Vitamin D Deficiency: Are You At Risk
Vitamin D deficiency occurs when you are not getting the recommended level of vitamin D over time. Certain people are at higher risk for vitamin D deficiency, including:
- People who spend little time in the sun or those who regularly cover up when outdoors
- People living in nursing homes or other institutions or who are homebound
- People with certain medical conditions such as Celiac disease and inflammatory bowel disease
- People taking medicines that affect vitamin D levels such as certain anti-seizure medicines
- People with very dark skin
- Obese or very overweight people and
- Older adults with certain risk factors.
Talk to your healthcare provider if you have any of these risk factors. If you have osteoporosis and also have a vitamin D deficiency, your healthcare provider may temporarily prescribe a high dose of vitamin D to bring you up to a healthy level.
What’s The Difference Between Vitamin D And D3
Vitamin D3, or cholecalciferol, is one of the forms of vitamin D. Both D2 and D3 need to be converted by the liver and then by the kidneys into the main form of vitamin D that circulates in your body. But D3 appears to more effectively raise our levels of active vitamin D than D2)which is why you may have heard it suggested by everyone from healthcare providers to wellness blogs.
A Complete Osteoporosis Program
Remember, a balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D is only one part of an osteoporosis prevention or treatment program. Like exercise, getting enough calcium is a strategy that helps strengthen bones at any age. But these strategies may not be enough to stop bone loss caused by lifestyle, medications, or menopause. Your doctor can determine the need for an osteoporosis medication in addition to diet and exercise.
The National Institutes of Health Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases ~ National Resource Center acknowledges the assistance of the National Osteoporosis Foundation in the preparation of this publication.
Recommended Reading: What Vitamins Help With Pms
Vitamin D3 Is More Effective At Improving Vitamin D Status
Vitamin D2 and D3 are not equal when it comes to raising your vitamin D status.
Both are effectively absorbed into the bloodstream. However, the liver metabolizes them differently.
The liver metabolizes vitamin D2 into 25-hydroxyvitamin D2 and vitamin D3 into 25-hydroxyvitamin D3. These two compounds are collectively known as calcifediol.
Calcifediol is the main circulating form of vitamin D, and its blood levels reflect your bodys stores of this nutrient.
For this reason, your health care provider can estimate your vitamin D status by measuring your levels of calcifediol .
However, vitamin D2 seems to yield less calcifediol than an equal amount of vitamin D3.
Most studies show that vitamin D3 is more effective than vitamin D2 at raising blood levels of calcifediol (
If you are taking vitamin D supplements, consider choosing vitamin D3.
Summary Vitamin D3 appears to be better than D2 at improving vitamin D status.
Should I Take Vitamin D Or D3
Vitamin D and vitamin D3 are each effective vitamin D supplements. Vitamin D2 is approved in the treatment of hypoparathyroidism, vitamin D resistant rickets, and hypophosphatemia. Both supplements are commonly used for vitamin D supplementation.
Studies have shown that vitamin D3 supplements may be superior in raising the bodys vitamin D stores. There are many health benefits to vitamin D supplementation, but your doctor should use lab tests to recommend the amount of vitamin D you should take and which form.
Recommended Reading: What Does Vitamin C Lotion Do For Your Skin
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.
How Can I Help Prevent Vitamin D Deficiency
The goals of treating and preventing the lack of vitamin D of treatment and prevention are the sameto reach and keep an adequate level of vitamin D in the body. Your healthcare provider will let you know if you need to take or keep taking vitamin D supplements. If so, they will also let you know how much you should take. You might also want to consider:
Eating more foods that contain vitamin D: See the vitamin D food sources table included in this article. Keep in mind that foods alone usually don’t meet the daily recommended levels of vitamin D.
Getting some exposure to sunshinebut not too much: Exactly how much sun exposure is needed isnt clear. 10 to 15 minutes of sun exposure two to three times a week to the face, arms, legs or back may be all that is needed to absorb a suitable amount of vitamin D. You might need more sun exposure if:
- You are older.
- You have a darker skin color.
- You live in northern climates.
The use of sunscreen, and standing behind a window, prevents vitamin D from being produced in the skin. However, you should remember that too much sunshine increases the risk of skin cancer and ages the skin. That is why taking an appropriately dosed D supplement is far safer than intentionally getting routine sun exposure.
Recommended Reading: How To Get Intravenous Vitamin C
Can You Take Calcium And Vitamin D3 Together
4.1/5taking calcium and vitamin D supplements togethersupplements
Similarly, what are the side effects of taking calcium with vitamin D?
Calcium and vitamin D combination side effects
- nausea, vomiting, constipation
- muscle weakness, bone pain or.
- confusion, lack of energy, or feeling tired.
Likewise, what is calcium with vitamin d3 good for? It may be used to treat conditions caused by low calcium levels such as bone loss , weak bones , decreased activity of the parathyroid gland , and a certain muscle disease .
Correspondingly, can I take vitamin D and calcium at the same time?
Vitamin D supplements can be taken with or without food and the full amount can be taken at one time. While your body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium, you do not need to take vitamin D at the same time as a calcium supplement.
When should you take calcium and vitamin D?
To maximize your absorption of calcium, take no more than 500 mg at a time. You might take one 500 mg supplement in the morning and another at night. If you take a supplement that also contains vitamin D, it will help your body absorb calcium more efficiently.
How Can You Get More Calcium And Vitamin D
Calcium is in foods such as milk, cheese, and yogurt. Vegetables like broccoli, kale, and Chinese cabbage have calcium. You can get calcium if you eat the soft edible bones in canned sardines and canned salmon. Foods with added calcium include some juices, soy drinks, and tofu. The food label will show how much calcium was added.
Calcium supplements are available as citrate or carbonate. Calcium carbonate is best absorbed when it is taken with food. Calcium citrate can be absorbed well with or without food. Spreading calcium out over the course of the day can reduce stomach upset and helps your body absorb the calcium better. Try not to take more than 500 milligrams of calcium supplement at a time.
Vitamin D is in foods such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel. These are some of the best foods to eat when you are trying to get more vitamin D. Other foods that have vitamin D, but in small amounts, include cheese, egg yolks, and beef liver. You can also get vitamin D from fortified foods such as milk, orange juices, yogurts, margarines, and soy beverages.
The most common kind of vitamin D found in supplements in Canada is cholecalciferol .
Recommended Reading: Can Vitamin D Help With Joint Pain
Vitamins K And E In Blood Clotting
Vitamin K plays a critical role in your body’s ability to properly clot your blood. If your doctor recommends a vitamin K supplement, avoid taking high dosages of vitamin E, which may counteract the effects of vitamin K, according to MedlinePlus. In fact, vitamin E supplementation of over 800 IU can interfere with blood clotting and make your blood thinner.
This is particularly important to keep in mind for those taking blood thinning medications, such as warfarin. Taking this medication and vitamin E can increase your risk of bleeding. Always follow your doctor’s advice about any dietary supplements if you take blood thinning medication.
How Can Calcium Shortage Disease Be Avoided
You can prevent calcium shortage disease by including calcium in your diet every day.
Be aware that foods high in calcium, such as dairy products, can likewise be high in saturated fat and trans fat. Select low-fat or fat-free alternatives to reduce your risk of establishing high cholesterol and heart disease.
You can get one-fourth to one-third of your RDA of calcium in a single serving of some milks and yogurts.
While satisfying your calcium requirement is very important, you likewise wish to make certain youre not getting excessive. Inning accordance with the Mayo Clinic, ceilings of calcium for adults are:
- 2,000 mg each day for males and females 51 years of age and up
- 2,500 mg each day for men and women 19 to 50 years of age.
You may want to supplement your diet by taking a multivitamin. Or your doctor might advise supplements if youre at high risk for developing a calcium deficiency.
Multivitamins might not contain all of the calcium you need, so make certain to eat a well-rounded diet. If youre pregnant, take a prenatal vitamin.
Don’t Miss: What Foods Give You Vitamin B
How Much Vitamin D Do You Need For Ideal Health
When it concerns vitamin D, you do not wish to remain in the typical or normal range, you wish to remain in the optimal variety. The factor for this is that as the years have passed, researchers have gradually moved that range up. At present, based on the examination of healthy populations that get plenty of natural sun exposure, the optimal range for basic health seems someplace between 50 and 70 ng/ml.
When it comes to how to optimize your vitamin D levels, I securely believe that suitable sun exposure is the best way.
Typically speaking, this will be when your skin turns the lightest shade of pink or, as Dr. Holick recommends, about half of the time you think it would take you to obtain a mild sunburn .
If your situations dont give you to access the sun, then you actually just have one choice if you wish to raise your vitamin D, which is to take a vitamin D supplement. As a general standard, research by GrassrootsHealth recommends that adults require about 8,000 IUs daily to accomplish a serum level of 40 ng/ml. If you do go with a vitamin D supplement, please remember that you likewise have to enhance your consumption of vitamin K2 through food and/or a supplement.
If youre getting your vitamin D from the sun, this is not as crucial, although you d be smart to make certain youre getting adequate quantities of vitamin K2 from your diet either way.
Which Form Of Vitamin D Is Better
Recent studies involving daily doses of vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 show that they are equally effective in boosting your vitamin D levels.
Thus, the type of vitamin D you get is less important than getting the right dose and making sure your levels are in the right range to avoid deficiency. Most experts recommend 600 to 800 IUs of vitamin D per day.
If you want to see what your vitamin D levels are like, take the Everlywell Vitamin D Testâan easy at-home option that lets you conveniently collect a sample at home and send it to a lab for accurate testing .
1. Vitamin D. NIH, Office of Dietary Supplements. URL. Accessed February 15, 2021.
2. Nair R, Maseeh A. Vitamin D: The “sunshine” vitamin. J Pharmacol Pharmacother. 2012 3:118-126.
3. Vitamin D2 vs. D3: Which Should I Take for Bone Health?. Cleveland Clinic. URL. Accessed February 15, 2021.
4. Jetty V, Glueck CJ, Wang P, et al. Safety of 50,000-100,000 Units of Vitamin D3/Week in Vitamin D-Deficient, Hypercholesterolemic Patients with Reversible Statin Intolerance. N Am J Med Sci. 2016 8:156-162.
5. On call: Vitamin D2 or D3?. Harvard Medical School. URL. Accessed February 15, 2021.
Also Check: What’s The Best Mens Vitamin For Energy
Similarities Between Vitamin D2 And Vitamin D3
While their chemical makeup and sources differ, vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 have much more in common. When ingested, both vitamin D2 and D3 have to pass through the liver and kidneys, where they get processed into the active, usable form of vitamin D. Both forms of vitamin D are readily available as over-the-counter oral supplements. However, high doses of vitamin D2 are only available through a prescription.
Biological Function Of Vitamin D And Calcium
Vitamin D: Vitamin D regulates the concentration of Magnesium, Calcium, and Phosphate and promotes the healthy bone system. It has a neuromuscular, immune and anti-inflammatory function. It influences cell growth.
Calcium: In the cells Calcium plays an important role in signal transduction pathways, neurons neurotransmitter release, muscle contraction, fertilization. It is a cofactor for many enzymes. Outside the cells Calcium is important for the proper bone formation and for the maintenance of the potential difference across the cell membranes. Calcium is vital to the health of the circulatory, muscular, and digestive systems. It is compulsory for the building of the bone system, supports function and synthesis of the blood cells.
Also Check: What Do Prenatal Vitamins Help With
Vitamin D And Your Health: Breaking Old Rules Raising New Hopes
Vitamin D was discovered in 1920, culminating the long search for a way to cure rickets, a painful childhood bone disease. Within a decade, the fortification of foods with vitamin D was under way, and rickets became rare in the United States. But solving the problem of rickets was only the beginning of research into vitamin D. Research results suggest that vitamin D may have a role in other aspects of human health.
Do I Need Vitamin D Supplements
There are many different reasons that someone might take vitamin D supplements. The most common reason of course, is having low levels of vitamin D.
People can have low vitamin D levels for a variety of reasons:
Low dietary intake: Most people do not have a diet rich in liver and mushrooms. Young infants are particularly at risk for low vitamin D levels because of low dietary intake.
Low sunlight exposure: This is common in winter months and climates and latitudes where sunlight is limited. Otherwise, people whose lifestyles involve more time indoors are also at risk for low vitamin D levels.
Darker skin: People with high levels of skin pigmentation make less vitamin D with sun exposure.
People with certain medical conditions also commonly take vitamin D supplements, often as a preventative measure to help strengthen their bones. Some examples include:
Read Also: Which Vitamins To Take When Pregnant
How The Vitamin D And Calcium Relationship Works For Bone Health & More
May 14, 2019
Vitamin D and calcium are two essential nutrients that can have a big impact on health. Although both are known for their respective health benefits, did you know that they actually work together in the body? Its true getting enough of each is equally important when it comes to bone health, weight control, cancer prevention and more. Meanwhile a calcium or vitamin D deficiency can have long-lasting effects on overall health.
So how does vitamin D affect calcium levels? How much calcium and vitamin D do I need? And can I take vitamin D without calcium? Heres what you need to know.
Coverage And Cost Comparison Of Vitamin D Vs D3
Vitamin D2 in prescription form is commonly covered by most commercial and Medicare insurance plans. The over-the-counter formulations are typically not covered by commercial or Medicare insurance plans. The price can vary greatly depending on dosage. The average cost of the 50,000 IU dose for 12 weeks of therapy is $47.99. With a coupon from SingleCare, this price drops to as low as $11.
Vitamin D3 is over-the-counter, and therefore is typically not covered by insurance plans. The price varies depending on dose. D3 can cost as $40 but if your doctor prescribes the medication you can get it for as low as $20 with a SingleCare discount coupon.
Recommended Reading: How Long Does A Vitamin B Shot Last
Risks And Side Effects
Vitamin D and calcium are incredibly important. Symptoms of low calcium and vitamin D can range from bone loss to muscle pain to cramps and weakness. If you think that you may have deficiency, your doctor can test your blood levels to help determine the best course of treatment for you.
Keep in mind that there are several calcium and vitamin D side effects that you should be aware of if you do decide to start supplementation. A few of the most common symptoms include nausea, vomiting, constipation and fatigue. In some studies, calcium supplements have also been linked to a higher risk of kidney stones, prostate cancer and even heart disease, although research has turned up conflicting findings. More studies are needed to understand whether other factors may be involved as well.
Consuming high amounts of either micronutrient can also have harmful side effects on health. Therefore, its important to use supplements only as directed and be sure to talk to a trusted health care professional before starting supplementation, especially if you have any underlying health issues or are taking other medications.
Read Next: Can You Take Too Much Vitamin D?