People At Risk Of Vitamin D Deficiency
Some people will not make enough vitamin D from sunlight because they have very little or no sunshine exposure.
The Department of Health and Social Care recommends that adults and children over 4 take a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D throughout the year if they:
- are not often outdoors for example, if they’re frail or housebound
- are in an institution like a care home
- usually wear clothes that cover up most of their skin when outdoors
If you have dark skin for example you have an African, African-Caribbean or south Asian background you may also not make enough vitamin D from sunlight.
You should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D throughout the year.
Supports Gut Bacteria In Producing Vitamin B5
We are still discovering the power of gut bacteria and what helps and what destroys them. This study showed that low levels of vitamin D changed the intestinal microbiome reducing vitamin B5 production in the gut.
If you interested in the connection between vitamin Bs and your hormones, check out this article.
Vitamin D And Immune Support
From influenza and the common cold to COVID-19, our immune systems have a lot to contend with these days. While you won’t find a single nutrient that can prevent you from getting sick, adequate levels of vitamin D helps your body combat illness.
One cross-sectional study evaluating over 14,000 people found that people with lower serum vitamin D levels had a 58% higher odds of getting an acute respiratory illness compared to people who had higher levels.
Researchers have also recently reported that people with a vitamin D deficiency are more susceptible to COVID-19’s deadly cytokine storm . Almost 20 data analyses have shown that vitamin D deficiency is a major contributor to COVID-19 risk and severity.
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Is It Best To Get Your Vitamin D From The Sun Definitely Not
David J. Leffell, MD, Yale Medicine dermatologist and chief of Dermatologic Surgery
One of the biggest challenges weve faced in dermatology and in the world of skin cancer prevention has been a lot of misinformation about vitamin D metabolism.
There are claims that one needs to get a certain amount of sun exposure every day in order to produce enough vitamin D to be healthy. Its just not true. The majority of people can get their vitamin D from nutritional supplements and from vitamin D-fortified foods.
There are some people who have advocated for tanning to get vitamin D. But we know that UVB light causes skin cancer and that protecting yourself against it makes sense. As a doctor who treats patients who have melanomas, I want the general public to be advised that under no circumstances can use of a tanning bed or tanning in general be justified on the basis of vitamin D. Take a supplement instead.
Eat Vitamin D Rich Foods
The best food sources of vitamin D are Cod Liver Oil, oily fish such as trout and salmon, and mushrooms. Its also found in eggs, fortified cereals, and low-fat dairy foods. You can see that vegetarians and vegans need to be particularly mindful of where their vitamin D comes from, and supplementation is often recommended. Vitamin D is fatsoluble, which means it is best absorbed when taken with food that contains fat.
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Groups Prone To Vitamin D Deficiency
Various factors can inhibit the bodys ability to produce vitamin D. Three highly susceptible groups are:
- People with darker skinResearch suggests that vitamin D intake is lower among African Americans in North America. Skin pigmentation is a natural sunscreen and darker skin leads to less vitamin D production in skin.
- People 50+As you age, your skins ability to produce vitamin D decreases. Research suggests that hypovitaminosis D can lead to cognitive decline in the elderly. The kidneys ability to convert vitamin D into the body also decreases with age, making an increase in absorption even more necessary.
- Overweight or Obese IndividualsVitamin D is fat soluble, meaning its collected in body fat. Fat deposits in the skin store vitamin D3 and higher fat deposit contents, such as those seen in overweight or obese individuals alter and limit the release of vitamin D3 from the skin to circulation.
Don’t Miss Healthy Fats
Till now, you might have understood that fats are essential for your health just like other nutrients. So, in order to make up for the low vitamin D levels, you cannot afford to miss essential fats. The nutritionist tells that you should add enough desi ghee, coconut, white butter, filtered oils etc. Also do not add low fat or fat-free versions of milk, yogurt and other products.
Vitamin D helps in regulating the absorption of calcium from the diet consumed. It also keeps your immune system healthy. Get a sufficient amount of vitamin D and boost our overall health.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.
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Tips For Optimizing Your Natural Vitamin D Production
The sun offers you free vitamin D! Take advantage of this with a few tips for squeezing more vitamin D from the sun.
These tips for absorbing more vitamin D from the sun are especially beneficial to anyone who lives further from the equator, is older in age, has darker skin, cannot get sun during midday, or cant afford supplements or vacations to sunnier weather in winter seasons.
In Part 4 of this series, we are going to examine the little known connection between vitamin D, sleep disorders, and Alzheimers disease. You wont want to miss this It could be the missing link to your best health yet!
If It Can Take Just One Week To See An Improvement In The Blood Levels Why Do Doctors Wait Eight Or More Weeks Before Repeating The Lab Tests
To correct a vitamin D deficiency, Doctors can prescribe either a daily or a weekly dose of vitamin D.
Daily doses can differ a lot depending on your baseline levels, age, and health status.
Weekly doses tend to be larger, such as 50,000 IU or higher.
And, even though it may take you just one week to begin recovering, your Doctor will usually wait for 2 to 3 months before retesting your blood levels and adjusting your dosage.
Suppose you took 10,000 IU of vitamin D 7 days ago and today your Doctor decided to check your levels.
What would he learn?
Hed be able to see the effect that the first doses of vitamin D had on your blood levels.
Now, if you had taken just a single dose of vitamin D 7 days ago, this would be fine. But you kept taking 10,000 IU every day.
You took this dose 6 days ago, 5 days ago, and every single day since.
Therefore, whats the point of measuring your blood levels today? After all, tomorrow they could be higher, and even higher 2 days from now.
Because of the compounding effect of all the other capsules of vitamin D that you kept taking in the second, third and following days since you began supplementing 7 days ago.
Not to mention that all those factors mentioned earlier, such as your stress levels, the drugs you take, and even your own metabolism, can influence the exact time when that first dose will most impact your levels.
When can you trust your blood levels, then?
Now he can make a much more thoughtful decision.
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The Next Step For Getting Relief
The whole process of balancing your calcium intake, correctly interpreting all the blood tests and adjusting your vitamin D dosage, not to mention the need to follow all the safety guidelines, take the essential co-factors, and knowing how to deal with the sudden flair-ups can be overwhelming.
I and my wife have an idea of how that feels, as weve gone through that same process ourselves.
For this reason, if you are feeling lost be sure to check our book on how not to die with true high-dose vitamin D therapy where youll find a step-by-step guide teaching everything you need to know on safe high-dose vitamin D and vitamin K2 supplementation.
How Soon Will You Feel Better After Taking Vitamin D Supplements
After starting your doctor’s recommended dosage, the question is, when will it work? The answer isn’t the same for everyone.
The National Institutes of Health states that the more depleted you are, the longer it takes for changes to occur. An article in the September 2016 issue of the Journal of Oncology Practice says that, generally, after a few weeks of treatment, vitamin D levels will increase at 1 ng/mL for every 40 IU taken. You should start feeling better once the vitamin D kicks in, but you should still have your levels checked every two to three months.
Remember it’s always easier to avoid deficiency than it is to rebuild your system. So pay attention to what your body is telling you.
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Advice For Infants And Young Children
The Department of Health and Social Care recommends that babies from birth to 1 year of age should have a daily supplement containing 8.5 to 10 micrograms of vitamin D throughout the year if they are:
- formula-fed and are having less than 500ml of infant formula a day, as infant formula is already fortified with vitamin D
Children aged 1 to 4 years old should be given a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D throughout the year.
You can buy vitamin D supplements or vitamin drops containing vitamin D at most pharmacies and supermarkets.
Women and children who qualify for the Healthy Start scheme can get free supplements containing vitamin D.
See the Healthy Start website for more information.
The Best Vitamin D Book Out There
Honestly, after getting diagnosed with MS and not wanting traditional pharmaceutical treatment I did a solid amount of research into natural remedies… Of all the books I purchased on Amazon in reference to treating MS with vitamin D, this book has been my favorite! It’s very informative and an easy read! I recommend it for anyone looking into vitamin D treatment and especially those who are following the Coimbra protocol!
Gabriel F. MD
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Unconventional Ways To Optimize Your Vitamin D Levels From The Sun
While the recommended daily allowance for vitamin D is around 600 IU daily, I recommend more. Myself and many other experts agree that an ideal range for vitamin D in healthy individuals is between 1,000 and 2,000 IU daily. This is the equivalent of about 20 to 30 minutes of sun exposure three times a week if you have fair skin.
How Do You Get Vitamin D From The Sun
The body needs a steady source of vitamin D for many different processes.
The sun is our best natural source of vitamin D. Spending even a short time in the sun can provide the body with all of the vitamin D it needs for the day. According to the Vitamin D Council, this could be:
- 15 minutes for a person with light skin
- a couple of hours for a person with dark skin
Very few foods contain significant amounts of vitamin D, so people can ensure they get enough of the vitamin by scheduling regular time outdoors.
When the suns ultraviolet B rays hit a persons skin, processes inside the tissue start making vitamin D for the body to use. It is essential to remember, however, that too much sun exposure can burn the skin and potentially lead to skin cancer.
Vitamin D helps the body to absorb calcium, which is one of the main building blocks of bone. The body also needs vitamin D to keep the nerves, muscles, and immune system working properly.
Wearing sunscreen limits the bodys ability to make vitamin D. However, spending time in the sun without sunscreen can cause sunburn and may contribute to the development of skin cancer.
The body cannot make vitamin D when exposed to the suns rays through a window as the glass blocks the suns UVB rays.
- older people
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Signs Of Deficiency And Toxicity
Vitamin D deficiency may occur from a lack in the diet, poor absorption, or having a metabolic need for higher amounts. If one is not eating enough vitamin D and does not receive enough ultraviolet sun exposure over an extended period , a deficiency may arise. People who cannot tolerate or do not eat milk, eggs, and fish, such as those with a lactose intolerance or who follow a vegan diet, are at higher risk for a deficiency. Other people at high risk of vitamin D deficiency include:
- People with inflammatory bowel disease or other conditions that disrupt the normal digestion of fat. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that depends on the guts ability to absorb dietary fat.
- People who are obese tend to have lower blood vitamin D levels. Vitamin D accumulates in excess fat tissues but is not easily available for use by the body when needed. Higher doses of vitamin D supplementation may be needed to achieve a desirable blood level. Conversely, blood levels of vitamin D rise when obese people lose weight.
- People who have undergone gastric bypass surgery, which typically removes the upper part of the small intestine where vitamin D is absorbed.
Conditions resulting from prolonged vitamin D deficiency:
Symptoms of toxicity:
- Weight loss
- Irregular heart beat
- Hardening of blood vessels and tissues due to increased blood levels of calcium, potentially leading to damage of the heart and kidneys
Vitamin D And Your Body
There’s so much that vitamin D does for the body. It’s linked to improving mood, increasing energy and boosting the immune system.
A March 2014 review in the Journal of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine indicates that Vitamin D has been found to help with:
- Bone health
- Muscle weakness
A review and meta-analysis published in 2015 in Obesity Reviews notes the link between obesity and vitamin D deficiency. Don’t go doubling your D intake just yet, though. Taking a dose of vitamin D at 50,000 IU for weight loss has yet to be proven effective.
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Your Dosage How Much Vitamin D You Take And How Frequently You Take It
After analyzing the results from 25 studies, a group of researchers produced this helpful graphic:
As expected, the higher the daily vitamin D intake, the greater the gains were.
10,000 IU of vitamin D per day is often considered the highest dose a person can safely take every day without having to worry about adverse effects, and, as expected, it produced the highest changes in vitamin D levels when compared with the lower dosages.
However, as you can verify for yourself, by paying close attention to the varying positions of the blue dots, this growth is far from linear.
For example, some people taking 4,000 IU of vitamin D saw an increase of 20 nmol/mL at the end of the study, while others saw their levels increase by 120 nmol/mL.
Why this variation?
Lets go back to the water-vitamin D comparison.
If you want to stay hydrated while exercising, youll need to drink a greater amount of water than a person who spends his day watching TV.
Moreover, if you had eaten a lot of salt, youd need even more water to keep your body hydrated.
Similarly, just like exercising depletes your water reserves, stressful situations deplete your vitamin D reserves.
And, just like eating a lot of salt increases your bodys demand for water, certain habits, like smoking, will also increase your need for higher doses of vitamin D because of the way they hinder vitamin D metabolism.
In the same way, by paying close attention to these factors you can improve your chances of recovering faster.
How To Increase Vitamin D Levels Quickly
If youve discovered that your vitamin D levels are low, or if youre concerned about your immune health, it may be time to take some concrete steps towards raising your vitamin D levels. There are three key ways you can begin to increase your vitamin D levels: sunlight, food and supplements.
There arent many foods that are naturally full of vitamin D to help you raise those low levels. Foods that are naturally rich in vitamin D can include fatty fish , cheese and egg yolks. With such a short list of foods high in vitamin D, many brands fortify, or specifically incorporate vitamin D into their products. Some popular fortified foods in the U.S. include orange juice, cereal, yogurt, milk, and oatmeal. Incorporating these foods into your diet, may help your levels to steadily climb and strengthen your immune system over time.*
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means it needs fat in order to be absorbed and used effectively in the body. Pairing your vitamin D-rich food choice alongside a healthy source of fats can be a great way to make the most of your meals.
Some ideas might be:
- Cereal with 2% milk
- Tuna salad with olive oil mayonnaise
- Garden salad topped with salmon and olive oil vinaigrette
- Egg and mushroom omelette cooked in butter or olive oil
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