Which Foods Contain Vitamin D
Oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines, egg yolks, red meat, liver and certain mushrooms that have been grown in sunlight or UV light all contain vitamin D.
Other foods are fortified with vitamin D, such as some breakfast cereals, yoghurt drinks and fat-based spreads.
But it’s hard to get enough from food alone a salmon fillet contains around 13mcg vitamin D , boiled eggs only have 1.6mcg, and a bowl of fortified cereal around 2.5mcg.
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 , a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School.
How Much Is Too Much
Many people dont realise that you can have too much of a good thing. In very high doses, many minerals and vitamins can harm your body. Current guidelines say adults shouldnt take more than the equivalent of 100 micrograms a day. But vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, so your body can store it for months and you dont need it every day. That means you could equally safely take a supplement of 20 micrograms a day or 500 micrograms once a month. Dont worry your doctor or pharmacist arent trying to poison you! You can divide the monthly dose by 30 to give you the daily equivalent, which is what counts.
Of course, speaking of too much of a good thing, too much sunshine can be disastrous for your health. Any redness or even tanning of your skin is a sign that your skin has been damaged. In spring and summer, you can get your vitamin D from 15 to 20 minutes a day with arms and face uncovered in full sun. But dont get burnt this raises the risk of all kinds of skin cancer, but particularly of deadly melanoma.
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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.
Can You Take Too Much Vitamin D
While it is possible to take too much vitamin D, toxicity is very rare.
In fact, you would need to take extremely high doses of 50,000 IU or more for a long period of time .
Its also worth noting that it is impossible to overdose on vitamin D from sunlight .
Although 4,000 IU is set as the maximum amount of vitamin D you can take safely, several studies have shown that taking up to 10,000 IU daily wont cause side effects (
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What Are Healthy Blood Vitamin D Levels
With the importance of vitamin D for health, you would think this would be an easy answer. However, there are some differences of opinion among leading health authorities. The US Institute of Medicine has suggested that a level of at least 20 ng/mL is good enough for bone health, based on the dietary reference intakes. However, other organizations, like the Endocrine Society, have suggested that at least 30 ng/mL should be achieved.
Interestingly, it seems like that 30 ng/mL may really be necessary for optimal immune system health. A recent study conducted during the height of the 2020 COVID pandemic found that vitamin D levels above 30 ng/mL were associated with a lower risk of hospitilization and death. This is consistent with a recent meta-analysis of several clinical studies that concluded that higher vitamin D levels were associated with a lower risk of COVID infection. I would say thats reason enough, eh?
So how do I find out my vitamin D levels? You can ask your doctor to include it during your annual physical . There are also a number of companies out there that offer at-home testing as well, here is one you can get for about 50 bucks. So, when you want to know how much vitamin D should I take a day, its always best to get tested, so that you know you are taking the right amount.
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.”
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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.
It’s difficult for people to get enough vitamin D from food alone. So you can take a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D during autumn and winter.
Between late March to the end of September, most people can get all the vitamin D they need through sunlight on their skin and from a balanced diet.
You do not have to take a vitamin D supplement during these months.
You can get Vitamin D supplements from pharmacies. They are available as a tablet, including a chewable tablet and a tablet that dissolves in your mouth.
You should take vitamin D supplements with a large meal to help your body absorb the vitamin D.
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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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.
Your Value Is Between 80
These values are only slightly above those that can be achieved naturally by exposing the skin to the sunlight. It is assumed that these values cannot be achieved without taking vitamin D in dietary supplement form. To date, no risks are known which would result from consistently high values in the range of 80-100 ng/ml.
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Taking Vitamin D Safely
Please make sure you read and comply with the instructions set out on the product label.
Each 1-A-Day vitamin D supplement contains 10 micrograms of vitamin D. This is equivalent to 400 international units of vitamin D. This is the daily amount recommended for the general population by government for general health and in particular to protect bone and muscle health.
If your GP has recommended that you take a different amount of vitamin D, you should follow your GPs advice.
Do not exceed the recommended dose equivalent to 400 international units). This is a safe level of intake, designed to meet your nutritional needs. Taking more is not currently recommended.
For most people taking up to 100 micrograms equivalent to 4,000 international units) per day is considered safe. In a few people, taking too many vitamin D supplements over a long period of time can cause too much calcium to build up in the body . This can weaken the bones and damage the kidneys and the heart. NHS.UK has more information about vitamin D, including advice on intakes.
While some medications may interact with high doses of vitamin D, there are no issues associated with the 10 microgram vitamin D supplement. They are intended to supplement the diet and should not be substituted for a varied diet.
How Much Vitamin D Should A Woman Take
We have seen many health benefits of the sunshine vitamin and how undoubtedly important it is for a womans well-being. Though Vitamin D deficiency is harmful, too much Vitamin D is potentially dangerous.
So, like all other essential substances, the Vitamin D level in the body needs to be kept in check.
Not a lot of foods are naturally rich in Vitamin D not even fortified foods like breakfast cereals. Hence, it is important for a woman to take supplements to ensure enough Vitamin D is in her blood levels to stay healthy. So lets see what health professionals have to say about controlled amounts of this essential nutrient.
Based on various national institutes, 4,000 IU is considered to be the safe upper limit of daily Vitamin D intake. This amount was medically reviewed by specialists. Elderly women over 70 years need more Vitamin D compared to teenagers and younger women.
The recommended dietary allowance for older women is around 800 IU daily. For females below this age group, 600 UI is the daily recommended intake to prevent Vitamin D deficiency.
Scientific references say that summer sun exposure for about ten minutes every day can help to fight Vitamin D deficiency. However, one should always be careful when going in direct sunlight as those UV rays are not particularly friendly.
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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.
People With Medical Conditions That Reduce Fat Absorption
Because vitamin D is fat-soluble, it relies on the guts ability to absorb fat from the diet.
Thus, people who have medical conditions that reduce fat absorption are prone to vitamin D deficiencies. These include inflammatory bowel disease , liver disease and also people who have had bariatric surgery (
Summary: Those who need the most vitamin D are older people, people with darker skin, those who live farther from the equator and people who cant absorb fat properly.
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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 .
What Is Vitamin D3
Vitamin D, also known as cholecalciferol, is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays a vital role in many of the body’s functions. Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption and bone health, and it also supports immune function and cell growth.
While our bodies can produce vitamin D from exposure to sunlight, many of us don’t get enough sun exposure to meet our needs. This is why vitamin D supplements are becoming increasingly popular.
Vitamin D comes in two forms: D2 and D3. Vitamin D3 is the form that is most commonly found in supplements, as it is more bioavailable than vitamin D2.
Vitamin D is having a moment in the sun. Low vitamin D levels have been linked to an increased risk of everything from heart disease, diabetes, and cancer to mood disorders and dementia in recent years, according to research. The results have not gone unnoticed. Vitamin D supplements and testing kits are becoming increasingly popular.
Fortunately, this vitamin D increase isn’t all sunshine and lollipops. Some consumers are taking too much vitamin D supplements. Researchers examined national survey data from 1999 to 2014 and discovered a 2.8 percent rise in the number of individuals taking potentially harmful dosages of vitamin D.
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