Study: Vitamin D Intake In Pregnant Women Should Be 10 Times Higher
Pregnant women couldand probably shouldconsume 10 times more vitamin D than experts currently recommend, according to a new study.
SATURDAY, MAY 1, 2010 Pregnant women couldand probably shouldconsume 10 times more vitamin D than experts currently recommend, according to a new study.
Current guidelines for daily vitamin D intake during pregnancy range from 200 international units per day to 400 IU, the amount found in most prenatal vitamins. For decades, doctors have worried that too much vitamin D during pregnancy could cause birth defects, and under current guidelines anything over 2,000 IU per day is still considered potentially unsafe for anyone, not just pregnant women.
That much vitamin D is not only safe during pregnancy, the researchers say, but doubling it may actually reduce the risk of complications.
Pregnant women should not change their vitamin D intake without consulting their physicians, however. The study looked only at women in their second trimester and beyond, and it’s not yet clear whether high doses of vitamin D are safe earlier in pregnancy, when organs are formed and the fetus is especially vulnerable to birth defects.
In the study, 500 women who were at least 12 weeks pregnant took either 400, 2,000, or 4,000 IU of vitamin D per day. The women who took 4,000 IU were least likely to go into labor early, give birth prematurely, or develop infections.
How Much Vitamin D From Other Sources
You might already be taking some vitamin D in a multivitamin or other supplement, so you would want to subtract that from your calculated vitamin D dose.
If you take cod-liver oil, you need to read the label to see how much vitamin D you are taking, and subtract that too.
Finally, you can also subtract the vitamin D you get from food, although it is a small amount 150 IU per day is average for a good diet.
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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Why Is It Important To Get Enough Calcium And Vitamin D
Your body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium. Calcium keeps your bones and musclesincluding your hearthealthy and strong.
People who do not get enough calcium and vitamin D throughout life have an increased chance of having thin and brittle bones in their later years. Thin and brittle bones break easily and can lead to serious injuries. This is why it is important for you to get enough calcium and vitamin D as a child and as an adult. It helps keep your bones strong as you get older and protects against possible breaks.
Your body also uses vitamin D to help your muscles absorb calcium and work well. If your muscles don’t get enough calcium, then they can cramp, hurt, or feel weak. You may have long-term muscle aches and pains. Getting enough vitamin D helps prevent these problems.
Children who don’t get enough vitamin D may not grow as much as others their age. They also have a chance of getting a rare disease called rickets, which causes weak bones.
Does My Prenatal Vitamin Have Enough Vitamin D
It is unlikely your prenatal vitamin provides enough vitamin D. A recent study found women taking 4,000 IU of vitamin D daily had the greatest benefits in preventing preterm labor/births and infections.
The study confirmed vitamin D at this level is not only safe for you, but for your baby, and the researchers from this study now recommend this daily dosage of vitamin D for all pregnant women. The average prenatal vitamin only contains 400 IU of vitamin D, so additional supplementation should be taken daily.
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.
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.
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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
- 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.
How Much Calcium And Vitamin D Do You Need
NOF recommends that women age 50 and younger get 1,000 mg of calcium from all sources daily and that women age 51 and older get 1,200 mg. For men, NOF recommends 1,000 mg of calcium daily for those age 70 and younger and 1,200 mg for men age 71 and older.
And dont forget about vitamin D, which enables your body to absorb calcium. Most adults under age 50 need 400-800 international units daily and most adults age 50 and older need 800-1,000 IU daily. Some people need more vitamin D to maintain healthy blood levels of the vitamin, so be sure to talk with your healthcare provider to determine the amount thats right for you. Visit Calcium and Vitamin D: What You Need to Know for our complete recommendations on calcium and vitamin D.
Remember, regardless of what you hear or read, always talk to your healthcare provider about your individual needs for calcium and vitamin D and never stop taking your supplements without talking to your healthcare provider first.
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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.
How Much Vitamin D Do You Need
Despite widespread assertions in the popular and scientific press that many Americans have a vitamin D deficiency, the term “deficiency” isn’t strictly accurate. The official definition of a vitamin deficiency means that specific health problems stem solely from the lack of a specific nutrient. An actual vitamin D deficiency results in bone disease, such as rickets, which is rare in the United States.
On the other hand, lower-than-optimal levels of specific vitamins, including vitamin D, may increase your risk of numerous health problems, even though they are not solely responsible for these problems. “Insufficiency” may be a better term for these lower levels than “vitamin D deficiency”.
So far, the most clearly established benefit of vitamin D is that it helps the body absorb calcium and therefore promotes healthy bones. However, a steady drumbeat of studies beginning in the 1980s started to build a case that low blood levels of D were connected with a variety of chronic health problems, leading to claims by a number of researchers that the RDA for D was way too low. The confusion and controversy surrounding optimal vitamin D intake and blood values prompted the U.S. and Canadian governments to request that the Institute of Medicine review the evidence on vitamin D and calcium and update the DRIs.
To learn more about the vitamins and minerals you need to stay healthy, read Making Sense of Vitamins and Minerals, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School.
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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.
Q: Why Is Vitamin D Important
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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Other Ways To Get Enough Vitamin D
There are other ways to get vitamin D beyond just taking a supplement. Sunshine is an excellent source of vitamin D, and so are many foods.
Spending 10 to 20 minutes in the sun provides 1,000-10,000 IUs of vitamin D. The amount of time you should spend in the sun and the number of IUs youll get will vary on the season, where you live in the world, and how dark your skin is. No matter where you are, the short time in the sun that you spend daily should be unexposed so that your body can adequately absorb the light.
Try incorporating vitamin D-rich foods into your diet, too. Here are some options:
- Fatty fish are high in vitamin D.
- Some mushrooms, like portobello and maitake, have proper levels of vitamin D, especially if theyre grown using UV light.
- The United States fortifies milk with vitamin D. Still, raw milk is known to have naturally occurring vitamin D as well. It may even have a higher concentration of nutrients.
When Should You Take Vitamin D Morning Or Night
There is limited research on whether taking vitamin D in the morning or at night is better, so its really up to personal preference. Some people find taking vitamin D in the morning or at a certain time of day useful for remembering, especially if they also take other tablets. Whereas others prefer the evenings at dinner time, with some research suggesting better absorption with a meal, but other minimal evidence would suggest that late-night consumption could affect sleep.
Konstantin Karuzin, co-founder and medical director at Bioniq, tells GoodtoKnow that ultimately aiming for breakfast could be best. Breakfast is a great time to take an immune supporting supplement, such as bioniq IMMUNE, which contains the highest-grade antioxidants and Swiss manufactured vitamins, including Zinc, Vitamin D3, K2 and C. It is blended into tiny granules that should be taken in the morning and then again in the evening for optimal absorption. This unique absorption process allows you to digest and tolerate the granules easier than vitamins that are taken singularly in pill format, which can often cause nausea and other adverse side effects. Simply mix the formula into smoothies, on top of yogurt or with juice or water.
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Best Vitamins For Women Over 50
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Women over 50 are prone to nutrient deficiencies. The good news is vitamins for women over 50 have come a long way. But first, lets talk about why you need to get serious about your nutrients as you enter perimenopause, menopause, and beyond.
Aging is a beautiful experience but it frankly comes with some tough pills to swallow. Youre likely well-acquainted with several of agings less than pleasant side effects, but one you might not be aware of is the that happens as you get older.
Due to less stomach acid, your body is not able to absorb nutrients as well as it used to. This in combination with a decreased need for as many calories can cause nutritional deficiencies.
If youre over the age of 50, its very important to eat a healthy diet rich in whole foods, fruits and vegetables but it also may be necessary to supplement with additional vitamins.
Below, we cover the best vitamins and multivitamins for women over 50.
How Can You Get Vitamin D
Your body makes the nutrient when the sun shines directly on your skin. Just 10 to 15 minutes of sunlight without sunscreen a couple of times a week usually gives you enough vitamin D. But its also important to protect your skin, since too much time under the suns rays can cause skin cancer. When youre out in the sun for more than a few minutes, its best to wear sunscreen or clothing that covers you up.
So how else can you get this nutrient? A few foods have it naturally, including:
· Fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel. Theyre the best source of vitamin D.
· Beef liver, cheese, and egg yolks
· Mushrooms have a small amount
In the U.S., other foods are fortified with vitamin D, such as:
- Are infants who eat only breast milk
- Those who take certain anticonvulsant drugs
Vitamin D deficiency is also common for people living in the northern parts of the U.S.
Studies have found prescription-strength vitamin D lotions can help people with psoriasis. Researchers have also studied how it affects other conditions from cancer to high blood pressure, but the evidence is unclear.
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Vitamin D And Your Health
Vitamin D, nicknamed the sunshine vitamin because your body produces it after sun exposure, has long been known to help build strong bones by increasing the body’s absorption of calcium and phosphorous. But beginning in 2000, research into vitamin D’s role in other health conditions began to expand rapidly.
While there is strong support for vitamin D’s role in bone health, the evidence that it prevents other health conditions is not yet conclusive, says Dr. Manson. “Research on vitamin D and calcium supplementation has been mixed and, especially when it comes to randomized clinical trials, has been generally disappointing to date,” she says.
Dr. Manson was a principal investigator of the recently published Vitamin D and Omega-3 Trial , a large study . The study found that those taking a vitamin D supplement did not lower rates of heart attack, stroke, or cancer. However, among people who later developed cancer, those who took vitamin D supplements for at least two years had a 25% lower chance of dying from their cancer compared with those who received a placebo.