What Are Good Sources Of Vitamin D
You can get your vitamin D daily dosage from three main sources: the sun, food, and supplements. While you can spend 10-15 minutes in the sun without sunscreen every day to increase your vitamin D intake, you might be worried about damaging UV rays. Thats why its important to ensure your diet includes plenty of vitamin D-rich foods. Good sources include fatty fish, cod liver oils, beef liver, cheese, egg yolks, and mushrooms, as well as vitamin D-fortified foods . Finally, taking a vitamin D supplement can fill in any nutritional gaps.
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The Bottom Line
Vitamin D is important for maintaining bone health, muscle functioning, and immunity. But with up to 40% of U.S. adults having a vitamin D deficiency, you might be wondering, How much vitamin D should I take? The daily dosage depends on a variety of factors , but in general, its recommended that most adults take 15mcg or 600 IU of vitamin D per day.
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This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as medical advice or a recommendation for any specific product. Consult your health care provider for more information.
What Foods Have Vitamin D
Though you can obtain vitamin D from certain foods such as wild fatty fish, dairy milk and cheese products, egg yolks, beef liver, and mushrooms, the best way to maintain a sufficient vitamin D status is from sunlight exposure or supplementation .
The richest food sources of vitamin D will be found in fatty fish such as halibut, salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines, and trout. Many foods may also be fortified in vitamin D such as almond milk, soy milk, orange juice, milk, yogurt and cereals.
It is not always possible to meet the daily requirements through food alone.
What Were The Conclusions About The Relationship Of Calcium And Vitamin D To Chronic Disease
The IOM expert committee reviewed a number of health outcomes that could potentially be related to calcium and vitamin D, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and immunity, and found that the evidence existing to date is inconsistent and does not demonstrate a cause-and-effect relationship. Consequently, these health outcomes could not be used for the purposes of determining nutrient requirements.
The evidence surrounding the role of calcium and vitamin D in bone health was judged to be convincing, and was used as the basis for determining requirements for calcium and vitamin D.
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Can I Get Vitamin D From Sunlight
The short answer is yes! It is for this very reason that it is called the sunshine vitamin.
How cool is it that we can make a vitamin from coming into contact with the sun? I’d say it might even be a superpower!
But seriously, vitamin D synthesis is triggered in the skin in response to contact with ultraviolet rays and is therefore considered the most “natural” form of the vitamin. Most people will be able to get enough vitamin D during the summer months with just 15 minutes of exposure but it may vary depending on skin type, time of day, how much skin is exposed, and location.
However, according to researchers, the benefits of sunlight don’t just stop at vitamin D production and a tan. There is fair evidence that points to exposure to sunlight activating feel-good chemicals in the brain as well as promoting nitric oxide production and optimal melatonin later at night .
This is why most people won’t need to take a vitamin D supplement during the summertime but might bring it back into their supplement routine in the wintertime. This may also be one of many reasons why our mood may tend to lower in the darker winter months compared to the bright and sunny summer months .
Keep in mind skin pigmentation can impact serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations as fair-skinned individuals have been shown to more efficiently convert sunlight into the vitamin compared to darker skin tones .
Can Vitamin D Prevent Or Help Manage Type 2 Diabetes
Cardiovascular Disease Taking vitamin D supplements does not reduce the risk ofheart attack, stroke, or death from heart disease, according to the findings of a randomized, controlled clinical trial involving more than 25,000 participants that was published in the aforementioned January 2019 in The New England Journal of Medicine.
Cancer In the same study, researchers found that vitamin D supplementation was not found to reduce the risk of cancer in participants overall. However, those who had developed cancer and were taking vitamin D were less likely to die early than those who took a placebo. Researchers also found a possible reduction in cancer risk for African Americans, and they called for further study to confirm those results.
Rheumatoid arthritis A small observational study of 44 people with RA and 25 controls found that vitamin D deficiency appeared to be more prevalent among people with RA, suggesting these people may benefit from taking a supplement. But a separate small randomized, controlled trial found that while a vitamin D supplement helped people with RA build stronger bones than the control group, the supplements didnt result in other expected health improvements.
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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.
How To Get The Recommended Dose Of Vitamin D For Seniors
When it comes to vitamin D for seniors, dosage recommendations increase after the age of 71: from 15 micrograms to 20 micrograms. Older adults have a greater need for vitamin D due to being at a higher risk for conditions like osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.
There are several ways for older adults to supplement vitamin D naturally:
- Sunshine is one of the best natural sources of vitamin D. Take an afternoon walk or invest in a UV lamp for colder months.
- One tablespoon of cod liver oil supplements 170% of daily vitamin D.
- Four or five sliced white mushrooms make up half of the needed vitamin D intake.
- Three ounces of cooked salmon accounts for more than 80% of necessary vitamin D. Tuna, oysters, and shrimp also contain high amounts of vitamin D.
Highly absorbable forms of vitamin D in pill, gummy, or liquid form are also available at your local health food store. After ruling out medication interactions or other health risks, a doctor or dietitian may recommend a vitamin D supplement beyond natural sources.
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Introduction To Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is essential for building and maintaining strong bones. It can even help with calcium absorption. Oftentimes, vitamin D is obtained through sunlight or supplements. Vitamin D can also be taken in through food, though few foods have naturally-present vitamin D.
Can You Take Too Much Vitamin D
Too much vitamin D can be harmful. It is not possible for the body to make too much vitamin D from sun exposure.
Having too much in the body usually results from taking supplements. However, it is very rare and usually only occurs when people take a very high dose for an extended period, such as more than a year.
The maximum quantity of vitamin D that a person can take before it causes health problems is . Symptoms of having too much vitamin D in the blood include:
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What Kind Of Vitamin D Supplement Should I Take
There are two different types of vitamin D. Vitamin D2 mainly comes from plant-based foods like UV grown mushrooms, or fortified foods and dietary supplements. Vitamin D3 comes from animals and supplements. Youll get D3 from fish oil, butter, liver, and egg yolks.
Vitamin D is available in supplemental form as a liquid, tablet, or capsule. Some doctors will even give vitamin D injections. D2 typically requires a prescription to get, and D3 is commonly available for purchase over-the-counter. There is some debate about whether D2 is stronger than D3 seeking medical advice is the best way to make sure you get the right form and dosage that you need.
The best form of vitamin D to take as a supplement is D3 although, D2 is acceptable, says Tod Cooperman, MD, founder of ConsumerLab. D3 is less likely to result in errors on blood tests, and high doses may raise levels better. In terms of formulations, liquids and pills are generally both fine . My preference is liquid drops, as you can easily adjust the dose. Plus, you can put it right on food or in a beverage, which should remind you that vitamin D, which is fat-soluble, should be taken with foods that contain fats to improve absorption.
Depression And Vitamin D Deficiency
For most people, low vitamin D levels tend to be more of a problem. Deficiency can have a number of health effects, including poor bone health, but it can also impact brain development and functioning. Low levels of vitamin D have been associated with mental health conditions including seasonal affective disorder, depression, and schizophrenia.
However, that does not mean that boosting vitamin D can always cure depression. One randomized controlled trial found insufficient evidence to support the use of vitamin D supplementation as a treatment for depression.
If you are experiencing symptoms of depression, whether or not it’s seasonal, talk to your doctor before you try to self-medicate with a supplement like vitamin D. Your doctor can assess your health and determine if vitamin D might help or if some other treatment would be more appropriate.
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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.
How Can You Boost Intake
While classic ideas around vitamin D revolve around the sun, Konstantin says that simply having a couple of hours in the sunshine wont be enough to create a good level of the essential vitamin in the body. Nature has come up with a complex mechanism: to produce this micro-element, a person should not only be in direct sunlight from 11 am until 2 pm without any UV protection on the skin, but also needs to be physically active for several hours. When this vitamin is being developed in the skin under ultraviolet radiation, it needs to enter the bloodstream. This is only possible when exercising. If we just lie on the beach and sunbathe, vitamin D is also produced, but then it is instantly destroyed, without bringing any benefit to our body.
This means that the vitamin, as the NNEdPro Global Centre for Nutrition & Health study suggests, needs to come from other sources. Pareena Patel, Lloyds Pharmacy pharmacist, says that vitamin D tablets should offer the extra boost and shiitake mushrooms are particularly good for increasing vitamin D and lentinan levels in the body. While Uta suggests that, Oily fish is the only true rich source of vitamin D. Liver, eggs and butter provide small amounts.
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Vitamins And Minerals For Older Adults
Vitamins help your body grow and work the way it should. There are 13 essential vitamins vitamins A, C, D, E, K, and the B vitamins .
Vitamins have different jobs to help keep the body working properly. Some vitamins help you resist infections and keep your nerves healthy, while others may help your body get energy from food or help your blood clot properly. By following the Dietary Guidelines, you will get enough of most of these vitamins from food.
Like vitamins, minerals also help your body function. Minerals are elements that our bodies need to function that can be found on the earth and in foods. Some minerals, like iodine and fluoride, are only needed in very small quantities. Others, such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium, are needed in larger amounts. As with vitamins, if you eat a varied diet, you will probably get enough of most minerals.
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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How Often Is Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency is a worldwide problem. However, it is more common in young women, infants, the elderly, and people with dark skin. About 42% of the U.S. population has vitamin D. However, this level rises to 82% for black people and 70% for Hispanics.
If you have access to the strong sun all year round, then occasional sunlight is not enough to meet your vitamin D. However, if you live too far north or south of the equator your vitamin D levels may change over time. Rates may fall during the winter months, due to a lack of adequate sunlight.
In that case, you need to rely on your diet for vitamin D, as well as for vitamin D which is stored in body fat in the summer.
In adults, vitamin D deficiency can:
- Create muscle weakness.
- Intensify bone loss.
- Increase the risk of cracking.
In children, severe vitamin D deficiency can lead to delays in growth and marketing, a disease in which the bones become weak.
Also, vitamin D deficiency has been linked to several cancers, type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, high blood pressure, and thyroid problems.
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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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.