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How Should You Take Vitamin D Supplements

Do You Pee Out Excess Vitamin A

Vitamin D Supplements — Should You Take Them?

Although high doses of some vitamins and minerals are acceptable for some people, high amounts can be harmful. The appropriate dosage can depend on a vitamins solubility, which is categorized into the following two groups: Water-soluble. Your body flushes out excess amounts of these vitamins through your urine.

Vitamin D And Osteoporosis

In the past, scientists have become very excited about other ‘antioxidant’ vitamins, particularly vitamins A, C and E and their role in preventing heart disease. The thinking went something like this: people who eat lots of fruit and veg are less likely to have heart attacks fruit and veg are high in antioxidant vitamins antioxidants are a good thing because they mop up ‘free radicals’ which can damage DNA so if people don’t get their vitamins through fruit and veg, giving them in supplement form will be just as good. In fact, when the studies were done, topping up with supplements didn’t cut heart disease risk at all.

The new study shows a similar result for vitamin D, at least as far as fractures, falls and bone density are concerned. There is no evidence that taking supplements cuts the risk of fractures or falls, or improves bone density. So doctors need to question whether they should be prescribing to people at risk of osteoporosis, and we all have to go back to the drawing board to protect ourselves.

For strong bones, calcium is also important. Dairy products, seeds, pulses, tofu, tinned fish with bones and some green leafy vegetables are all good sources. Interestingly, calcium supplements don’t appear to help much, and recent research suggests they may actually increase the risk of heart attack, so doctors are much more wary about prescribing these too.

Can You Get Enough Vitamin D From The Sun Alone

Some people will be able to get enough vitamin D just from sunlight. However, it depends on where in the world they live, the time of year, the time of day, and their skin color.

People who live nearer the equator get more sun exposure. In the Northern Hemisphere, a person may not get sufficient vitamin D from sunlight during the winter.

The sun is usually strongest between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. In the summer, a person does not need to be out in the sun for very long during this period to make enough vitamin D.

The amount of melanin a persons skin contains affects how much vitamin D they can make. Less melanin results in lighter skin, which does not protect as well against harmful ultraviolet rays.

People with more melanin in their skin have better protection from the sun, but take longer to make vitamin D. In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that Mexican-Americans and non-Hispanic black people are more likely to have vitamin D deficiency.

These varied factors make it difficult to recommend how much sunlight a person should get to make the vitamin D that their body needs.

The Vitamin D Council gives some examples:

  • At noon during summer in Miami, someone with a medium skin tone would need to expose one-quarter of their skin to sunlight for 6 minutes.
  • At noon during summer in Boston, someone with a darker skin tone would need to expose one-quarter of their skin to sunlight for 2 hours.
Age
  • egg yolk
  • beef liver

Read Also: What Vitamins Are Good To Take When Pregnant

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.
  • How Much Vitamin D Should I Take For Specific Conditions

    Should you be taking a vitamin D supplement right now?

    How much vitamin D should I take if Im deficient?

    If a blood test has revealed that youre low in vitamin D, you can either take smaller doses for a long period of time to bring your level up, such as 5,000 to 10,000 IU per day, or a high dose administered over the course of several weeks. For adults with low vitamin D levels, the Endocrine Society recommends taking at least 1,5002,000 IU per day.

    If youre taking a very high dose all at once, such as more than 40,000 IU, then its possible that side effects may occur due to vitamin D toxicity. The best thing to do is talk with your doctor about supplementing with higher doses of vitamin D if you are severely deficient or have a very low level according to a blood test.

    How much vitamin D should I take for depression?

    Theres some evidence that low vitamin D levels are linked with depression, although this doesnt mean that vitamin D deficiency causes depression. Rather, its speculated that people who dont spend much time outside or eat vitamin D foods may also be more likely to develop depression. The dosages of vitamin D used in studies that have focused on depression have varied, typically between 600 IU/day to 4,000 IU/day.

    How much vitamin D should I take to lose weight?

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    Why Certain People May Need A Vitamin D Supplement

    Why are some groups at greater risk of low vitamin D levels? In most cases, it can be traced back to their diet or lifestyle. Take vegans, for instance. Many have low vitamin D levels because they avoid foods that are rich in vitamin D including meat, fish, egg yolks, and dairy products that have been fortified with the vitamin. One study published in February 2016 in PLoS One found vitamin D serum concentration was 34 percent lower among study participants who followed a vegan diet compared with those who ate meat and dairy.

    But there are ways to get added Vitamin D into your diet as a vegan. For instance, plant milk beverages, such those made from soy, oats, and almond, are often fortified with vitamin D to the level found in fortified cows milk , according to the National Institutes of Health. Check the nutrition facts label for the actual amount.

    People with obesity also may need a supplement. Research has suggested the possible reasons for deficiency include a lower dietary intake of vitamin D among obese men compared with nonobese men and women, the possibility that obese people expose less skin to the sun , and a decrease in the absorption rate of vitamin D among people whove had bariatric or gastric bypass procedures. Indeed, one study suggested recommendations for vitamin D targets should be based on body weight rather than simply suggesting 600 IU for everyone across the board.

    Do Vitamin D Supplements Reduce Covid

    There is some evidence of an association between vitamin D deficiency and increased severity of COVID-19. However, vitamin D supplementation is only recommended for people with vitamin D deficiency, or those at risk of deficiency, such as older people who are frail, housebound or living in residential care, people with dark skin pigmentation or people with obesity, chronic kidney disease, liver failure or another medical condition that affects vitamin D metabolism.

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    Make Food Your Plan A

    With hundreds of supplements available, itâs hard to believe that not every nutrient in whole foods has been captured in a capsule. Thatâs why eating a variety of healthy foods is the best way to meet your health needs. But if youâre low on a certain vitamin or mineral, or just want to cover all bases with a daily MVM , these tips will help you get the most from it.

    Designs For Health Hi

    Should you take vitamin D for Coronavirus? Which? investigates

    The Designs for Health website says that this supplement is highly concentrated and bioavailable, meaning that it is easy for the body to absorb. It contains 2,000 IU of vitamin D in each drop, and the drops quickly disperse in liquid.

    A person can add this product to drinks or put it on their tongue. However, because it is high strength, it is important not to take too much. A doctor can advise on the right amount to take.

    All Designs for Health facilities have one or more certifications from organizations such as the Natural Products Association, which enforces strict quality standards for supplements.

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    How Vitamin D Works

    Vitamin D helps control how much calcium and phosphate you absorb from food.

    Calcium is essential for bone health. Phosphate is needed for healthy bones, teeth, muscles, nerves, and basic bodily functions.

    Vitamin D comes in two forms:

    • Vitamin D2 is naturally found in some plants.
    • Vitamin D3 is naturally found in animals and is produced by the skin when its exposed to sunlight.

    You can meet your vitamin D needs with either form. But healthcare providers generally suggest D3 supplements. That’s because it:

    • Raises your overall vitamin D level more than D2
    • Lasts longer in the body than D2

    What Supplement Should I Take If I Am At Risk Of Low Vitamin D

    The UK government recommendation stays at a minimum of 10µg vitamin D a day for vulnerable groups like the over 65s, people with darker skin and those who cover a lot of their skin for religious reasons, etc.

    They just recommend that you take it all year round, and not just in autumn and winter.

    We hope this guide has helped you determine which vitamin D supplement is best for you.

    As always, this information cannot replace medical care, so please check with your doctor before trying any new supplements.

    Also Check: When Is The Best Time To Take Vitamin D3

    Is There More Than One Form Of Vitamin D

    There are 2 main forms of vitamin D:

    • ergocalciferol
    • cholecalciferol .

    Vitamin D3 is more potent than vitamin D2. Vitamin D3 is the natural form that is made in your body when you are exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D2 is available in some foods and also in supplements that often require a doctors prescription.

    What Happens If I Take Too Much Vitamin D

    Vitamin D: how much should you take and whoâs most at risk ...

    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.

    If you choose to take vitamin D supplements, 10 micrograms a day will be 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, including pregnant and breastfeeding women and 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, you should consult your doctor.

    If 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. 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.

    Page last reviewed: 03 August 2020 Next review due: 03 August 2023

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    When To Take Vitamin D And Why It Matters

    Your body makes vitamin D when your skin is exposed to the sun, which is why youll often hear this vitamin referred to by its friendly nickname, the sunshine vitamin. Because vitamin D supports functions throughout your entire body, vitamin D benefits include everything from immunity and muscle strength to calcium absorption, which is essential for bone health.

    But consistent sun exposure can be hard to come by depending on where you live, your daily schedule and the time of year. And even if you do have great sun exposure, factors like sunscreen, time of day and even the clothes you wear can all interfere with your bodys ability to naturally produce vitamin D.

    You consume vitamin D in foods like egg yolks and fatty fish, such as salmon and mackerel. However, it can be difficult to get enough from food sources alone. Vitamin D dietary supplements make it easy to get enough vitamin D.

    Instead of taking a broad-spectrum multivitamin , we recommend a targeted vitamin D supplement like Bulletproof Vitamins A-D-K. Vitamins A, D and K work better together, and you get science-backed doses of each in one convenient softgel.

    Always be sure to follow the manufacturer recommendations printed on the label and get medical advice from your doctor or a dietitian about whether supplementation is right for you and how much vitamin D you need.

    Should Everyone Get Their Vitamin D Levels Checked Generally No

    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.

    Read Also: Are Vitamin Infusions Good For You

    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.

    What Are The Benefits Of Taking A Vitamin D Supplement

    Should You Take Vitamin D Supplements?

    The government says around 25% of teenagers and adults in the UK have low levels of vitamin D, which puts them at risk.

    As there are so few food sources of vitamin D, and sun exposure can be unreliable, supplements are considered a safe way to prevent a deficiency.10

    A 2013 review of evidence concluded that a vitamin D supplement could help protect against coughs and colds, while a separate 2013 study reported that women with lower levels of vitamin D experience tiredness and low energy.11,12

    With so many factors putting us at risk of low levels, it makes sense to look at ways to supplement.

    Some foods are fortified with Vitamin D, although you need to be sure it is Vitamin D3 and not just Vitamin D2.

    Cod liver oil is a good source of Vitamin D supplementation .

    A quality Vitamin D3 or wide-spectrum Vitamin D supplement is a sensible way to keep your daily levels topped up.

    The most helpful aspect of taking any trustworthy health supplement is peace of mind. Just one little tablet or capsule per day and you can carry on knowing that you have covered your health bases.

    With Vitamin D, you will be protecting your bone health, supporting your immune system, and helping your body build and maintain cells. That is why Vitamin D is one of the most important supplements you can take.

    Read Also: What Can You Take For Vitamin D

    Supplements : Vitamin D

    Summary

    Vitamin D is involved in many of your bodys functions. There are two forms in the diet, D2 and D3. It can also be produced in your skin when exposed to sunlight.

    Vitamin D deficiency is a problem all over the world.

    However, its pervasive in young women, infants, older adults, and people who have dark skin .

    About 42% of the U.S. population is vitamin D deficient. However, this rate rises to 82% in Black people and 70% in Hispanics, which systemic problems likely play a role in .

    If you have access to strong sun all year, then occasional sun exposure may be enough to fulfill your vitamin D requirements.

    However, if you live far north or south of the equator, your vitamin D levels may fluctuate depending on the season. The levels may go down during the winter months due to a lack of sufficient sunlight .

    In that case, you may need to rely on your diet for vitamin D as well as on vitamin D thats stored in body fat (

    • intensify bone loss
    • increase the risk of fractures

    In children, a severe vitamin D deficiency can cause delays in growth and rickets, a disease where the bones become soft.

    Furthermore, vitamin D deficiency is linked with several cancers, type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, high blood pressure, and thyroid problems .

    Summary

    Vitamin D deficiency is prevalent worldwide but occurs at higher rates in specific populations. A deficiency in vitamin D is linked to various health problems.

    How much vitamin D you need depends on many factors. These include:

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