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.
How Ethnicity May Affect Your Need For Vitamin D
People who live in colder climates generally need more vitamin D than those who live closer to the equator, but among all geographic locations, people with darker skin tones often need more of the vitamin than those with lighter skin. Indeed, people with highly pigmented skin who live in cold climates are considered to be at a particularly high risk of vitamin D deficiency, according to a study published in June 2017 in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 31404-4/fulltext” rel=”nofollow”> 13)
Observationally, weve seen that people of African descent and people of Middle Eastern descent also need more vitamin D to achieve optimum levels, Foroutan says.
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Vegan Or Vegetarian Diet
Women who follow a plant-based diet may need to plan their meals to ensure that they consume enough of each nutrient.
For example, vitamin B12 only tends to occur naturally in animal products. Therefore, vegans and vegetarians may need to take supplements or eat foods fortified with vitamin B12. Examples of these include some breakfast cereals and milk alternatives.
There may also be low levels of iron, protein, calcium, and zinc in a vegetarian or vegan diet. The best way to prevent deficiencies while following one of these is to eat a balanced and varied diet that includes foods such as:
- beans, peas, and legumes
- dark green, leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale, and mustard greens
- fortified breakfast cereals, drinks, and milk alternatives
- nutritional yeast products
During pregnancy, women should supplement with iron, vitamin B12, and vitamin D, as well as folate and other nutrients.
A doctor can advise whether or not certain supplements are beneficial.
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Micronutrient Needs Of Children Ages 4 To 8 Years
For each micronutrient, the FNB sets an RDA or AI for children ages 4 to 8 years these micronutrient intake recommendations do not differ with gender for this age group. Table 1 lists the RDA for each micronutrient. As mentioned above, the RDA should be used in the planning of diets for individuals. A few select micronutrient requirements for children are discussed below.
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Symptoms Of Too Much Vitamin D
What happens if you take too much vitamin D? Some signs that you might be getting an excessive amount of vitamin D include:
If you are experiencing these symptoms, talk to your doctor. Be sure to tell them which supplements, medications, and substances you take, including their dosages. If your doctor suspects that your symptoms might be linked to too much vitamin D, they may administer lab tests to check your blood serum levels.
Vitamin D toxicity can result in other consequences, including kidney and bone problems. Your doctor may also look for signs of the following problems caused by excess vitamin D.
Vitamin D3 Dosage For Healthy Adults
Much of the latest research about vitamin D3 comes from Finland, which lies in near or above the Arctic circle and where summer’s midnight sun is followed by winter’s noontime darkness. Finns who do not eat large quantities of foods that are rich in D3, such as butter and oily fish, tend to have winter-time D3 deficiencies.
Correcting a deficiency in healthy adults is not hard to do. Clinical studies have shown that taking just 400 IU of D3 a day – about twice the recommended dosage for D3 – is enough to boost the immune system so colds and flu are less frequent.
Bone health in children, teens, and adults under 50 may also require just 400 IU of vitamin D a day, along with several servings of leafy green vegetables every week to provide vitamin K. Vitamin K is an important, and frequently overlooked, co-factor for vitamin D.
If you don’t get your leafy greens, then you need to take a vitamin K supplement. If you happen to take a “blood thinning” drug for cardiovascular disease or recovery from frostbite, your doctor will advise you when it is safe to take vitamin K, which can cancel out the effects of anti-clotting medications.
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Vitamin D: Benefits Dosage Information And Warnings
Vitamin D3 provides a range of health benefits, from bone health to immunity support. Learn more about its benefits, dosage information, and warnings.
7 minute read
Vitamin D3 is an essential vitamin that your skin produces in response to sunlight exposure. It can also be consumed through a variety of animal and plant-sourced foods. Vitamin D3 is known to support bone health, but it also supports the immune system to protect you from environmental and seasonal threats.
With increased concerns over sun exposure, there has been an increase in vitamin D3 deficiency, which can affect immune function. Taking supplements of vitamin D3 helps you maintain healthy levels to support immune function, bone health, and overall health.
What Causes Vitamin D Toxicity
Vitamin D toxicity is almost always the result of excess supplementation. Because your body regulates vitamin D production, you are unlikely to develop it as a result of sun exposure . Foods generally do not contain large amounts of vitamin D, so getting an excessive amount in your diet is unlikely.
People may begin taking vitamin D supplements in order to address a deficiency or to help relieve symptoms of things like seasonal affective disorder or depression. The problem is that they may go overboard or think that taking more will produce more beneficial effects.
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Risks And Side Effects
What happens if you take too much vitamin D? Can you overdose on vitamin D?
Taking high doses of vitamin D causes your liver to produce a chemical called 25D, which makes calcium accumulate in your bloodstream. Youre most likely to experience symptoms of too much vitamin D when taking supplements in high doses for a long period of time. This can potentially cause side effects if levels of 25 in the blood become elevated.
Potential side effects can include high blood calcium levels exhaustion abdominal pain and digestive issues like nausea, constipation, diarrhea or loss of appetite increased thirst and dry mouth and possibly kidney stones. The best way to avoid experiencing vitamin D toxicity is to not take very high doses of vitamin D in supplement form, such as 10,000 IU per day for more than several days in a row. Instead, get the vitamin D you need from sunlight, a healthy diet and supplements in the recommended dosage range.
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.
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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
How Much Vitamin D Is Too Much
Since relatively little is known about how vitamin D toxicity works, its hard to define an exact threshold for safe or toxic vitamin D intake .
According to the National Academy of Medicine, formerly known as the Institute of Medicine, 4,000 IU is the safe upper level of daily vitamin D intake. However, doses up to 10,000 IU have not been shown to cause toxicity in healthy individuals (
Hypercalcemia caused by regularly taking high amounts of vitamin D supplements may take a few months to resolve. This is because vitamin D accumulates in body fat and is released into the blood slowly .
Treating vitamin D intoxication includes avoiding sun exposure and eliminating all dietary and supplemental vitamin D.
A doctor may also correct your calcium levels with increased salt and fluids, often by intravenous saline.
The main consequence of vitamin D toxicity is hypercalcemia, with symptoms including nausea, vomiting, weakness, and kidney failure. Treatment involves limiting all vitamin D intake and sun exposure.
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Can You Get Enough Vitamin D From The Sun Alone
Some people will be able to get enough vitamin D just from sunlight. However, it depends on where in the world they live, the time of year, the time of day, and their skin color.
People who live nearer the equator get more sun exposure. In the Northern Hemisphere, a person may not get sufficient vitamin D from sunlight during the winter.
The sun is usually strongest between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. In the summer, a person does not need to be out in the sun for very long during this period to make enough vitamin D.
The amount of melanin a persons skin contains affects how much vitamin D they can make. Less melanin results in lighter skin, which does not protect as well against harmful ultraviolet rays.
People with more melanin in their skin have better protection from the sun, but take longer to make vitamin D. In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that Mexican-Americans and non-Hispanic black people are more likely to have vitamin D deficiency.
These varied factors make it difficult to recommend how much sunlight a person should get to make the vitamin D that their body needs.
The Vitamin D Council gives some examples:
- At noon during summer in Miami, someone with a medium skin tone would need to expose one-quarter of their skin to sunlight for 6 minutes.
- At noon during summer in Boston, someone with a darker skin tone would need to expose one-quarter of their skin to sunlight for 2 hours.
Vitamin D Supplements: What Parents Should Know
Getting enough vitamin D is essential so kids bones can grow strong and their immune systems can ward off illness.
Vitamin D gets into the body through absorption of sunlight and ingestion of food. From April through the end of October, spending just 15 to 30 minutes outside in the middle of the day with hands and face exposed will stimulate the skin to make all the vitamin D your child needs. In fact, on a sunny summer day, a child wearing a bathing suit can generate 10,000 to 20,000 international units of vitamin D after 15 to 30 minutes. In a neat biological trick, a persons body cant overdose on vitamin D created by the sun.
Foods such as salmon, sardines, tuna, cod liver oil, egg yolks and shiitake mushrooms contain a lot of vitamin D. Many kids dont seem to love these vitamin D superfoods, so luckily store-bought milk is often fortified with vitamin D, as are many cereals and even orange juice. Not all dairy products are fortified with vitamin D, however, so make sure to read the labels.
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Can Vitamin D3 Cause Hair Loss
There is some evidence that vitamin D deficiency may be a contributing factor to hair loss. One study found that women with hair loss had significantly lower levels of vitamin D than women without hair loss.
While more research is needed to determine whether vitamin D supplementation can help with hair loss, it may be worth taking a supplement if you’re deficient in this nutrient. Aim for 600 IU of vitamin D per day. You can also get your vitamin D levels checked by a doctor to see if you need to supplement.
If you’re concerned about hair loss, be sure to talk to your doctor. While vitamin D deficiency may be a factor in hair loss, there are many other potential causes. Only a medical professional can diagnose the cause of your hair loss and recommend treatment options.
Special Precautions And Warnings
When taken by mouthPregnancy and breast-feedingChildrenHardening of the arteries A type of fungal infection called histoplasmosisHigh levels of calcium in the bloodOver-active parathyroid gland LymphomaKidney diseaseA disease that causes swelling in body organs, usually the lungs or lymph nodes Tuberculosis
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Is It Ok To Take Vitamin D3 Every Day
Current guidelines say adults shouldnt take more than the equivalent of 100 micrograms a day. But vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, so your body can store it for months and you dont need it every day. That means you could equally safely take a supplement of 20 micrograms a day or 500 micrograms once a month.
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:
- Fortified milk, yogurt, or juice
- Fatter fish such as tuna or salmon
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 doctor’s guidelines and do not take more than recommended amounts.
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Why Vitamin D3 Is Important
When buying supplements to increase the intake of vitamin D, you will often notice that these supplements contain a compound classified as Vitamin D3. This is a particular type of vitamin D that is also called cholecalciferol. According to Everyday Health, scientists now believes that vitamin D3 is the best choice when utilizing a supplement to increase levels of vitamin D in the human body.
Cleveland Clinic reports that one of the primary functions of vitamin D is to assist with the absorption of calcium in the body. Together, these two nutrients have the ability to make bones stronger and to keep bones healthy. Another important function of this vitamin is its inhabitation of parathyroid hormone release. Parathyroid hormone is a type of hormone that causes bones to become weak, brittle, and thin, as the hormone absorbs bone tissue.
Additionally, vitamin D also acts upon the immune system and helps to keep the bodys defensive system in check. The vitamin also plays a role in the maintenance of healthy muscle function. Some studies have also provided evidence that vitamin D can assist with the prevention of breast cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer, as well as assist with the treatment of certain diseases, including hypertension, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and heart disease.
*All individuals are unique. Your results can and will vary.