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.
How Much Vitamin D Do You Really Need
How much vitamin D do you need to ensure strong, healthy bones? Unfortunately, there isnt an easy answer.
Its incredibly controversial, says Neil Binkley, MD, a UW Health geriatrician and internationally recognized researcher who leads the UW Osteoporosis Clinical Research Program. The experts in the field are quite polarized. I try to be somewhere in the middle because I really believe that we simply dont know.
Why all the controversy about the sunshine vitamin? Doctors determine whether an individuals vitamin D level is normal, insufficient or deficient by measuring serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D in the blood. But the measurement has historically been problematic and difficult to standardize, and experts dont agree on the optimal level.
Another problem: Randomized trials of vitamin D supplementation havent required that participants start with low levels, so its difficult to draw clear conclusions from such research. Additionally, there is substantial variation in 25-hydroxyvitamin D increase after individuals begin vitamin D supplementation.
Heres what we do know about this controversial vitamin:
What Is The Difference Between Vitamin D
There are two forms of vitamin D. Vitamin D-2 or ergocalciferol and vitamin D-3, cholecalciferol. Both forms are biologically inert and must undergo two hydroxylations in the body for activation. The first occurs in the liver which converts vitamin D to 25-hydroxyvitamin D , also known as calcidiol. The second occurs primarily in the kidney and forms the physiologically active 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D , also known as calcitriol.
There are a limited number of foods that are sources of these compounds. Vitamin D-2 is found mostly in mushrooms and fortified foods such as cereal. Vitamin D-3 is found primarily in animal-based foods such as fish, liver, eggs and America’s old favorite, cod-liver oil.
While both versions are effective in increasing vitamin D concentration in the body, vitamin D-3 is thought by many to be more effective in raising vitamin D levels. It is widely available as an inexpensive over-the-counter supplement in a variety of dosage forms and dosages.
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How To Supplement With Vitamin D
If you learn that youre vitamin-D deficient, ask your doctor how to safely increase your levels. Your doctor may recommend any or all of the following:
- spending more time outdoors in sunlight
- eating foods that are rich in vitamin D
- taking vitamin D supplements
Vitamin D3 supplements may be easier for your body to absorb than D2 supplements. If youre 65 or under, your doctor may recommend 600 IU of vitamin D3 daily. If youre older than 65, you may need 800 IU daily.
For a severe deficiency, your doctor may suggest a higher dosage. Too much vitamin D can lead to health problems, including nausea, vomiting or kidney stones, so dont supplement unnecessarily only take vitamin D if your doctor recommends it.
How Much Vitamin D Should You Take
Public Health England and the NHS recommend everyone takes a daily 10mcg supplement .
But with many retailers selling different variations of high-strength vitamin D, from 25mcg to 100mcg, it can be tempting to reach for the highest number.
The NHS advises children aged 11 to 17 and adults not to take more than 100mcg of vitamin D a day as it could be harmful. Children between one and 10 should not take more than 50mcg a day.
Bear in mind high-dose vitamin D will be more expensive too. Unless you think youre likely to be severely deficient, theres no need to go to these upper limits.
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Vitamin D And Chronic Kidney Disease
We get vitamin D from the ultraviolet rays of the sun, but not all sunlight is equal. The amount of UV rays absorbed depends on where you live, the time of day, the season, whether its cloudy and if youre using sunscreen. People who live in sunny areas at lower latitudes typically get enough vitamin D compared to people living at higher latitudes , particularly during late fall and winter.
What foods give us vitamin D?
Few foods are naturally good sources of vitamin D. The best food sources for vitamin D are fatty fish including salmon, sardines, cod, tuna and halibut. Many foods, such as some breakfast cereals and milk, are fortified with vitamin D. Milk must contain at least 100 IU of vitamin D per cup, according to federal regulations. The practice of fortifying milk with vitamin D began in the 1930s to prevent rickets, a bone disease that was common in children at the time. Other dairy products are not required to be fortified. Milk substitutes such as soy milk, rice milk and nondairy creamer may or may not have added vitamin D.
Benefits of vitamin D
Vitamin D is responsible for:
- Building and maintaining strong bones
- Keeping the right level of calcium and phosphorus in the blood
- Preventing bones from becoming weak or malformed
- Preventing rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults
Too much vitamin D can be toxic. The recommended maximum intake is 25 mcg for infants and 50 mcg for children and adults with normal kidney function.
Vitamin D supplements
How Much Vitamin D Do I Need
From about late March/early April to the end of September, the majority of people should be able to make all the vitamin D they need from sunlight on their skin.
Children from the age of 1 year and adults need 10 micrograms of vitamin D a day. This includes pregnant and breastfeeding women, and people at risk of vitamin D deficiency.
Babies up to the age of 1 year need 8.5 to 10 micrograms of vitamin D a day.
A microgram is 1,000 times smaller than a milligram . The word microgram is sometimes written with the Greek symbol followed by the letter g .
Sometimes the amount of vitamin D is expressed as International Units . 1 microgram of vitamin D is equal to 40 IU. So 10 micrograms of vitamin D is equal to 400 IU.
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What Happens When Your Vitamin D Is Low
When vitamin D levels are low, there are some noticeable changes in the body, says Konstantin. Low vitamin D levels can lead to decreased energy levels, low mood, and potentially frequent bouts of illness. Checking for nutritional deficiencies can rule out any underlying issues that might be causing your lowered energy levels or even exhaustion and allow you to supplement based on what your body requires.
People At Risk Of Vitamin D Deficiency
Some people will not make enough vitamin D from sunlight because they have very little or no sunshine exposure.
The Department of Health and Social Care recommends that adults and children over 4 take a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D throughout the year if they:
- are not often outdoors for example, if they’re frail or housebound
- are in an institution like a care home
- usually wear clothes that cover up most of their skin when outdoors
If you have dark skin for example you have an African, African-Caribbean or south Asian background you may also not make enough vitamin D from sunlight.
You should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D throughout the year.
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How Much Is Recommended Daily
If you do decide to take a supplement, it can get a bit confusing. Vitamin D doses can either be measured in international units or in micrograms and levels are very different. It’s easiest to stick to one – I’d recommend you look out for the number of micrograms. For reference, 10 mcg is equivalent to 400 IU.
Public Health England recommends that everyone over one year should take a supplement of 10 micrograms of vitamin D from around the end of September to early April. If you don’t get outside much, or if you cover up for religious reasons or have darker skin, you should take it all year round. It’s too early to tell if this new research will affect their recommendations.
Dr Louis Levy, Head of Nutrition Science at PHE, says: “A healthy, balanced diet and short bursts of sunshine will mean most people get all the vitamin D they need in spring and summer. However, everyone will need to consider taking a supplement in the autumn and winter if they don’t eat enough foods that naturally contain vitamin D or are fortified with it. And those who don’t get out in the sun or always cover their skin when they do, should take a vitamin D supplement throughout the year.”
Do You Need A Vitamin D Supplement
Because there are so many factors that can affect your vitamin D level, its important to talk to your doctor if you suspect youre deficient. They can perform a blood test to see if you may benefit from upping your intake of vitamin Drich foods like salmon, fortified milk, and eggs, or taking a vitamin D supplement, according to MedlinePlus. Again, if you live in a place where winters are cool and dark, you may benefit from a supplement.
Talking with your doctor before supplementing is even more important if youre managing a chronic condition. Not only are the benefits of vitamin D supplements unclear for certain health conditions but theres a chance the supplement may do more harm than good if youre taking a medication that interacts poorly with it.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the Food and Drug Administration doesnt regulate supplements like it does over-the-counter medication and prescription medication. Have a conversation with your doctor about their recommended brand and dose to maintain or improve your health.
Additional reporting by Melinda Carstensen and Jamie Ludwig.
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How To Calculate Your Personal Vitamin D Dosage
Vitamin D Dosage needs to be tailored to each person. This is partly because the dose you need depends on the vitamin D level you are trying to achieve.
This is what we mean by vitamin D levels
25D Blood levels
The optimum range is where vitamin D most effectively promotes good health and fights disease.
Would you like to learn how to maintain this optimum level? It will take less time than drinking a cup of coffee!
In fact, you only need to know two things
There are two steps.
How Much Vitamin D Should I Take For Optimal Health
Your need for vitamin D goes up if any of these factors apply to you:
- You know youre already deficient in vitamin D
- You have dark skin
- Youre an older adult over 70 . Infants, children and older adults are all at risk for low vitamin D.
- You spend little time outdoors or always wear sunscreen when exposed to sunlight
- Youre a shift worker, health care worker or another indoor worker, which means you get little outdoor time and sunlight exposure
- Youre overweight or obese
- You are a nursing home resident or hospitalized patient
- You have a health condition, such as celiac disease, Crohns disease or cystic fibrosis, that interferes with absorption and processing of vitamin D in the intestines, kidneys or liver
- Breast-fed infants are also at risk for vitamin D deficiency, which is why supplementing is recommended
How much vitamin D should women take per day?
According to the USDA and National Institutes of Health, the standard recommendation of vitamin D that adult women should take in order to prevent deficiency is between 600 to 800 international units per day, depending on age. The exact number is debatable, and some experts feel that a higher dose of vitamin D, around 2,ooo to 5,000 IU per day, may be more beneficial.
How much vitamin D should men take per day?
The standard recommendation for adult men is also between 600 to 800 IU of vitamin D per day. Adults over 70 should supplement with more, at least 800 IU per day, while younger adults need at least 600 IU daily.
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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.
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 (
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How Can I Make Sure My Child Is Getting Enough Vitamin D
Your childs age matters when it comes to cows milk. For children older than 12 months, plain whole cows milk is a great source of vitamin D.
Most cows milk sold in stores is fortified with vitamin D. For babies younger than 12 months, cows milk is not recommended because it may put your baby at risk for intestinal bleeding. It also has too many proteins and minerals for your babys kidneys to handle easily and does not have the right amount of nutrients your baby needs.
For babies who are fed onlybreast milk or who receive both breast milk and infant formula:
- Breast milk usually does not provide all the vitamin D a baby needs, so breastfed babies will need a supplement of 400 IU of vitamin D per day beginning shortly after birth.
For babies who are receiving onlyinfant formula:
- Vitamin D supplementation is not needed.
- Infant formulas are fortified with vitamin D.
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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How Much Vitamin D Is Too Much The Surprising Truth
Vitamin D toxicity is extremely rare, but does occur with extreme doses.
It usually develops over time, since extra vitamin D can build up in the body.
Nearly all vitamin D overdoses result from taking high amounts of vitamin D supplements.
It is almost impossible to get too much vitamin D from sunlight or food.
This is a detailed article about vitamin D toxicity and how much of it is considered to be too much.