Why Do I Need Vitamin D
Vitamin D is involved in so many processes that we cant list them all here. Its a true all-rounder, affecting everything from your brain to your toenails. But some of the most important, evidence-based benefits are:
Strengthens bones and teeth
Enhances the bodys immune system
Reduces inflammation around the heart
Regulates sodium concentration in the blood
Research also suggests that low levels of vitamin D are linked to obesity, depression, type 2 diabetes, auto-immune diseases and osteoporosis. Its not something you want to skimp on.
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.
So How Much Vitamin D Do I Need
When you search online, you might find conflicting advice on how much vitamin D you should take. Typically the two numbers thrown around are 10µg and 20µg a day .
However, the NHS also points out that the upper limit is 100µg a day, so theres a lot of leeway. For that reason, weve put 20µg in each dose of the Smart Supplement, just to make sure youre covered.
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What Is The Cause Of Vitamin D Toxicity
Vitamin D toxicity typically occurs due to excessive intake of vitamin D supplements and does not occur due to dietary intake of vitamin D or sun exposure. This is because the intake of the vitamin through foods, including fortified foods, is not sufficient enough to cause toxicity. Furthermore, the body regulates the production of vitamin D due to sun exposure. Essentially, natural sources do not cause vitamin D toxicity.
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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Signs Of Too Much Vitamin D
Youre most likely to experience symptoms of too much vitamin D when taking supplements in high doses for a long period of time. Some signs that you may be taking too much vitamin D include:
- Getting sick more often
- Abdominal pain and digestive issues like nausea, constipation, diarrhea or loss of appetite
- Increased thirst and dry mouth
- Urinating frequently
- Brain fog, feeling confused and dizziness
- Irregular heartbeat
- Changes in blood pressure
Can too much vitamin D cause anxiety? Because vitamin D toxicity can cause side effects like rapid heartbeat, confusion, restlessness and chest pains, it can potentially cause feelings associated with anxiety.
Your Value Is Between 20
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
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Some People Are Overdoing It In Search Of Better Health
Vitamin D is having its day in the sun. In recent years, research has associated low blood levels of the vitamin with higher risks of everything from heart disease, diabetes, and cancer to mood disorders and . The findings have not gone unnoticed. and screening tests have surged in popularity.
“Vitamin D testing is one of the top Medicare lab tests performed in the United States in recent years,” says Dr. JoAnn E. Manson, the Michael and Lee Bell Professor of Women’s Health at Harvard Medical School. “This is really surprising for a test that is recommended for only a small subset of the population.”
Unfortunately, this vitamin D trend isn’t all blue skies. Some people are overdoing it with supplements. Researchers looking at national survey data gathered between 1999 and 2014 found a 2.8% uptick in the number of people taking potentially unsafe amounts of vitamin D that is, more than 4,000 international units per day, according to a research letter published in the June 20 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association . And during the same time period there was nearly an 18% increase in the number of people taking 1,000 IU or more of vitamin D daily, which is also beyond the dose of 600 to 800 IU recommended for most people.
Will Vitamin D Really Prevent Falls Or Fractures
Good question. Some studies have suggested that vitamin D reduces the chance of these serious health events, but these results have been questioned by later studies.
My current take is that vitamin D might help with falls and fracture risk, especially for certain older adults. Since it has a low chance of harm and possible helps some people a least a little, I recommend it.
However, I usually tell people to not have overly optimistic expectations of vitamin Ds effects. In most older adults, problems such as pain, fatigue, and/or falls are due to multiple underlying causes, so theres often no easy fix available.
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What Are The New Dris For Vitamin D
The DRIs for vitamin D are based on maintaining skeletal health and have been set using the assumption that sun exposure is minimal.
The DRIs for vitamin D, which can also be found in the DRI tables, are as follows:
|Adequate Intake rather than Recommended Dietary Allowance.|
The IOM report states that there are no additional health benefits associated with vitamin D intakes above the level of the new RDA.
Total vitamin D 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.
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.
- egg yolk
- beef liver
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How Much Vitamin D Do I Need
In November 2010, the Institute of Medicine’s expert committee set a new “dietary reference intake” for vitamin D.
Assuming that a person gets virtually no vitamin D from sunshine — and that this person gets adequate amounts of calcium — the IOM committee recommends getting the following amounts of vitamin D from diet or supplements :
- Infants age 0 to 6 months: adequate intake, 400 IU/day maximum safe upper level of intake, 1,000 IU/day
- Infants age 6 to 12 months: adequate intake, 400 IU/day maximum safe upper level of intake, 1,500 IU/day
- Age 1-3 years: adequate intake, 600 IU/day maximum safe upper level of intake, 2,500 IU/day
- Age 4-8 years: adequate intake, 600 IU/day maximum safe upper level of intake, 3,000 IU/day
- Age 9-70: adequate intake, 600 IU/day maximum safe upper level of intake, 4,000 IU/day
- Age 71+ years: adequate intake, 800 IU/day maximum safe upper level of intake, 4,000 IU/day
That’s not enough, says Boston University vitamin D expert Michael Holick, MD, PhD, professor of medicine, physiology, and biophysics, Boston University Medical Center. Holick recommends a dose of 1,000 IU a day of vitamin D for both infants and adults — unless they’re getting plenty of safe sun exposure.
In 2008, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended that breastfed infants receive 400 IU of vitamin D every day until they are weaned. This doubled the AAP’s previous recommendation.
How To Prevent/treat Vitamin D Toxicity
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.
Vitamin D toxicity is most likely to occur when taking high doses of supplement for a couple of months or longer, such as 40,000 IU or more. It may also potentially occur from taking a very high dose only one time, such as more than 300,000 IU in a 24-hour period.
These amounts apply to average weight adults who are around 125200 pounds but are not applicable to children or those who weigh much less. For children that weigh between 25 and 75 pounds, more than 50,000 IU in 24 hours or 2,000 to 6,000 IU/day for over three months may be too much and potentially cause vitamin D toxicity.
If its determined that your blood level is too high, how do you get rid of excess vitamin D?
If you need to flush vitamin D out of your system, your doctor might recommend vitamin D toxicity treatments including stopping vitamin D intake, restricting dietary calcium, and receiving intravenous fluids and/or medications, such as corticosteroids or bisphosphonates, to control symptoms.
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How Much Vitamin D Does My Child Need
Vitamin D is measured in international units .
- Babies younger than 1 year old need 400 IU of vitamin D a day. Baby formula has 400 IU per liter, so babies who drink at least 32 ounces of formula each day get enough. If your baby drinks only breast milk or gets less than 32 ounces of formula each day, ask your health care provider about giving your baby a vitamin D supplement.
- Kids older than 1 year need 600 IU or more of vitamin D a day. Health care providers often want healthy kids to take 600 to 1,000 IU daily.
Some kids might need more vitamin D, such as those who:
- have certain medical problems
Does The Intake Of Other Fat
It has been hypothesized that two other fat-soluble vitamins, vitamin K and vitamin A, may play important roles in vitamin D toxicity.
Vitamin K helps regulate where calcium ends up in the body, and high amounts of vitamin D may deplete the bodys stores of vitamin K (
Keep in mind that these are just hypotheses, but it may be wise to make sure you are getting enough of these nutrients if you are going to supplement with vitamin D.
If you are supplementing with vitamin D, then it may be important to also ensure sufficient intake of vitamin A, vitamin K and magnesium. These may reduce the risk of adverse effects from a higher vitamin D intake.
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How Much Vitamin D Is Too Much
Because vitamin D is fat soluble, there have been repeated warnings against overdosing. In 2002, the Scientific Committee on Food of the European Commission released its position the safety of vitamin D.
The report stated that a daily intake of 2,000 IU for adolescents, adults, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers, and 1,000 IU for children may be taken for extended periods during the first 10 years of life with no risk of side effects and without medical supervision.
Most experts consider a daily intake of up to 5,000 IU of vitamin D to be safe for adults.
Since direct sunlight produces 10,000 IU of vitamin D in the human body, this may be the physiological upper limit.
Since vitamin D is potentially toxic, the state-approved limit is 50 mcg . However, this is a conservative limit and is likely 5 times too low.
Known cases of vitamin D toxicity with hypercalcemia in which the 25D concentration and vitamin D dose are known all point to an intake of 40,000 IU a day or more.
Excessive intake of vitamin D can only occur by taking dietary supplements. But one would have to take some 40,000 IU per day for several months to cause vitamin D overdose.
One-time massive-dose therapy involving high doses do not result in an overdose of vitamin D, even at doses in excess of 100,000 IU.
The symptoms of vitamin D intoxication include nausea, high calcium and phosphate levels in the blood, irregular heartbeat and kidney stones.
Why Wearing Sunscreen Can Affect Vitamin D Absorption
While wearing sunscreen daily is key to help prevent sunburns, premature aging, and skin cancer, this healthy habit can also affect how much vitamin D your skin synthesizes from the sun.
To get your fix, aim to spend 10 to 15 minutes outdoors without sunscreen, Foroutan says. It can help get your levels where they need to be, she says, echoing information from Harvard Health Publishing.
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Your Value Is Between 50
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.
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.
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Large Doses Can Be Harmful Even Without Symptoms Of Toxicity
Large doses of vitamin D can be harmful, even though there may not be immediate symptoms of toxicity.
Vitamin D is very unlikely to cause severe symptoms of toxicity right away, and symptoms may take months or years to show up.
This is one reason why vitamin D toxicity is so difficult to detect.
There have been reports of people taking very large doses of vitamin D for months without symptoms, yet blood tests revealed severe hypercalcemia and symptoms of kidney failure .
The harmful effects of vitamin D are very complex. High doses of vitamin D can cause hypercalcemia without toxicity symptoms, but can also cause toxicity symptoms without hypercalcemia .
To be safe, you should not exceed the 4,000 IU upper limit without consulting with a doctor or dietitian.
Vitamin D toxicity usually develops over time, and the harmful effects are very complex. Large doses may cause damage, despite a lack of noticeable symptoms.
What Process Did The Iom Use To Conduct Its Review
The Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine put together a committee of scientific experts for this review of vitamin D and calcium in January 2009. As in previous DRI reviews conducted by the Food and Nutrition Board of the IOM, the expert panel reviewing the latest science related to vitamin D and calcium was made up of experts from both Canada and the U.S.
The IOM’s process for the review of data on vitamin D and calcium was rigorous. The 14-member expert committee gathered background information on the metabolism of vitamin D and calcium throughout the life cycle. Then, using a risk assessment approach, they identified potential health-outcome indicators for establishing DRIs. Important documents for this phase were the two evidence-based systematic reviews conducted by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality on the effectiveness and safety of vitamin D in relation to bone health and the relationships of vitamin D and calcium intakes to nutrient status indicators and health outcomes, conducted at the request of the U.S. and Canadian governments. The committee also performed their own systematic review of scientific literature and identified other relevant studies.
Canadian data from the Canadian Community Health Survey Cycle 2.2, Nutrition, and the Canadian Health Measures Survey were used in the IOM review.
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