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Is Vitamin D Good For Bones

Recommended Daily Intake Of Vitamin D

Vitamin D for Bone Health

The recommended daily values for all the nutrients are provided in the Dietary Reference Intakes, developed by the Food and Nutrition Board . The Recommended Dietary Allowances for vitamin D are based on the daily requirements of healthy people.

Since people produce different amounts of this vitamin under sunlight, these values were established for minimal sun exposure. So if youve been looking for the answer to the question How much vitamin D should I take? you should know that this depends on your age and sex.

The RDAs for this vitamin are presented below:

  • from birth to 12 months 10 mcg
  • from 1 to 70 years 15 mcg
  • 70+ years 20 mcg

The RDAs for vitamin D are given in International Units and micrograms , where 1 mcg is equal to 40 IU.

Are You Getting Enough Vitamin D To Support Healthy Bones & Muscles

With almost 90% of the general population having vitamin D levels below the recommended 40-60 ng/ml , it is obvious that most people need more vitamin D. While most of us cannot achieve a vitamin D level of 40-60 ng/ml from sun alone, either due to our lifestyle, where we live, or other circumstances, we can certainly reach those levels with the right amount of supplementation.

What amount is right for you? The only way to tell is to test your level of vitamin D from there, use the vitamin D*calculator to help you determine a dose of vitamin D to achieve your desired target level, and choose either a regular daily maintenance dose , or start with an initial loading dose to help bump it up more quickly .

Effects Of Vitamin D3 Dietary Intervention On Tibial Structural Properties

The highest level of dietary vitamin D3 , but not the 8000 IU/kg dose was associated with a significantly greater failure displacement when compared to the control group . The 20,000 IU/kg diet was also associated with significantly greater post-yield displacement compared to the control , and the 8000 IU/kg group . Tibiae from mice supplied with 20,000 IU/kg dietary vitamin D3 also showed a significantly greater work-to-failure compared control tibiae . Varying dietary vitamin D3 levels had no significant effect on ultimate load, ultimate displacement, stiffness, yield load, yield displacement or tibial failure load compared to the control group . Furthermore, dietary vitamin D3 levels did not lead to statistically significant differences in tibial length, tibial antero-posterior width or tibial medio-lateral width .

Tibiae from 12 week old female mice that had been on a vitamin D3 dietary intervention for 4 weeks were subjected to three-point-bending and structural properties determined. Values are presented as group mean ± SEM. n = 10 Control, 8000 IU/kg n = 7 20,000 IU/kg.


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Talking To Your Healthcare Provider

While your bones need calcium and vitamin D, it is never a good idea to start taking any type of supplement without first talking to your healthcare provider. They can advise you how much calcium and vitamin D you should be taking daily and what to do if you experience side effects. Your practitioner can also advise on the types of supplements available and the ones they recommend for improving your bone health.

It can hard to achieve daily recommendations for calcium and vitamin D if certain circumstances apply to you, such as if you are a vegetarian who avoids dairy, are lactose intolerant, or if you have a health condition that keeps your body from absorbing vitamin D effectively. Your healthcare provider can also help you to determine how you can meet recommended daily levels through both diet and supplementation.

Supplements might be sold without a prescription, but your healthcare provider is always the best source of information on your bone health. These medications can interfere with other medications you are taking to treat other conditions.

It is important to be especially careful with supplements if you are pregnant or nursing, about to have a medical procedure, or have a serious medical condition. You should also be careful when giving supplements to children.

How Do You Get Vitamin D And Calcium

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Your body makes Vitamin D when your skin is exposed to sun, but several factors limit its creation:

  • Living anywhere in the country above latitude 33 degrees

  • Wearing sunscreen to protect against melanoma

  • Having naturally dark skin

  • Aging, which changes absorption ability

  • The amount of sun you would need to achieve normal blood vitamin D levels is probably more than is safe for your skin, so most people may need supplements to achieve a normal vitamin D level.

Either form of vitamin D benefits the body, but very few foods naturally contain the nutrient or are fortified with it. Thats why doctors recommend supplements to make up the difference. Foods containing vitamin D include:

  • Cod liver oil: 400-1,000 IU per teaspoon

  • Wild caught salmon: 600-1,000 IU per 3.5 oz

  • Farmed salmon: 100-250 IU per 3.5 oz

  • Canned salmon: 300-600 IU per 3.5 oz

  • Canned sardines: 300 IU per 3.5 oz

  • Canned mackerel: 250 IU per 3.5 oz

  • Canned tuna: 236 IU per 3.5 oz

  • Fresh shitake mushrooms: 100 IU per 3.5 oz

  • Sundried shitake mushrooms: 1,600 IU per 3.5 oz

  • Egg yolk: 20 IU per yolk

Milk, orange juice, infant formula, yogurt, margarine, butter, cheese and breakfast cereals are often fortified with vitamin D.

Calcium is found in:

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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Vitamin D Deficiency

Severe lack of vitamin D causes rickets, which shows up in children as incorrect growth patterns, weakness in muscles, pain in bones and deformities in joints. This is very rare. However, children who are deficient in vitamin D can also have muscle weakness or sore and painful muscles.

Lack of vitamin D is not quite as obvious in adults. Signs and symptoms might include:

  • Fatigue.

How Much Vitamin D Should You Get

The amount you need depends on your age:

  • 600 IU a day for people ages 1 to 70, including women who are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • 800 IU a day for anyone over 70

Some experts think that these recommendations are too low, especially for people who are more likely to get the bone-thinning disease osteoporosis. Ask your doctor how much vitamin D is best for you.

It is possible to get too much vitamin D. Doses above 4,000 IU a day can be harmful for people ages 9 and older. Its hard to get that much from food, but it might happen if you take too many vitamin D supplements.

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Alternatives To Vitamins For Bones

Improving your bone health is an important task and something that many people in America struggle with. If you are looking to improve your bone health, but you do not want to take vitamins, there are a few other options for you.

The first thing you can do is make sure to eat calcium-rich foods. You can find calcium in some surprising foods like almonds, navy beans, tofu, sesame, or even soybeans. The second thing you can do is rather easy and rather inexpensive, eat lots of green, leafy veggies. Some veggies include broccoli, curly kale, Chinese cabbage, and okra.

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Vitamin D Production Metabolism To Active Forms And Serum Transport

Calcium & Vitamin D for Heathy Bones

Vitamin D3 is produced in the skin from 7-dehydrocholesterol by ultraviolet irradiation, which breaks the B ring to form pre-D3. Pre-D3 isomerizes to D3 or with continued UV irradiation to tachysterol and lumisterol . D3 is preferentially removed from the skin, bound to vitamin D binding protein . Vitamin D is also found in small quantities in the diet, but is a common supplement. This can be in the form of D2 or D3, which differ in their side chains impacting both their affinity for DBP and subsequent metabolism, but which for the sake of this discussion will be treated as equivalent. The liver and other tissues metabolize vitamin D, whether from the skin or oral ingestion, to 25OHD, the principal circulating form of vitamin D, by several enzymes of which CYP27A1 and CYP2R1 are the best studied. 25OHD is then further metabolized to 1,252D principally in the renal proximal tubule by the enzyme CYP27B1, although other cells such as epidermal keratinocytes, parathyroid gland, intestinal epithelium, macrophages, and various bone cells and chondrocytes contain this enzyme .

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Special Considerations In Seniors

There is decreased absorption of vitamin D with advancing age.11 Furthermore, research has demonstrated that low serum concentrations of vitamin D result in greater bone loss in geriatric patients who are ill.11 To ensure adequate nutrient intake, nutrient density should be increased since caloric intake decreases with age.11 Because seniors consume less vitamin D and their absorption and sun exposure may be decreased, daily vitamin and mineral supplementation is recommended.11

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:

  • breastfed
  • 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.

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Advice For 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.

But since it’s difficult for people to get enough vitamin D from food alone, everyone should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D during the autumn and winter.

Between late March/early April to the end of September, most people can make all the vitamin D they need through sunlight on their skin and from a balanced diet.

You may choose not to take a vitamin D supplement during these months.

More Information Coming On The Potential Effects Of Vitamin D Supplementation

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Beginning in 2000, research into vitamin D’s role in conditions beyond bone health began to expand rapidly, and people started taking vitamin D supplements in hopes of warding off everything from heart disease to cancer. The science is finally catching up.

Harvard Medical School professor Dr. JoAnn E. Manson is the principal investigator of the ongoing Vitamin D and Omega-3 Trial , a large study investigating whether vitamin D and omega-3 supplements can lower risks for cancer, cardiovascular disease, and other conditions. She says while there is strong support for vitamin D’s role in bone health and growing evidence that it may reduce cancer-related deaths, the evidence that it prevents conditions unrelated to bone health is not yet conclusive. “Research on vitamin D supplementation has been mixed, and especially when it comes to randomized clinical trials, it has not shown clear benefits,” she says. Longer-term follow-up of VITAL and results from other ongoing trials may provide additional information about any links between vitamin D and disease prevention.

However, when it came to heart disease, vitamin D supplementation seems to fall short. A meta-analysis that Dr. Manson and her team published in June in JAMA Cardiology showed no benefit from vitamin D supplements in preventing heart attack or stroke.

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Top 7 Best Vitamins For Bones And Joints

Strong bones are very important to good health, and good nutrition is also important to strong bones. Find what you need to eat in order to protect the health of your bones for years. Nutrition surely affects bone health. For example, what your mother eats while pregnant with you will affect your bone. When we are children, most of our bones are exploding with rapid growth. In case we break something, it is not a matter as we could knit back. By age 18 or 19, we have reached about 95% of the peak bone mass. We can go on building some bones in our 20s. However, by age 30, we stop creating any more bone deposits, and of course, the withdrawals start occurring. The bad news is that you will lose bone density. According to a study, most people in the U.S lose nearly 0.5% of bone mass per year after the age of 40. The chronic bone loss may cause low bone mineral density as well as the deterioration of bone tissue, known as osteoporosis. Fractures from osteoporosis are considered to be more common than heart attack, breast cancer, and stroke combined. At least 1/3 women and 1/5 men will experience an osteoporotic fracture in their lifetime. Many older adults do not know that they have weaker bones until they occur to fall. Women drastically lose bone mass during menopause, when the levels of bone-protecting hormone reduce. Then, people need supplying enough minerals and vitamins for bones health and growth.

Make Sure You Are Getting Enough Vitamin D Today

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If You Have Osteoporosis

It’s usually recommended you take a supplement all year round, especially if you take an osteoporosis treatment.

Osteoporosis treatments work better if you have good vitamin D levels.

If your healthcare professional thinks you need a vitamin D supplement, they’ll advise you on how big a dose to take.

Be reassured there is no risk of having too much vitamin D if you follow the advice of your healthcare professional.

Can You Get Too Much Vitamin D Or Calcium

How much vitamin D do you need for bone health?

Calcium and vitamin D supplements can be good for health but taking too much can pose negative effects. For example, research shows that too much calcium can lead to a heart attack or stroke in both men and women.

Without enough vitamin D to offset calcium and absorb it, that extra calcium will make its way into the arteries instead of the bones. Once in the arteries, it can cause blocks that threaten the heart and brain. Excess calcium has also been linked to muscle pain, abdominal pain, mood disorders, and kidney stones.

Vitamin D toxicity can occur when vitamin D levels in blood exceed 150 ng/mL. When this happens, the extra vitamin D will trigger extra calcium absorption, which leads to negative effects from the calcium.

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Good Sources Of Vitamin D

From about late March/early April to the end of September, most people should be able to make all the vitamin D they need from sunlight.

The body creates vitamin D from direct sunlight on the skin when outdoors.

But between October and early March we do not make enough vitamin D from sunlight. Read more about vitamin D and sunlight.

Vitamin D is also found in a small number of foods.

  • fortified foods such as some fat spreads and breakfast cereals

Another source of vitamin D is dietary supplements.

In the UK, cows’ milk is generally not a good source of vitamin D because it is not fortified, as it is in some other countries.

How Much Vitamin D Do Your Bones & Muscles Need

Similar to our Disease Incidence Prevention chart, the table below, adapted from a paper Sports Health Benefits of Vitamin D by Shuler et al., illustrates the impact of different levels of vitamin D on multiple aspects of the musculoskeletal system. As mentioned above, up to 99% of rickets cases can be prevented at levels of 20 ng/ml , however, additional benefits for bone and muscle health can be seen with higher vitamin D levels. Studies have also shown that maintaining a vitamin D level of at least 40 ng/ml resulted in a decreased risk of bone fracture and stress fracture. Fast-twitch muscle fibers have been shown to be especially sensitive to vitamin D levels, which are important for burst activities and fall avoidance. Overall, cumulative research has shown that peak musculoskeletal performance may occur with a vitamin D level of at least 50 ng/ml.

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What Is Vitamin D And What Does It Do

Vitamin D plays an important role in protecting your bones, both by helping your body absorb calcium and by supporting muscles needed to avoid falls. Children need vitamin D to build strong bones, and adults need it to keep their bones strong and healthy. If you dont get enough vitamin D, youre more likely to break bones as you age.

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What Is Vitamin D Deficiency


Vitamin D deficiency means that you do not have enough vitamin D in your body. Vitamin D is unique because your skin actually produces it by using sunlight. Fair-skinned individuals and those who are younger convert sunshine into vitamin D far better than those who are darker-skinned and over age 50.

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