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How Much Should You Take Vitamin D

Your Value Is Between 20

How Much Vitamin D Should You Take?

Although official sources say that this value is acceptable, in the opinion of the Vitamin D Council this still constitutes a vitamin D deficiency. However, the risk of developing health problems is low. The parathyroid hormone levels may still be elevated, resulting in disruption in calcium uptake. There is less risk of fractures compared to lower vitamin D levels.

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:

30 ng/ml ..600 IU 40 ng/ml ..2000 IU 50 ng/ml ..3700 IU 60 ng/ml ..5800 IU 70 ng/ml ..8600 IU

Do I Need To Have My Vitamin D Blood Level Checked

Probably not. The AGS consensus statement says that testing vitamin D levels should be unnecessary in most older adults, unless some particular symptom or disease warrants it.

The idea is that if people take a daily vitamin D supplement as recommended above, theyll be highly unlikely to have a vitamin D level that is too low or too high.

On the other hand, if you have been diagnosed with a serious vitamin D deficiency, your doctor will likely recommend a higher dose of vitamin D supplementation. In this case, most experts recommend a repeat vitamin D blood test after 3-4 months of treatment. For most people, the test would be for the 25D level. People with certain conditions may require a different type of test.

I do end up checking vitamin D levels sometimes in my practice, because many of my patients have severe osteoporosis, or sometimes an abnormal blood calcium level.

I find that when I check vitamin D in an older patient who is not taking a supplement, they virtually always have a low level. Probably there are some elderly farmers out there who get enough sun to maintain a good level without taking a supplement. But it seems fairly common for older adults who dont take a supplement to have low levels.

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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How To Increase Vitamin D Levels

People can get at least some of their daily vitamin D from exposure to sunlight.However, as light levels vary, depending on location and the time of year, a person may not be able to get all the vitamin D they need from sunlight.

A 2019 study in Switzerland found that only 1015 minutes of sun exposure per day was enough to provide 1,000 IU of vitamin D in spring and summer. However, getting this amount in fall and winter was unrealistic, requiring someone to spend over 6 hours a day outdoors.

This suggests that people who live in colder climates, or who spend most of their time indoors, may benefit from vitamin D supplements. However, a person should talk to their doctor before taking vitamin D, as it can interact with some medications.

Sunlight can also cause skin damage and sunburn, so it is essential to use sunscreen when spending time outside.

A study on Australian office workers found that applying sunscreen meant people could spend more time outdoors, leading to higher vitamin D levels overall.

People can also get some of their vitamin D from food. According to the , food sources of vitamin D include:

  • oily fish, such as mackerel, tuna, and trout
  • beef liver

Its Very Individual How Much Sun Exposure A Person Needs Roberta Bivins

Supplement Series: How Much Vitamin D You Should Be Taking

Its very individual how much sun exposure a person needs during summer, depending on the pigment in the skin to the amount of fat in the body and how quickly your body makes new bone. Its incredibly complicated, she says.

Thats why the best way to determine if you have low vitamin D is not by symptoms alone, but with a blood test arranged through your medic.

Supplement levels

Then there is the question of exactly what level of supplementation people need. Reid says theres no danger in taking over-the-counter vitamin D of less than 25 nanomols per day.

US and Canada guidelines suggest taking 15 micrograms of vitamin D supplements each day, but some believe its not enough

But with supplements offering doses as high as 62.5 micrograms available over the counter, there are concerns around the risk of excessive vitamin D levels, which can, in rare cases, cause side effects, including nausea and vomiting. In the long term, some studies suggest too much vitamin D can increase risk of cardiovascular disease, although the research isnt conclusive.

But others argue that even more vitamin D is needed.

With such conflicting results, its unsurprising that medical experts themselves are deeply divided over the benefits of widespread supplementation. Some even argue that vested interests are propping up the billion-dollar vitamin industry, with Spector calling vitamin D supplements a pseudo-vitamin for a pseudo-disease.

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Is A Vitamin D Loading Dose Necessary

An initial loading dose, perhaps administered all at one time or distributed over a series of administrations, is a common principle of drug therapy. Vitamin D is no exception and is actually a good model because it may take a matter of months to reach a steady state serum concentration if vitamin D-3 is administered at standard daily doses. Various loading dosage protocols have been published. For example, one protocol studied the administration of 100,000 IU doses of vitamin D-3 to be administered every 2 weeks for a total of 4 doses. Seven days after the fourth dose all subjects who were initially found to be vitamin D deficient were found to have reached sufficient 25D concentration. Note that it took two months to achieve sufficient serum concentration with this bi-weekly loading dose so, how well this would benefit COVID-19 prevention or treatment is uncertain especially in light of a study finding noted in my recent column that vitamin D’s ability to protect the risk of acute respiratory infection was seen in patients taking daily or weekly vitamin D but not in those who had dosage regimens consisting of large vitamin D bolus doses.

Another study demonstrated that administration of a vitamin D loading dose can achieve desired steady-state serum concentration within 5 weeks by administering a weekly loading dose calculated for each patient by using a dosage algorithm that incorporated patient weight, initial 25D concentration and target concentration.

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.

Read Also: What Does Vitamin D Deficiency Affect

What Is Vitamin Dand What’s All The Fuss About

Vitamin D is classified as a fat-soluble vitamin, but it’s unique in that it’s also a preprohormone and a really important one, at that. “There are binding sites for on nearly every cell in the body,” integrative dietitian Whitney Crouch, RDN, CLT, tells mbg. “Vitamin D3 plays a role in calcium absorption and balance, bone mineralization, immune function, cardiovascular health, and more.”*

Vitamin D also plays a crucial role in thyroid function and supports a healthy pregnancy.* .

What Is Vitamin Dand Whats All The Fuss About

How Much Vitamin D Should You Take?

Vitamin D is classified as a fat-soluble vitamin, but its unique in that its also a preprohormone and a really important one, at that. There are binding sites for on nearly every cell in the body, integrative dietitian Whitney Crouch, RDN, CLT, tells mbg. Vitamin D3 plays a role in calcium absorption and balance, bone mineralization, immune function, cardiovascular health, and more.*

Vitamin D also plays a crucial role in thyroid function and supports a healthy pregnancy.* .

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What Is The Ideal Time To Take It

Taking vitamin D with a meal can enhance its absorption and increase blood levels more efficiently.

However, theres limited research on whether taking it at night or in the morning may be more effective.

The most important steps are to fit vitamin D into your routine and take it consistently to ensure maximum effectiveness.

Try taking it alongside breakfast or with a bedtime snack as long as it doesnt interfere with your sleep.

The key is to find what works for you and stick with it to ensure youre meeting your vitamin D needs.

Summary

Taking vitamin D with a meal can increase its absorption, but studies on specific timing are limited. For best results, experiment with different schedules to find what works for you.

Supplements can be an effective way to boost your blood levels of vitamin D, which is crucial to your health.

Taking vitamin D with food can enhance its effectiveness, as its fat-soluble.

While the best timing has not been established, scientific data to confirm anecdotal reports that supplementing at night may interfere with sleep is unavailable.

Current research suggests you can fit vitamin D into your routine whenever you prefer.

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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Can We Get Enough Vitamin D From The Sun Alone

Although exposure to the sun is the most effective way to acquire adequate vitamin D, it comes with a cost. Furthermore, the quantity of sunlight required varies.

Individuals with darker skin, in particular those over the age of 60, produce less vitamin D in their skin.

Seasonality and geography are also important since vitamin D production varies with distance from the equator.

Vitamin D can also be formed in the skin through modest amounts of sun exposure, and it’s best to limit your time outdoors to 10 to 15 minutes, exposing your arms, legs, stomach, and back.

The Skin Cancer Organization says that you should only apply this product two to three times each week, followed by sunscreen. After then, your body will eliminate any extra vitamin D and you’ll be exposing yourself to sun damage with no added protection.

Keep in mind that the same thing that helps your body create vitamin D can also cause DNA damage, sunburn, and genetic mutations. This might lead to wrinkles appearing and raise your risk of skin cancer.

Your Value Is Between 50

How much vitamin D should you take? That depends on you

Congratulations, your values are in the optimum range to take advantage of the numerous health benefits of vitamin D. There is currently no sufficient scientific evidence to suggest that values above 60 ng/ml offer increased health benefits. Consequently, there is no need to attempt to reach higher levels.

Take the recommended dose of vitamin D daily to maintain your vitamin D levels, as described in point 1 above. Or continue to spend the same amount of time in the sun to maintain your value.

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Your Value Is Between 0

This value indicates severe vitamin D deficiency and represents significant risk to health. This low vitamin D level means that calcium cannot be sufficiently absorbed into the blood, which may lead to osteomalacia. This may also affect muscle strength and motor coordination.

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:

20 ng/ml ..1000 IU 30 ng/ml ..2200 IU 40 ng/ml ..3600 IU 50 ng/ml ..5300 IU 60 ng/ml ..7400 IU 70 ng/ml ..10100 IU

Quick Read You Probably Arent Getting The Vitamin D You Need

  • In the Pacific Northwest, the sun isnt high enough in the sky in the fall and winter for the suns UVB rays to reach your skin and produce vitamin D.
  • Research suggests that vitamin D deficiency may be linked to a number of serious health conditions.
  • A combination of food and supplementation can help you get the vitamin D you need.

Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium, helping you build strong bones and stave off osteoporosis. Its also important for your immune system and your muscles. Typically, the sun helps your body produce all the vitamin D you need, or at least close enough that you can get the rest through your diet.

But if you live in the Pacific Northwest, theres a good chance you arent getting enough of it in the fall and winter months, says Heather Tick, M.D., a family medicine doctor at University of Washington Medical Center-Roosevelt.

This is a problem, because vitamin D deficiency has been linked to a whole host of health issues from heart disease and depression to Parkinsons disease, multiple sclerosis, dementia and Alzheimers disease. And if youre diagnosed with breast cancer or prostate cancer, your chances of survival may be lower than someone with normal vitamin D levels.

So how can you tell if you need more vitamin Dand if you should stock up on supplements to make it through the next few months? Heres everything you need to know about the sunny day vitamin.

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Advice For Adults And Children Over 4 Years Old

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.

Q: Why Is Vitamin D Important

How Much Vitamin D Should You Take

A: Research I have done in this area has found that people with low blood levels of vitamin D have a greater risk of a heart attack, heart failure, stroke, diabetes or high blood pressure later in life. In pregnant women, low vitamin D levels are linked to pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes and adverse pregnancy outcomes. No matter your age or stage of life, having adequate vitamin D levels is important.

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Optimal Vitamin D Dose With Blood Test

If you suffer from a disease that makes it absolutely necessary for your vitamin D level to be in the optimal range, or if you want to know your exact level, then you should have your vitamin D level measured. The blood test to measure your vitamin D levels is called the 25D blood test.

The result of the blood test helps determine how much vitamin D you should take in the form of vitamin D capsules or vitamin D drops, etc., or whether you should increase your exposure to the sun in order to build up an optimal vitamin D level.

Since everyone absorbs vitamin D differently, the 25D value may develop differently. This means that not ever person will achieve exactly the same 25D level in their blood even if they take the same dose of vitamin D.

The following recommendations represent guidelines on how your vitamin D blood levels could increase when taking the respective amount of vitamin D. Therefore, this information should not be regarded as a guarantee for the specified values.

About 3 months after you begin taking your dose, you should have your vitamin D level re-measured to check on things. Once you have the result, you can assess how your vitamin D level has changed during the time you’ve been taking it, as well as to what extent the dose should be adjusted.

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