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How Much Vitamin D Can You Take

Should I Take Vitamin D At The Same Time As Other Vitamins

Mayo Clinic Minute: How much vitamin D do you need?

There are plenty of multivitamins, including prenatal vitamins, that include vitamin D alongside others like vitamin C, so you donât have to overthink whether these can be taken together. Fat-soluble vitamins like A, E and K should also be consumed with a meal, so taking them together makes sense.

Thereâs also research to support taking a magnesium supplement with your vitamin D since these micronutrients work in tandem.

Some supplements, though, like probiotics and water-soluble vitamins perform better on an empty stomach these you may wish to take separately, and before meals.

Supplements : Vitamin D


Vitamin D is involved in many of your bodys functions. There are two forms in the diet, D2 and D3. It can also be produced in your skin when exposed to sunlight.

Vitamin D deficiency is a problem all over the world.

However, its pervasive in young women, infants, older adults, and people who have dark skin .

About 42% of the U.S. population is vitamin D deficient. However, this rate rises to 82% in Black people and 70% in Hispanics, which systemic problems likely play a role in .

If you have access to strong sun all year, then occasional sun exposure may be enough to fulfill your vitamin D requirements.

However, if you live far north or south of the equator, your vitamin D levels may fluctuate depending on the season. The levels may go down during the winter months due to a lack of sufficient sunlight .

In that case, you may need to rely on your diet for vitamin D as well as on vitamin D thats stored in body fat (

  • intensify bone loss
  • increase the risk of fractures

In children, a severe vitamin D deficiency can cause delays in growth and rickets, a disease where the bones become soft.

Furthermore, vitamin D deficiency is linked with several cancers, type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, high blood pressure, and thyroid problems .


Vitamin D deficiency is prevalent worldwide but occurs at higher rates in specific populations. A deficiency in vitamin D is linked to various health problems.

How much vitamin D you need depends on many factors. These include:

How Much Vitamin D Should You Take For Optimal Health

Adda Bjarnadottir, MS, RDN Kim Chin, RD

Vitamin D is essential for good health.

Its often referred to as the sunshine vitamin and is made in your skin when exposed to sunlight.

Despite that, vitamin D deficiency is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies in the world.

Up to 42% of the American adult population has low vitamin D levels, which can cause health problems (

Vitamin D is crucial for bone health and immune system function.

This article discusses how much vitamin D you need.

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin thats involved in many essential body functions.

There are two forms of vitamin D in the diet and supplements:

  • Vitamin D2 : found in some mushrooms.
  • Vitamin D3 : found in oily fish, fish liver oil, and egg yolks.

D3 is the more powerful of the two types and raises vitamin D levels almost twice as much as D2 .

Significant amounts of vitamin D can also be made in your skin when exposed to UV rays from sunlight. Any excess vitamin D is stored in your body fat for later use.

Almost every cell in your body has a receptor for vitamin D. Its essential to many processes, including bone health, immune system function, and can help protect against cancer (

Also Check: How Much Vitamin D Is Recommended For Adults

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.

Yes You Can Take Too Much Vitamin D Here’s What You Should Know Before Supplementing

Best How Much Vitamin D Can You Take

Vitamin D has become the darling of the supplement world, and for good reason. Roughly one billion people worldwide have vitamin D deficiency, which has been linked with an increased risk of osteoporosis, depression, and infection. It only makes sense then that more people are reaching for supplements but as it turns out, that’s not always a good thing.

The Institute of Medicine recommends that people under 70 get 600 international units of vitamin D per day. Yet, an Amazon search will turn up vitamin D supplements with doses as high as 10,000 IU per serving well above the recommended intake. And, while you may have heard that it’s OK to mega-dose with certain vitamins, because the body will simply get rid of the excess, this rule doesn’t apply to vitamin D. Vitamin D is fat-soluble, meaning it’s absorbed in the same way that the body absorbs dietary fat. If you take more than you need, it gets stored away, specifically in areas like the liver and fat tissue.

Should you be worried? And how can you ensure that you’re getting just enough vitamin D, both from supplements and nature? POPSUGAR spoke with an expert to find out.

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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
  • Fortified milk, yogurt, or juice
  • Cheese
  • 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 doctor’s guidelines and do not take more than recommended amounts.

Am I Taking Too Much Vitamin D

Even though taking vitamin D has many health benefits, its possible to take too much. Vitamin D toxicity, or hypervitaminosis D, can cause a buildup of calcium in the blood and result in bone pain, nausea, vomiting, or kidney problems.

Here is a list of the more common side effects that someone might experience from taking too much vitamin D:

  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Weakness

Some medications may interact with vitamin D. Steroids may interfere with how the body metabolizes the vitamin. The cholesterol-lowering drug cholestyramine and weight-loss drug orlistat can hinder the bodys ability to absorb vitamin D. Some medications can also increase vitamin D levels.

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How Does Vitamin D Affect Hair

Vitamin D affects the health of different parts of the body, including the skin and hair.

Vitamin D plays an important role in the formation of new hair follicles. Hair follicles are the tiny pores from which new hairs grow that may help hair maintain thickness and prevent existing hair from falling off prematurely.

Because of this connection, getting proper amounts of vitamin D can support hair growth and regrowth.

How Much Vitamin D Should I Take

Vitamin D: Should You Supplement? How Much?

If you fall into one of the above categories, you may need to take a vitamin D supplement. While the current RDA for vitamin D is 600 IU per day for adults, studies suggest that you may need to supplement around 3000 IU per day to achieve proper blood levels of vitamin D.

If you think you should take a vitamin D supplement, get your vitamin D levels checked by a physician first. They will perform a 25-hydroxyvitamin D test, which indicates the total amount vitamin D in your system , says Ryan Andrews, RD, principal nutritionist and adviser at Precision Nutrition. This will help them determine the right vitamin D supplement dosage for you.

Important: Vitamin D supplements come in two forms: D3 and D2. Studies suggest D3 may be more efficient at raising your vitamin D blood levels, but vegans should choose D2 supplements since they do not contain any animal by-products.

Read Also: What Does Vitamin D2 Do For You

Getting Vitamin D From Food

Most foods dont contain much vitamin D so its hard to get enough vitamin D from food alone.

Foods which contain vitamin D include:

  • oily fish such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, trout
  • red meat
  • liver and fish liver oil
  • egg
  • foods with vitamin D added such as most fat spreads, some breakfast cereals and some plant-based alternatives to milk. Check the labels.
  • infant formula which has vitamin D added to make sure babies get enough.

As most of these foods are animal products, its harder to get vitamin D from food if you are vegan or vegetarian. Plant-based sources of vitamin D include sun-exposed mushrooms and fortified foods such as vegetable spreads, breakfast cereals and plant based dairy alternatives.

In the UK, cows’ milk is generally not a good source of vitamin D because it isn’t fortified, as it is in some other countries. There are some yoghurts which have been fortified, but check the label as they can also be high in saturated fat and so should be avoided.

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

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Can Taking Vitamin D Affect Your Thyroid

Low levels of vitamin D have also been associated with thyroid disease, such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Similarly, patients with new-onset Graves’ disease were found to have decreased 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations. Impaired vitamin D signaling has been reported to encourage thyroid tumorigenesis.

Vitamin D Toxicity: How Does It Happen

Yes, You Can Take Too Much Vitamin D

Vitamin D toxicity implies that vitamin D levels in the body are so high that they cause harm.

Its also termed hypervitaminosis D.

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin. In contrast to water-soluble vitamins, the body has no easy way of getting rid of fat-soluble vitamins.

For this reason, excessive amounts may build up inside the body.

The exact mechanism behind vitamin D toxicity is complicated and isnt fully understood at this point.

However, we know that the active form of vitamin D functions in a similar way as a steroid hormone.

It travels inside cells, telling them to turn genes on or off.

Usually, most of the bodys vitamin D is in storage, bound to either vitamin D receptors or carrier proteins. Very little free vitamin D is available (

  • Sufficient: 2030 ng/mL, or 5075 nmol/L
  • Safe upper limit: 60 ng/mL, or 150 nmol/L
  • Toxic: above 150 ng/mL, or 375 nmol/L

A daily vitamin D intake of 1,0004,000 IU should be enough to ensure optimal blood levels for most people.


Blood levels in the range of 2030 ng/mL are usually considered sufficient. The safe upper limit is considered to be about 60 ng/mL, but people with symptoms of toxicity usually have levels above 150 ng/mL.

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Can I Get Too Much Vitamin D

Too much of any good thing is a bad thing. Too much vitamin D can cause an abnormally high bloodcalcium level, which could result in nausea, constipation, confusion, abnormal heart rhythm, and even kidney stones.

It’s nearly impossible to get too much vitamin D from sunlight or from foods . Nearly all vitamin D overdoses come from supplements.

The Institute of Medicine’s Food and Nutrition Board’s old 1997 recommendations suggested that 2,000 IU per day of vitamin D is safe for adults and that 1,000 IU per day is safe for infants up to 12 months of age. Many observers expected a drastic increase in the IOM’s 2010 update.

That didn’t exactly happen. The IOM committee did increase its “upper level intake” — that is, the boundary at which it feared vitamin D would become unsafe. That dose is 4,000 IU/day for adults, 3,000 IU/day for kids ages 4-8, 2,500 IU/day for kids ages 1-3, 1,500 IU/day for infants ages 6-12 months, and 1,000 IU/day for infants ages 0-6 months.

But some recent studies suggest that healthy adults can tolerate more than 10,000 IU of vitamin D per day. John Jacob Cannell, MD, executive director of The Vitamin D Council, notes that the skin makes 10,000 IU of vitamin D after 30 minutes of full-body sun exposure. He suggests that 10,000 IU of vitamin D is not toxic.

According to the National Institutes of Health, 25-OHD levels that are consistently over 200 ng/mL are “potentially toxic.”

more is better.'”

Whats The Best Way To Remember To Take My Daily Dose Of Vitamin D

Consistency is key! Taking supplements at a specific time every day helps with compliance, so for best results, consider your vitamin D supplement an integral part of your health and wellness regimen ââ like drinking water, brushing your teeth or having your morning coffee. You could even put your supplement next to the coffee mugs to jog your memory in the mornings.

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Who Is At Risk Of Vitamin D Deficiency

Some people are at higher risk of vitamin D deficiency:

  • Breastfed infants, because human milk is a poor source of vitamin D. If you are breastfeeding, give your infant a supplement of 400 IU of vitamin D every day.
  • Older adults, because your skin doesn’t make vitamin D when exposed to sunlight as efficiently as when you were young, and your kidneys are less able to convert vitamin D to its active form.
  • People with dark skin, which has less ability to produce vitamin D from the sun.
  • People with disorders such as Crohn’s disease or celiac disease who don’t handle fat properly, because vitamin D needs fat to be absorbed.
  • People who have obesity, because their body fat binds to some vitamin D and prevents it from getting into the blood.
  • People with chronic kidney or liver disease.
  • People with hyperparathyroidism
  • People with sarcoidosis, tuberculosis, histoplasmosis, or other granulomatous disease
  • People with some lymphomas, a type of cancer.
  • People who take medicines that affect vitamin D metabolism, such as cholestyramine , anti-seizure drugs, glucocorticoids, antifungal drugs, and HIV/AIDS medicines.

Talk with your health care provider if you are at risk for vitamin D deficiency. There is a blood test which can measure how much vitamin D is in your body.

What Are The Sources Of Vitamin D

How Much Vitamin D Should I Take?

Different forms of vitamin D have been discovered to date, including ergocalciferol and cholecalciferol . On exposure to sunlight, vitamin D is produced endogenously in the skin. It is then stored in fat during periods of sunlight and then released when sunlight is not available.

Few foods naturally contain vitamin D, which include:

  • The flesh of fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel and fish liver oils are among the best sources.
  • Beef liver, egg yolks, and cheese have a variable amount of vitamin D, primarily in the form of vitamin D3.
  • Fortified foods such as breakfast cereals, oatmeal, orange juice, soy milk, almond milk, cows milk, and nuts are good sources of vitamin D.
  • Mushrooms provide a small amount of vitamin D2. Moreover, mushrooms that are available on the market nowadays have been treated with ultraviolet light to increase their levels of vitamin D2.

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