On Your 25d Value:
Here you’ll find dosage recommendations for the intake of vitamin D in form of a dietary supplement, depending on the respective 25D value. The recommendations are based on the findings of Dr. John J. Cannell, a vitamin D expert and founder of the Vitamin D Council organization.
The given vitamin D dose may be slightly rounded up or down in order to take the recommended amount using the available vitamin D preparations.
When Vitamin D Supplements Are Helpful
During the fall and winter, when the suns rays arent at an angle that will produce vitamin D in the skin, its good to give your child a vitamin. Most over-the-counter childrens vitamins contain 600 IU of vitamin D, which is the recommended daily allowance set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for kids 1 year old and older.
Children who are obese, who have dark skin, who rarely go outside or who wear clothing that covers most of their skin may need supplements to ensure they have adequate levels of vitamin D all year round. Some medications, such as anticonvulsants, as well as over-the-counter health aids like St. Johns Wort, can interfere with the way our bodies metabolize vitamin D. Certain conditions, such as celiac disease, can also interfere with absorption of vitamin D. Discuss your childs medical history and lifestyle with your pediatrician, and make sure to them about any medicine or herbal supplements your child takes. Your pediatrician can then determine your childs daily vitamin D requirement.
There are risks if kids take in too much vitamin D from supplements and food, including an increased chance of developing kidney stones. Parents need to calculate the amount of vitamin D their child gets from fortified milk, other food, and vitamin supplements to make sure the total amount does not exceed:
- 1,000 to 1,500 IU a day for infants
- 2,500 to 3,000 IU a day for children 1 to 8 years old
- 4,000 IU a day for children 9 years and older
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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.
Signs Of Inadequate Vitamin D Intake
Along with knowing the signs of too much vitamin D, itâs a good idea to know the signs of inadequate vitamin D intake.
Inadequate vitamin D intake can result in signs and symptoms like:
- Joint pain
- Muscle pain
Studies have even shown that low vitamin D levels may be connected to higher risks of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, mood disorders, and dementia.
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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.
How Do I Know If I Have A Vitamin D Deficiency
Being deficient in vitamin D means that the body doesnt have enough of the vitamin and may not be functioning correctly because of it. About 40% of people in the United States may have a low level of vitamin D. People with darker skin tones and pregnant women may be especially prone to a deficiency.
Vitamin D deficiency can be caused by many things, including:
- Not enough sun exposure
- Weak or broken bones
If your doctor thinks you may be deficient in vitamin D, he or she may order a blood test to confirm it. Blood tests measure the circulating form of vitamin D in the body called 25-hydroxy vitamin D, or 25D. If your blood levels are low, your doctor may recommend supplementation.
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Do You Need A Vitamin D Supplement
Because there are so many factors that can affect your vitamin D level, its important to talk to your doctor if you suspect youre deficient. They can perform a blood test to see if you may benefit from upping your intake of vitamin Drich foods like salmon, fortified milk, and eggs, or taking a vitamin D supplement, according to MedlinePlus. Again, if you live in a place where winters are cool and dark, you may benefit from a supplement.
Talking with your doctor before supplementing is even more important if youre managing a chronic condition. Not only are the benefits of vitamin D supplements unclear for certain health conditions but theres a chance the supplement may do more harm than good if youre taking a medication that interacts poorly with it.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the Food and Drug Administration doesnt regulate supplements like it does over-the-counter medication and prescription medication. Have a conversation with your doctor about their recommended brand and dose to maintain or improve your health.