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.
Sunlight And Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a unique vitamin. This is because your body can make it when it is exposed to sunlight.
Many factors can reduce how much vitamin D your body makes, including:
- amount of skin exposed to sunlight
- you make less vitamin D as you get older
These factors make it hard to estimate the amount of vitamin D you make from sun exposure.
Vitamin D Toxicity How Does It Happen
Vitamin D toxicity implies that vitamin D levels in the body are so high that they cause harm.
It is 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 .
However, when vitamin D intake is extreme, the levels can become so high that there isnt any room left on the receptors or carrier proteins.
This may lead to elevated levels of free vitamin D in the body, which may travel inside cells and overwhelm the signalling processes affected by vitamin D.
One of the main signalling processes has to do with increasing the absorption of calcium from the digestive system .
As a result, the main symptom of vitamin D toxicity is hypercalcemia elevated levels of calcium in the blood .
High calcium levels can cause various symptoms, and the calcium can also bind to other tissues and damage them. This includes the kidneys.
It is produced in the skin when it is exposed to sun.
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What Is The Vitamin D Status Of Canadians
Vitamin D status can be measured in two ways – vitamin D dietary intakes, and vitamin D blood levels. It is the blood level data that gives a true picture of the vitamin D status in the body. Vitamin D is unique in that there is another source besides diet and supplements, namely, sunlight. So even if dietary intakes do not appear to be adequate, overall vitamin D status may be much different.
Dietary intake data were collected in the 2004 Canadian Community Health Survey . At a national level, there seems to be a very high prevalence of inadequate vitamin D intakes from food sources
Data on vitamin D intakes from food and supplement sources combined show a lower prevalence of inadequate vitamin D intakes, although still above 50% .
However, estimates of inadequate intakes of vitamin D must be interpreted with caution because the reference values to assess adequacy assume no vitamin D is contributed to the body by sun exposure. For this reason, data on vitamin D intakes from food and supplement sources cannot stand alone and consideration must be given to serum 25-hydroxy-vitamin-D D) levels, a well-established biomarker for vitamin D status.
Health Canada continues to recommend that people over the age of 50 years take a daily vitamin D supplement of 400 International Units .
What Is The Recommended Daily Dose Of Vitamin D
The recommended daily allowance , which is the amount that will meet the nutritional requirements of 97%98% of healthy individuals, for vitamin D in persons over 70 years of age is 800 International Units . This RDA was calculated under the assumption that a person’s vitamin D would be obtained primarily through diet and supplements and not sun exposure.
This RDA is consistent with 25-Hydroxyvitamin D serum concentrations of approximately 20 ng/mL which is at the low end of the range of concentration generally considered to be adequate for bone health and overall health in healthy adults.
The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey has estimated that women in the US > 70 years of age have an average total vitamin D intake from food of only 156 IU per day.
These data indicate that insufficient vitamin D intake may be common. But, keep in mind that there is no consensus about what vitamin D concentrations should be maintained when used in COVID-19. The 25D serum concentration assay, which best reflects the body’s vitamin D status, is readily available and can be used to help individuals decide whether a vitamin D supplement is appropriate for them.
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What Is Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a nutrient that helps the body use calcium and phosphorous to build and maintain strong bones and teeth. Vitamin D is unique in that it can be synthesized by the body after exposure to ultraviolet rays from sunlight. Too little vitamin D can cause calcium and phosphorus levels in the blood to decrease, leading to calcium being pulled out of the bones to help maintain stable blood levels. This can cause rickets in children and osteomalacia or osteoporosis in adults. However, too much vitamin D can cause too much calcium to be deposited in the body, which can lead to calcification of the kidney and other soft tissues including the heart, lungs and blood vessels.
What Foods Provide Calcium
Calcium is found in many foods. You can get recommended amounts of calcium by eating a variety of foods, including the following:
- Milk and milk alternatives such as yogurt, cheese, and fortified plant-based beverages
- Dark green vegetables such as broccoli, kale and spinach
- Fish with soft bones that are eaten, such as canned salmon or sardines.
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How Long Does It Take To Correct A Vitamin D Deficiency
To correct a deficiency, the Endocrine Society suggests that the deficient person has 50,000 IU of vitamin D3 once a week for eight weeks or alternatively, 6000 IU of vitamin D3 daily. This will increase the level of vitamin D3 in the blood, which should correct the deficiency.
Uta Boellinger, from nutritional coach Aiverley, agrees with this. She says that it depends how low your levels are to start with, Most commonly a higher dose is required for six to eight weeks.
So its fairly easy to correct with suitable intervention and its a good job too, since lacking in vitamin D is very common and in fact, its estimated that 1 billion people around the world are vitamin D deficient. This means, also, that it takes more than sunshine and nutrient-rich food to correct a vitamin deficiency so check out these supplements to get started. If in doubt, however, and you feel that a vitamin D deficiency is seriously affecting your life then the best thing to do is to make an appointment with your GP. They will be able to assess the personal situation and run tests to ensure this is actually what the problem is, as some of the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency are also that of more serious conditions.
Vitamin D Is Important For Bones And Your Microbes
Originally, doctors thought that vitamin D was only important for bone health. This was because the vitamin D deficiency caused bone diseases like rickets in children and osteoporosis in adults.. However, in the 1980s scientists discovered that immune cellshad receptors for vitamin D.
My groups research has shown that vitamin D plays an important role in maintaining health in the gastrointestinal tract. Higher levels of vitamin D reduce susceptibility to inflammatory bowel disease and Crohns disease, gut and lung infections in animals and people.
My colleagues and I have discovered that one of the ways vitamin D functions is by keeping the microbes in the gut healthy and happy. Vitamin D increases the number and diversity of microbes living in the gut, which together reduce inflammation throughout the body.
Low vitamin D levels are associated with inflammatory bowel disease in humans. Researchers have found that inflammatory bowel disease patients in Japan have more symptoms in winter than during other seasons.
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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.
How Much Vitamin D Should I Take
A high percentage of adults, somewhere between 50 percent and upward of 90 percent depending on ethnicity and location, are believed to be at least somewhat deficient in vitamin D. It makes sense then that vitamin D is now one of the most widely consumed supplements, though you may wonder how much vitamin D should I take. Its a tricky question, but its important to get enough of this essential vitamin.
Deficiency in vitamin D is a real problem considering that this nutrient has been shown to promote health by helping with absorption of minerals like calcium, aiding in bone health, boosting immune function, supporting growth and development, and much more. If you spend little time outdoors in the sun, have dark skin, are over the age of 70 or live in northern regions of the world where theres less sunshine year-round, then youre more likely to experience vitamin D deficiency symptoms.
When it comes to reaping the many benefits of vitamin D, you may be wondering how much vitamin D should I take? The optimal amount of vitamin D to take in supplement form depends on a number of factors for example, if youre already deficient in vitamin D, your diet, age, health status, where you live and so on. As you can see, answering the question of how much vitamin D I should take isnt necessarily cut and dry.
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What Should Ones Vitamin D Level Be
This question has been hotly, hotly debated. At this time, it depends on whom you ask.
The Institute of Medicine believes a blood level of 20-40 ng/mL should be adequate. The Endocrine Society, the American Geriatrics Society, and some other expert groups recommend a level of at least 30 ng/mL.
As noted above, the party line which I consider reasonable is that most people dont need their vitamin D level checked. In the absence of certain health problems, a low vitamin D level is unlikely in someone who takes a daily supplement.
Not Getting Enough Vitamin D
We dont need vitamin D from food or sunlight every day. But if you dont get enough over a longer period of time, you wont have enough vitamin D for good health known as vitamin D deficiency. This is very common in the UK around one in five adults and one in six children dont have enough vitamin D.
Some people are more likely to have a vitamin D deficiency than others. Supplements and eating foods which contain vitamin D can help.
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Getting Vitamin D From Sunlight
To make vitamin D, you need sunlight on your skin. From April until the end of September its possible to get enough vitamin D by spending time outside.
For most people, you only need to be outside for short periods of time, for example around 20-30 minutes. Although the exact time isnt known because its different for different people. If you have dark skin, for example if youre of south Asian, African or African Caribbean origin, you will need longer in the sun.
You need to have some skin exposed, for example, your forearms, hands and lower legs. But you can still make vitamin D even if you sit in the shade.
Sitting inside by a sunny window doesnt count because glass filters out the UVB rays the type of light that is needed to make vitamin D.
In the UK, we dont get enough vitamin D from sunlight between October and March, because the light doesnt contain enough UVB rays. During this time, we need to rely on getting enough vitamin D from food, and possibly supplements.
The guidelines in the UK are that everyone should consider taking a vitamin D supplement in the winter, especially if youre more like to have a deficiency.
Common Uses Of Vitamin D3
Vitamin D3 helps support immune health as well as various other important functions in the body. As part of your daily health routine, regular D3 supplementation can help protect you against seasonal and environmental threats. Additionally, by helping support immune cell function and promoting healthy immune responses, D3 can help reduce common oxidative stress.
The role that vitamin D3 plays in supporting bone strength allows it to be an important addition to a daily routine for those looking to maintain strong, healthy bones. As part of a healthy lifestyle, D3 can help achieve optimal peak bone mass to support a healthy musculoskeletal structure at any age.
Finally, vitamin D3 can be used to support heart health. A lack of vitamin D3 in the diet can be associated with high cholesterol, so with regular supplementation, you can promote healthy cholesterol levels to support heart and arterial health.
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How To Store Your Vitamin D Supplements
Store the supplements out of the reach of young children.
The supplements should be kept away from pets. Consult with a vet if you are concerned that your pet has consumed any of the vitamin D supplements provided.
Check the product seal is still in place on delivery and do not take the supplements if the seal has been broken.
The Optimum Dose Of Vitamin K2
As the intestines only produce small quantities of vitamin K, we have to provide a supply from foods or supplements that are rich in vitamin K. There is clear evidence that vitamin K intake is too low in Western civilisation.
People over the age of 50 are particularly vulnerable to cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis, but it is precisely at this age that the diet often contains even less vitamin K and the skin’s exposure to sunlight is also severely limited, thus leading to deficiencies in vitamin K and vitamin D.
Professor Vermeer of the University of Maastricht thus recommends that people aged over 50 take a dosage of 100 to 200mcg vitamin K2 per day. The higher dosage of 200mcg is especially recommended for people who have a history of cardiovascular disease or osteoporosis in their families.
People who have early indications of cardiovascular disease or osteoporosis can also take the higher dose to ensure that all the body’s matrix Gla proteins are activated.
45mcg of vitamin K2 a day is generally enough for healthy people under the age of 50, but this recommendation only applies if there is no additional vitamin D3 intake from dietary supplements.
Anyone who wants to ensure an optimal supply and guarantee that all vitamin K2-dependent proteins are activated in the body should take at least 100mcg.
Note: If you are taking medication to prevent blood clots, please consult your doctor before taking vitamin K2.
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Muscle Problems That Are Thought To Be Caused By Statins
Its possible that muscle aches and pains that are often thought to be caused by statins are actually caused by a lack of vitamin D. Too little vitamin D can cause muscle weakness and tenderness in the bones these muscle problems seem very similar to the ones linked to statins.
Because a lack of vitamin D is so common, its likely that many people who are taking statins dont have enough vitamin D.
Your doctor can check if you have enough vitamin D in your blood using a simple blood test.
How To Take Vitamin D3
Use Vitamin D3 ) exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use only the recommended dose of cholecalciferol.
It may be best to take cholecalciferol after a meal, but you may take this medicine with or without food.
Measure liquid medicine carefully. Use the dosing syringe provided, or use a medicine dose-measuring device .
The chewable tablet must be chewed before you swallow it.
To take a disintegrating tablet, place it on your tongue and do not swallow the tablet whole. Allow it to dissolve in your mouth without chewing. If desired, you may drink liquid to help swallow the dissolved tablet.
The cholecalciferol wafer is usually taken only once per week or once per month. Follow your doctor’s dosing instructions very carefully. The wafer must be chewed before you swallow it.
While using cholecalciferol, you will need frequent blood tests. You may also need x-rays.
Your doctor will determine how long to treat you with this medicine.
Cholecalciferol may be only part of a complete program of treatment that also includes dietary changes and taking calcium and vitamin supplements. Follow your doctor’s instructions very closely.
Store at room temperature away from moisture, light, and heat.
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