How Do I Know How Much Vitamin D I Should Take
Medical experts agree that getting enough from food and sun exposure alone is difficult, and vitamin D insufficiency or deficiency is common.â´ Most of us need a daily supplement to maintain optimal vitamin D levels between 30 and 100 nanograms of vitamin D per milliliter of blood .
When youâre shopping for a supplement, there are two forms of vitamin D to choose from, D2 and D3:
- âVitamin D2 is plant-derived and is preferred by those following a vegan diet.
- Vitamin D3 is typically derived from fish or sheep lanolin.
While both forms will help boost your bodyâs stores, D3 is twice as effective.âµ
The National Institutes of Health recommend 600 international units daily for most adults,â¶ but research suggests that wonât stave off vitamin D deficiency.â· Recommendations from vitamin D experts range from 5,000 to 10,000 IU daily, or even higher.â¸ Itâs unlikely youâll overdo it on the sunshine vitamin, but there is a small risk of toxicity called hypervitaminosis D if you do take too much.
Take The Guesswork Out Of Lab Work
- Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that affects bone health, mood, sleep and more.
- Most people need to take supplements to maintain optimal levels of vitamin D.
- Itâs best to take vitamin D along with fat-containing foods at a time thatâs easy to remember.
Thereâs no question about it â the sunshine vitamin is essential to health and wellbeing. Itâs integral for healthy bones,Â¹ mood regulation,Â²gut healthÂ³ and so much more. And you may have read recently about the connection between healthy vitamin D levels and milder COVID-19 symptoms. So almost everybody can benefit from a vitamin D supplement, but when, how and how much to take is a bit more complicated.
How Much Vitamin D We Really Need
The trouble doesnt end there. Many experts disagree about how much vitamin D we truly need to be at our healthiest.
While The National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements recommends that adults get 600 IU of vitamin D per day, other organizations recommend aiming highermuch higher. The Endocrine Society, for example, suggests up to 2,000 IU per day, while the The Vitamin D Council recommends 5,000 IU.
Most registered dietitians and doctors think the governments recommendation is outdated and too low, explains Bhanote.
And while a few foodslike liver, fatty fish, egg yolks, and mushroomscontain some vitamin D, you cant rely on your diet alone to meet your nutrient needs, says Jennifer Dennis-Wall, Ph.D., science writer at research organization Biorasi.
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What You Can Do Now
If youre concerned about vitamin D deficiency, ask your doctor to check your vitamin D level, says Dr. Deal. If the level is low and your provider starts you on supplements, you need repeat testing in eight to 12 weeks to make sure the level is not too high or too low.
If testing shows your vitamin D level is normal, you need repeat testing every two to three years unless you have major changes in your overall health.
Different diseases need different doses of vitamin D. If you have chronic kidney disease or parathyroid disease, ask your kidney specialist or endocrinologist about the type and dose of vitamin D you need.
If youre pregnant or breastfeeding, Dr. Deal recommends you keep taking vitamin D supplements as long as your doctor prescribes them. The supplement is linked to healthy development for you and your baby.
For bone health, be sure to stay active and remember to eat a calcium-rich diet. Consult with your doctor frequently to make sure youre taking the right steps to current bone health.
Are You At Risk For These Common Nutrient Deficiencies
Yet very few foods have enough vitamin D to reach recommended daily intakes, and sunshine can be unreliable in certain climates. Men and women relying on sourcing vitamin D through diet alone typically dont exceed 288 IU a day on average. Even drinking an 8-ounce glass of milk will only get you 100 IU one-sixth the amount that many adults need daily.
But when supplements are added, they get closer to the 600 IU goal. Consider this: Women between ages 51 and 70, who averaged 156 IU through the diet-only approach, reached 404 IU with the help of supplements.
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Is It Possible To Take Too Much Vitamin D
Vitamin D toxicity happens with extremely high doses. Itâs a rare but potentially serious condition that can cause nausea, vomiting, frequent urination and weakness. To determine your best dose, talk to your healthcare professional about getting your vitamin D levels tested to find your baseline.
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.
- egg yolk
- beef liver
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What Happens If You Have A Vitamin D Deficiency
Research shows that about 42% of U.S. adults have inadequate levels of vitamin D. What causes vitamin D deficiency?
There are several reasons you may not be getting the optimal amount. First, you may not be getting enough exposure to the sun. In addition, since this key vitamin is not easily found in many foods, your diet could be a contributing factor.
What happens if youre deficient in vitamin D? Because its essential for many biological processes, your immune function and bone health could be impacted. But if you learn how to take vitamin D correctly as part of a well-rounded supplement routine, you can set your body and brain up for success.
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.
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Best Ways To Take Vitamin D
Vitamin D needs to be taken at a specific time in the day since the bodyâs ability to absorb certain nutrients is different at different times.
- Some research studies support the theory to take vitamin D in the morning. This is because Vitamin D, when taken at night, can interfere with sleep.
- Melatonin is a hormone responsible for maintaining sleep-wake cycles. Studies have suggested that Vitamin D can interfere with the function of melatonin and hence hamper sleep.
- Taking vitamins early in the morning is also easier and more convenient than carrying them to work.
- The above theories indicate that the best way to take vitamin D is during meal time and preferably during the day.
Research is lacking to support the theory of vitamin D affecting the functioning of melatonin, so it is best to simply experiment and find out what time works best for you.
Since Vitamin D can be naturally produced by the skin, it is wise to not rely solely on vitamin supplements. The best way therefore to take Vitamin D is to spend some time in the sun especially from early morning to 10 am, that is, when the sun is not shining too bright. Adequate sun exposure is the best way to get your daily dose of vitamin D.
Therefore, persons who are suffering from health problems specifically due to vitamin D deficiency need to combine both dietary options as well as take vitamin D supplements to maintain their vitamin D stores.
Never Take Your Vitamin D Without Eating This Dietitian Says
The act of taking a multivitamin or a small handful of supplements feels like such a self-care victory each day. That may be especially true if you count Vitamin D as part of your regimen, since it delivers so many benefits for staying healthy right now. However, says one registered dietitian, if you’re not pairing your Vitamin D supplement with an important group of foods, you’re probably not enabling your body to fully absorb the vitamin’s vast benefits.
A quick nutrition tutorial: According to the Mayo Clinic, anyone between one year old and 70 years should be getting 600 international units of Vitamin D each day. After age 70, that amount should increase to 800 IU.
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If you take Vitamin D to reach the ideal daily intake for you, that’s wisebut science suggests you should take that capsule with a little something more.
As MindBodyGreen points out, Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin. This means that unlike some other vitamins, Vitamin D doesn’t dissolve when it’s accompanied by water. Instead, it needs to be paired with fat to be properly distributed in, and absorbed by, the body.
An important key to this, said Whitney Crouch, RDN, CLT, is that the fat you consume alongside your Vitamin D should be a “beneficial fat.” Crouch names olive oil, avocado, and flax as examples of healthy fats.6254a4d1642c605c54bf1cab17d50f1e
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Should I Take A Daily Multivitamin
Nearly half of adults in the U.S. and 70% of older adults ages 71+ take a vitamin about one-third of them use a comprehensive multivitamin pill. But is this truly a necessity?
There are certainly diseases caused by a lack of specific nutrients in the diet. Classic examples include scurvy , beri-beri , pellagra , and rickets . But these conditions are rare in the U.S. and other developed countries where there is generally more access to a wide range of foods, some of which are fortified with vitamins. Individual vitamin supplementation may also be essential in certain cases, such as a deficiency caused by long-term poor nutrition or malabsorption caused by the bodys digestive system not functioning properly.
This page specifically discusses the use of multivitamins, which typically contain about 26 different vitamins and minerals, and often provide 100% of the Recommended Daily Allowance of these micronutrients. We will explore situations that a multivitamin may be health-promoting, as well as if there is a benefit or harm in taking extra nutrients from a pill if the diet is already adequate.
How Vitamin D Supplements Work
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 supplements come 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 vitamin D3 supplements. That’s because it:
- Raises your overall vitamin D level more than D2
- Lasts longer in the body than D2
Vitamin D3 supplements are sold as capsules, soft gel tablets, gummies, and liquid drops.
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Egg Sandwich With Pastrami And Swiss
An egg sandwich for the win! Especially when you consider that two eggs can provide you with 74 IU of vitamin D, which is around 10% of your DV.
Get our recipe for an Egg Sandwich with Pastrami and Swiss.
Another vitamin D snack to considerdeviled eggs! They also make for a great appetizer.
Get our recipe for Smoky Deviled Eggs.
Vitamin D Foods: You Should Take
Did you ever think that your daily vitamins could benefit even beyond your body? Yes, your beautiful smile needs vitamins and minerals too. Every vitamin is equally essential for your body, and it needs them all. However, Vitamin D foods are exceptionally vital for your dental health as they help absorb calcium and phosphorus. The crucial vitamins that help rebuild your teeth from the inside.
Vitamin D is vital to your overall health. It is the number one measure your dentist will use to gauge the condition of your gums and teeth.
Note that vitamin D deficiency will increase your risk of gum infection, tooth decay, and periodontal disease. Vitamin D deficiency will increase these conditions. According to stats, every patient suffering from these dental diseases also has a vitamin D deficiency.
Unfortunately, today more than 10 percent of the population is deficient in this essential nutrient. As a result, they are prone to severe oral problems.
You might know that Vitamin D is essential for your all-round development. Hence we take a deep dive to know more about this vitamin. This info will help you include some recommended fruits and vegetables naturally rich in Vitamin D.
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Vitamin D And Sleep: The Surprising Connection
Does vitamin D help you sleep better? Early research suggests it is inversely related to melatonin, your sleep hormone. Increasing vitamin D levels may suppress melatonin levels. So, it makes sense that taking it at night could disrupt your sleep.
That said, you still want to get enough vitamin D because your levels are directly related to the amount and quality of sleep youre getting. Researchers have found that low levels of vitamin D are linked with poor sleep quality. In one study, participants who increased their vitamin D levels saw significant improvement in sleep and neurologic symptoms.
In another study, researchers looked at the vitamin D levels and sleep quality of 3,048 men 68 years and older. They measured total sleep time, wake times and frequency and sleep efficiency, which measures the time spent in bed versus the time spent sleeping. The study found that low levels of vitamin D were linked with poor quality sleep and sleeping less than five hours a night. Low levels of vitamin D were also associated with lower sleep efficiency scores.
We know that vitamin D and sleep quality are linked, but were only really just beginning to understand how and why thats the case. Researchers believe that vitamin D may affect our shut-eye by interacting with the areas of the brain that regulate sleep. We also know that vitamin D plays a key role in supporting the immune system, and managing inflammation may support better sleep quality.
How Much Vitamin D Should You Supplement
To figure out how much vitamin D you need from a supplement, subtract the total amount of vitamin D you get each day from the recommended total daily amount for your age. For example, a 55-year-old woman who gets 400 IU of vitamin D from her calcium supplement should take between 400 and 600 additional IU of vitamin D to meet the 800 1,000 IU recommended for her age.
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Vitamin Combinations To Avoid
Vitamin C with vitamin B-12
Vitamin C is an essential antioxidant for immune system health. Vitamin B-12 helps maintain your nervous system and form red blood cells. Studies show that taking these two supplements at the same time may reduce the amount of vitamin B-12 that you receive. So, experts recommend taking these supplements at least two hours apart.
Vitamin A supplement with vitamin A-rich foods
Since vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin, any excess is stored in the body. So, you don’t need to take vitamin A every single day. Too much vitamin A can lead to weaker bones and more bone fractures as you age. It can also be harmful to unborn babies.
If you are pregnant or take a vitamin A supplement, avoid eating liver or liver paté. These foods are so high in vitamin A that even if you do not take a vitamin A supplement, you should only eat them once a week to avoid consuming too much.
Folic acid and vitamin B12
While both of these B vitamins are important, taking too much folic acid or folate can actually hide the symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency. So, speak to your doctor to verify your vitamin levels before adding these supplements to your regimen.
It is well documented that vitamin E supplementation can lead to increased bleeding in some people. Some doctors prescribe a vitamin K supplement to help with blood clotting. Taking vitamin E at the same time can counteract the effects of vitamin K.