Should I Take Vitamin D Or D3
Whether found in foods or dietary supplements, Vitamin D actually comes in two main forms:
- Vitamin D2 is in some mushrooms
- Vitamin D3 is in beef liver, egg yolks, cheese, oily fish, and fish liver oil
Can you take vitamin D3 every day? Yes! Research shows that vitamin D3 is roughly 87% more potent in raising blood levels of vitamin D and produces two to three times greater storage of vitamin D in the body compared to vitamin D2, thus making vitamin D3 the preferred vitamin D form by the body.
When should you take vitamin D: morning or night? While time of day doesnt really matter with your vitamin D dosage, many people take vitamins as part of their morning routine. Because vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, its absorbed more easily in the presence of dietary fat. For breakfast, this could mean eating some healthy fat such as avocado, full-fat dairy, or eggs with your supplement for best vitamin D absorption.
Learn More: The Best Time to Take Vitamins
How Much Vitamin D Should I Take Per Day
According to Harvard Nutrition Source, we should all be aiming for the Recommended Dietary Allowance of vitamin D. For adults aged over 19 years old, this is 600 IU daily and for adults over the age of 70, its 800 IU daily. But the maximum daily intake unlike to cause harmful effects on the health is 4000 IU, so those lacking in the essential nutrient might consider topping up with vitamins matching this level.
To put this into context, the average IU of standard vitamin D tablets is 1000 IU. This means that whatever the personal recommendation for intake of vitamin D is, a standard vitamin D tablet such as that bought in the supermarket or health food shop, should do the job.
Its not only for immune support that experts recommend vitamin D, however. Vitamin D plays a vital role in calcium absorption and is required for healthy bone and cartilage development and maintenance. It can also help support healthy muscle function and circulation too.LloydsPharmacy pharmacist, Pareena Patel tells us. Its a vitamin which is essential for babies, children, adults and the elderly alike. It is important to take a supplement which has the right intake for the individual. For example, babies should not be taking the same supplement as adults and vice-versa, as too much vitamin D can have a detrimental effect.
It May Improve Symptoms Of Seasonal Affective Disorder
While vitamin Ds potential role in helping prevent or manage clinical depression is still unclear because of limited research, researchers believe that a persons vitamin D level may indeed play a role in the risk of seasonal affective disorder, or seasonal depression, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Because there is less sunlight in winter, people tend to produce less vitamin D, which may affect the activity of the neurotransmitterserotonin and play a role in seasonal affective disorder.
Serotonin is the same chemical that your brain pumps out when you go on a long run, eat a piece of chocolate, or hold the hand of the person you love. Its a feel-good hormone. So when the serotonin level is thrown off you may feel blue or be at a greater risk for mood disorders, notes World Psychiatry. Foroutan points out that healthcare providers may prescribe vitamin D supplements to help treat seasonal affective disorder.
Studies on the effectiveness of vitamin D as a depression treatment have had mixed results, but a recent one shows promise. A review and meta-analysis published in July 2022 in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition found that daily vitamin D supplementation equal to or exceeding 2,000 IU per day may help reduce depressive symptoms. However, researchers described their results as having very low certainty.
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How Does Vitamin D Affect Womens Health
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.
Do I Need A Vitamin D Supplement If I’m Vegetarian
It is already not that easy to obtain sufficient vitamin D content through dietary intake alone but it will also be more challenging with a plant-based diet as the richest dietary sources of vitamin D are found in animal foods.
The other important thing you need to know as a vegan or vegetarian is there are different types of vitamin D. Vitamin D3 is found exclusively in animal foods, and is also the form of vitamin D that is manufactured through your skin when exposed to sunlight, and vitamin D2 is typically the form found in plant sources.
The form of vitamin D that you choose can actually make a big difference. Vitamin D2 has been shown to be less effective than vitamin D3 at raising vitamin concentrations in the blood .
Make sure you pay attention to the label and consider choosing vitamin D3 over vitamin D2 for improved vitamin D absorption.
Algae is now a popular dietary supplement for vegetarians because it provides vitamin D3 but is entirely plant-based. This is an ideal option for vegetarians who are not obtaining sufficient amounts of vitamin D3 and want to find a vegan-friendly alternative.
If you are not getting daily sun exposure then it probably will be a good idea to look into a daily supplement and find your optimal dose with your doctor.
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Vitamin K1 Vs Vitamin K2 For Osteoporosis
Vitamin K1 is processed in the liver and plays a larger role in the coagulation of our blood, whereas Vitamin K2, on the other hand, is processed in the intestine. This makes it more available to different tissues than Vitamin K1.
A large meta-analysis published in 2006 in the Archives of Internal Medicine demonstrated that while both Vitamin K1 and Vitamin K2 were beneficial for osteoporosis and bone health, Vitamin K2 was more effective than Vitamin K1.
The meta-analysis found that high levels of Vitamin K2 were associated with reduced:
- Hip fractures .
- Non-vertebral fractures .
As mentioned before, it has been shown that Vitamin K2 is also beneficial for your cardiovascular system.
The Takeaway On Vitamin D And Your Health
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that can help fortify bones and keep them strong while also potentially lowering the risk of cancer and death from cancer for some individuals. But its other effects need to be further investigated before scientists, doctors, and everyone else can make informed decisions about supplementing or upping dietary intake of the vitamin.
Until then, take steps to get your recommended daily amount of the nutrient through food, supplements, and sunlight . If you suspect that you have a vitamin D deficiency, talk to your doctor about getting a blood test to check if your level is adequate.
Additional reporting by Melinda Carstensen and Kayla Blanton.
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Your Value Is Between 40
In the view of vitamin D experts this level means you’re getting an adequate amount of vitamin D. Most people would produce this amount of vitamin D in their body if they were exposed to the sun completely naked all year at the equator. These levels are also achieved by hunter-gatherers in the bush in Africa who live a traditional way of life.
At this vitamin D level, the body can perfectly regulate calcium absorption via the adequate formation of parathyroid hormone. Breastfeeding mothers can sufficiently pass on vitamin D to their baby through breast milk.
Some studies suggest that these amounts of vitamin D are associated with a reduced risk of certain cancers and with better heart and circulation health. Research results also indicate that vitamin D levels in this range strengthen the immune system and support the body in fighting infection.
If your vitamin D blood level is e.g. 25 ng/ml or higher and you want to increase them, you can take the following amount of vitamin D :
To reach the mentioned value.. take this vitamin D Dose per day:
50 ng/ml ..900 IU 70 ng/ml ..5700 IU
How Much Vitamin D Should I Get From The Sun
In addition to wondering how much vitamin D should I take, many people wonder how much vitamin D should I get from the sun.
Theres a reason that vitamin D is referred to as the sunshine vitamin. Sunlight exposure on our bare skin is the single best way to get enough vitamin D. Unfortunately most people today dont spend enough time in the sun, due to factors like working long hours inside, living in cold climates, being afraid of sunburns, etc.
In order to get enough vitamin D naturally from the sun its important to get outside and expose your skin to sunlight, without sunscreen. Aim to spend about 1020 minutes in the sun daily with as much of your bare skin exposed as you can, which will help your body produce vitamin D. You will absorb the most sunlight between about 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Melanin is a substance that affects how light or dark your skin color is. The amount of melanin you have in your skin also affects the amount of vitamin D you can produce, so the fairer your skin, the more easily you can make vitamin D. If you have dark skin, you will likely need more time in the sun, roughly 40 to 60 minutes daily, to make enough vitamin D.
Eating vitamin D-rich foods like eggs, raw milk and fish can also helps improve your blood levels of vitamin D.
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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.
What Are Good Sources Of Vitamin D
You can get your vitamin D daily dosage from three main sources: the sun, food, and supplements. While you can spend 10-15 minutes in the sun without sunscreen every day to increase your vitamin D intake, you might be worried about damaging UV rays. Thats why its important to ensure your diet includes plenty of vitamin D-rich foods. Good sources include fatty fish, cod liver oils, beef liver, cheese, egg yolks, and mushrooms, as well as vitamin D-fortified foods . Finally, taking a vitamin D supplement can fill in any nutritional gaps.
Learn More: How Much Vitamin D Do You Get from the Sun?
The Bottom Line
Vitamin D is important for maintaining bone health, muscle functioning, and immunity. But with up to 40% of U.S. adults having a vitamin D deficiency, you might be wondering, How much vitamin D should I take? The daily dosage depends on a variety of factors , but in general, its recommended that most adults take 15mcg or 600 IU of vitamin D per day.
Continue to check back on the Nature Made blog for the latest science-backed articles to help you take ownership of your health.
Learn More About Vitamins & Supplements:
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as medical advice or a recommendation for any specific product. Consult your health care provider for more information.
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My Recommended Daily Dose For Vitamin D In Older Adults
For most older adults, I recommend a supplement of vitamin D 1000 IU/day.
I do this because:
- The American Geriatrics Society recommends that clinicians tell older patients to take vitamin D 1000 IU/day, to help prevent fractures.
I also do this because:
- Many older adults have risk factors for vitamin D deficiency. These include having osteoporosis and spending limited time outdoors.
- The skin becomes less able to synthesize vitamin D as people get older.
- Vitamin D seems to be involved in muscle function. Some research has suggested it can help reduce falls, other research hasnt confirmed this finding. Either way, it seems sensible to avoid frank deficiency.
- In the vast majority of older people, taking vitamin D 1000 IU as a supplement every day has very low risk of harm.
- Research suggests that taking vitamin D 1000 IU/day will prevent low vitamin D levels in most older adults.
Other expert groups have provided similar vitamin D guidance. For instance, in 2010 the Institute of Medicine published a report with age-based Recommended Daily Allowances for vitamin D in normal healthy persons. For people aged 1-70, they recommended 600 IU/day. For people aged 71+, they recommended 800 IU/day.
Research suggests that low levels of vitamin D are common in older adults who dont take supplements, but are uncommon in those who do take supplemental vitamin D.
Tips On Getting Vitamin D For Adults 50 And Over
Vitamin D supplementation will often be the most appropriate treatment option for the older adult population which will have an increased need for vitamin D intake.
It’s especially important for these populations to pay attention to their vitamin status as vitamin D insufficiency has been associated with cognitive decline, depression, and conditions associated with low bone mineral density like osteoporosis .
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Extrarenal Benefits Of Vdra
VDRA in many of the nontraditional tissues may explain beneficial effects independent from decreased synthesis and secretion of PTH. In some instances, calcitriol treatment facilitates local tissue uptake of calcidiol through as yet undefined mechanisms. At least 38 different tissues are known to contain the VDR and often these cells contain 1âhydroxylase enzyme that generate calcitriol locally. This is in an autocrine/paracrine manner rather than as a renal production of calcitriol. These cells respond to exogenous or kidney-generated calcitriol as well as to the internally generated secosteroid. These autocrine/paracrine related VDR rely critically on an adequate source of calcidiol so that calcitriol can be made internally. This helps to explain the essentiality of adequate vitamin D nutrition in patients with constrained levels of circulating calcitriol. Even in the presence of advanced renal failure, peripheral tissue generation of calcitriol can be maintained if an adequate nutritional supply of vitamin D and thus calcidiol is available., The effects of VDRA in peripheral tissues are beyond the scope of this review, though noted to be very important.
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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Effects Of Taking Too Much Vitamin D
Taking too many vitamin D supplements over a long time can cause too much calcium to build up in the body . This can weaken the bones and damage the kidneys and the heart.
If you choose to take vitamin D supplements, 10 micrograms a day is enough for most people.
Do not take more than 100 micrograms of vitamin D a day as it could be harmful. This applies to adults, the elderly, and children aged 11 to 17 years.
Children aged 1 to 10 years should not have more than 50 micrograms a day. Infants under 12 months should not have more than 25 micrograms a day.
Some people have medical conditions that mean they may not be able to safely take as much. If in doubt, talk to your GP.
Follow the advice of your GP if they recommend that you take a different amount of vitamin D.
You cannot overdose on vitamin D through exposure to sunlight. But always remember to cover up or protect your skin if you’re out in the sun for long periods to reduce the risk of skin damage and skin cancer.