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How Much Vitamin D Should You Take

Can You Ever Have Too Much Vitamin D

How Much Vitamin D Should You Take?

Yes. You can get too much vitamin D if you overdo the supplements. Interestingly, you cannot get too much vitamin D from the sun. Vitamin D toxicity is, thankfully, quite rare but can lead to hypercalcemia and together the symptoms can include:

Do not take higher-than-recommended doses of vitamin D without first discussing it with your doctor. However, your doctor might recommend higher doses of vitamin D if he or she is checking your blood levels and adjusting your dose accordingly. Also, be cautious about getting large doses of vitamin A along with the D in some fish oils. Vitamin A can also reach toxic levels and can cause serious problems.

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.

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Can You Take Too Much Vitamin D

Too much vitamin D can be harmful. The body cant make too much vitamin D in the sun.

Excess weight gain often occurs as a result of taking supplements. However, it is very rare and usually only occurs when people take a very high dose for an extended period of time, such as over a year.

The highest amount of vitamin D a person can take before it causes health problems is 4,000 IU daily.

Signs of high vitamin D levels in the blood include:

  • nausea

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How Common Is Vitamin D Deficiency

Despite the nutrient’s importance, vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency are incredibly common. Right now, around 29% of U.S. adults are considered straight-up vitamin D deficient , while 41% are vitamin D insufficient .

Part of the problem is that most people who are either deficient or toeing the line of deficiency don’t have any obvious signs and only find out that their levels are low because of routine blood screenings done by their doctor, Henderson tells mbg. When physical indications of deficiency do develop, they may include low mood, brain fog, and poor immune function. Not a pretty picture.

What Is Vitamin Dand What’s All The Fuss About

How Much Vitamin D Should You Take?

Vitamin D is classified as a fat-soluble vitamin, but it’s unique in that it’s also a preprohormone and a really important one, at that. “There are binding sites for on nearly every cell in the body,” integrative dietitian Whitney Crouch, RDN, CLT, tells mbg. “Vitamin D3 plays a role in calcium absorption and balance, bone mineralization, immune function, cardiovascular health, and more.”*

Vitamin D also plays a crucial role in thyroid function and supports a healthy pregnancy.* .

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Is Vitamin D Deficiency An Epidemic No Its Not

Thomas Carpenter, MD, Yale Medicine pediatric endocrinologist and director of the Yale School of Medicines Center for X-Linked Hypophosphatemia

Based on the United States Dietary Association and National Health and Nutrition Surveys , the bulk of the population is not vitamin D-deficient. The population we tend to see vitamin D deficiency inand its typically in wintertimeare breastfed infants. Breast milk doesn’t have much vitamin D in it. That’s what spurred a recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatrics that every breastfed infant be given vitamin D . But if infants aren’t given multivitamin drops, they need to be given 200 IU a day of vitamin D for the first two months of life and 400 units a day afterwards until theyre drinking formula or milk, which are each fortified with vitamin D.

Choosing The Best Vitamin D Supplement For Your Health

If you choose to go the supplement route, Clifford recommends taking around 400 to 800 IU of vitamin D3 per day. Vitamin D3 is the form that is already stored in the body, so some studies have found it to be more effective, Clifford says. Also, take vitamin D with a healthy fat, such as sliced avocado, because it is a fat-soluble vitamin that requires fat to be absorbed.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration doesnt oversee supplements, so it can be tough to know if youre buying a good one. Some research has found the potency of supplements varies greatly among brands. The supplements tested in the aforementioned research had between 9 and 146 percent of the expected dose. The researchers found supplements from a USP-verified bottle were the most accurate and least variable, so when youre looking for a supplement, be on the lookout for the USP mark.

Meghan Sedivy, RD, of Fresh Thyme Farmers Market, recommends:

  • Garden of Life Vitamin Code RAW D3
  • Solaray Vitamin D3

Since D3 sometimes comes from animal sources, vegans should opt for vitamin D2 or a D3 supplement marked as vegan, such as Vitashine Vegan D3 Supplement.

Recommended Reading: Why Do We Need Vitamin D

Babies Need A Vitamin D Boost

Because a typical mothers breast milk does not give her baby enough vitamin D, breastfed babies need vitamin D supplementation. Either the baby can be given drops of 400 IU a day directly or the mother can take 5,000 IU a day , which will fortify her milk with enough vitamin D for the baby. We call this super milk!

Although all standard infant formulas are fortified with vitamin D, vitamin D supplementation is also recommended for formula-fed babies. A baby would need to drink a quart of formula each day to get the recommended amount of vitamin D, Dr. Levine says, and young infants may not take in that much. Consult with your babys pediatrician or healthcare provider to make sure they are getting all the vitamin D they need.

Best Exercises For Bone Density

How Much Vitamin D Should I Take?

Exercise is crucial in maintaining adequate bone density. Those with this condition are prone to breaking bones when they fall but also because when their bones are constantly compacted it pushes them outwards and will eventually lead to dislocations. The best form of exercise for osteoporosis sufferers is weight bearing exercises like walking, jogging or yoga. These activities encourage the body to maintain structural integrity by constantly strengthening the muscles and supporting joints like the knees and ankles.

Also Check: How Early Should I Start Taking Prenatal Vitamins

Why Vitamin K May Help Reduce Calcification In Arteries

By helping to draw calcium into the bones and teeth, vitamin K may help reduce the amount of calcium in soft tissues, like the arteries. A 2015 study from Integrative Medicine: A Clinicians Journal states that vitamin K2 may reduce arterial calcification that is, a buildup of calcium-containing plaque in the arteries because it may help stop calcium from sticking to artery walls. It may also reduce arterial stiffness.

Now, this doesnt mean that vitamin D is harmful if you take it without vitamin K. It also doesnt mean that vitamin D contributes to calcification in your arteries. More evidence is needed to find out whether these claims are true. However, this research does mean that vitamin K may improve your arterial health if you are taking calcium supplements. As vitamin D promotes higher levels of calcium in the body, it may therefore be wise to take vitamin D with vitamin K2.

Editorial Sources And Fact

  • Kennel K, Drake M, Hurley D. Vitamin D Deficiency in Adults. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. August 2010.
  • Forrest KY, Stuhldreher WL. Prevalence and Correlates of Vitamin D Deficiency in US Adults. Nutrition Research. January 2011.
  • Vitamin D Fact Sheet for Health Professionals. National Institutes of Health. August 7, 2019.
  • Bolland M, Grey A, Avenell A. Effects of Vitamin D Supplementation on Musculoskeletal Health: A Systematic Review, Meta-Analysis, and Trial Sequential Analysis. The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology. October 2018.
  • Manson J, Cook N, Lee I-M, et al. Vitamin D Supplements and Prevention of Cancer and Cardiovascular Disease. The New England Journal of Medicine. January 2019.
  • Pittas A, Dawson-Hughes B, Sheehan P. Vitamin D Supplementation and Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes. The New England Journal of Medicine. June 2019.
  • Theodoratou E, Tzoulaki I, Zgaga L, Ioannidis JPA. Vitamin D and Multiple Health Outcomes: Umbrella Review of Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses of Observational Studies and Randomized Trials. BMJ. April 2014.
  • Elorinne A, Alfthan G, Erlund I, et al. Food and Nutrient Intake and Nutritional Status of Finnish Vegans and Non-Vegetarians. PLoS One. February 2016.
  • Vanlint S. Vitamin D and Obesity. Nutrients. March 2013.
  • Drincic A, Armas L, van Diest EE, Heaney RP. Volumetric Dilution, Rather That Sequestration Best Explains the Low Vitamin D Status of Obesity. Obesity. July 2012.
  • Am I Deficient in Vitamin D? The Vitamin D Council.
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    Pmqs: Boris Johnson Urged To Introduce Vitamin D Treatment

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    The NHS says if you choose to take vitamin D supplements, 10 micrograms a day will be enough for most people. It adds: “Do not take more than 100 micrograms of vitamin D a day as it could be harmful.” Nonetheless, your doctor has recommended you take a different amount of vitamin D, you should follow their advice. You cannot overdose on vitamin D through exposure to sunlight

    Should Everyone Get Their Vitamin D Levels Checked Generally No

    How Much Vitamin D

    Karl Insogna, MD, director of Yale Medicines Bone Center

    Most people should be fine. Testing is important only for certain populations: for people who are institutionalized for patients with a gastrointestinal disorder or osteoporosis those who have had weight loss surgery those on anti-convulsant medications and children who are immobilized and not outside and active. If youre over 70, I recommend getting your levels checked at least one time.

    People whose cultural or religious beliefs require them to be fully clothed, especially if theyre living in northern climates, and whose dietary habits include little or no dairy , may also be vitamin D-deficient and should be tested.

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    How Is Vitamin D Deficiency Treated

    The goals of treatment and prevention are the sameto reach, and then maintain, an adequate level of vitamin D in the body. While you might consider eating more foods that contain vitamin D and getting a little bit of sunlight, you will likely be told to take vitamin D supplements.

    Vitamin D comes in two forms: D2 and D3. D2, also called ergocalciferol, comes from plants. D3, also called cholecalciferol, comes from animals. You need a prescription to get D2. D3, however, is available over the counter. It is more easily absorbed than D2 and lasts longer in the body dose-for-dose. Work with your doctor to find out if you need to take a vitamin supplement and how much to take if it is needed.

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    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.

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    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.

    How Does Vitamin D Affect Womens Health

    How Much Vitamin D Should You Take?

    Sometimes a little bit of sunshine is the best medicine. A walk in the park or a bike ride probably puts you in a good mood, and a moderate amount of sun is also good for your physical health. While youre outside soaking up rays, your body is busy making vitamin D. Thats good news, because this hormone thats boosted by exposure to sunlight plays an important role in womens health.

    We have known for a long time about vitamin Ds critical role in bone health. More recently, though, vitamin D has been linked to having a potential role in a number of chronic diseases, including heart disease, cancer, inflammation and autoimmune disease.

    Erin Michos, M.D., associate director of preventive cardiology at the Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease, explains why vitamin D is important for womens health and how to make sure youre getting enough.

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    How To Find Out If Youre Vitamin D Deficient

    You may be deficient in vitamin D and not realize it. About 40 percent of Americans are believed to have lower-than-recommended levels. You can learn your vitamin D status if your doctor orders a blood test to check your levels.

    Some people are more likely to have a vitamin D deficiency than others. Americans with darker-colored skin are less efficient at producing their own vitamin D. Older adults may experience deficiency, because their skin may not make vitamin D as well as it did years earlier and they may not get outdoors as often.

    What Is Vitamin D 5000 Iu

    Vitamin D is a nutrient essential for calcium level regulation, strong bones, and healthy immune function.

    There are two ways people can get vitamin D: sun exposure and diet . You get most of your vitamin D from sun exposure. The rest comes from the diet. Most people need about 600 to 800 IU of vitamin D per day through their diet .

    Vitamin D 5000 IU is a high-dose supplement that can help treat vitamin D deficiency, which occurs when people dont get enough vitamin D through the sun or their diet.

    This happens quite frequently: people who live in northern climates or those who spend most of their time indoors often dont get enough exposure to sunlight. Whats more, very few foods naturally contain vitamin D .

    The vitamin D 5000 IU supplements you see in your local drugstore typically contain vitamin D3, a form of vitamin D that is naturally found in fatty fish. Vitamin D2, the other form, is derived from plant sources. Youre more likely to see D3 in supplements, as research has shown that D3 is more effective than D2 in raising vitamin D levels .

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    How Much Vitamin D Do You Need And Are You Getting Enough

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  • As we edge more into winter this year, concerns about being unwell are skyrocketing perhaps quicker than in any other year. But instead of looking to the latest trends to stay healthy, a new study has suggested that turning back to traditional ways to fight off colds and flu could be the answer namely, its vitamin D that has come to the rescue once again.

    A new study in BMJ Nutrition Prevention and Health, conducted by a team from NNEdPro Global Centre for Nutrition & Health in Cambridge and Imperial College London, has analysed data from over 600 adults to look at whether certain vitamins reduce the risk of respiratory infections. It was found that those taking supplements containing vitamin A and D were significantly less likely to report respiratory issues.

    Following this, the studys lead authors have concluded that vitamin D supplements are critical in ensuring that people maintain a good level of vitamin D in their diets, as there wont be enough through food alone. Additionally, Shane McAuliffe from the NNEdPro Nutrition and Covid-19 Taskforce has said that due to the low cost and widespread availability of vitamins, they are a sensible solution to solving deficiency during the winter months.


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