Who Should Be Tested For Vitamin D Deficiency
Australian Therapeutic Guidelines on disorders of bone and calcium homeostasis only recommend vitamin D testing for people at heightened risk of vitamin D deficiency.4
This includes people who have:4
- limited skin exposure to UVB radiation from sunlight
- fat malabsorption conditions
- medical conditions or take medicines that affect vitamin D metabolism and storage.
Routine testing of people who are not at risk is likely to identify people with low vitamin D levels who are otherwise healthy, potentially leading to vitamin D supplementation without evidence to support its benefits for this population.8
Vitamin D Respiratory Infections And Covid
UK scientists warn that you should not take high levels of vitamin D, to prevent or treat COVID-19.
In a publication in the journal Nutrients, the authors reviewed the current medical evidence and suggest that vitamin D supplementation could reduce the risk of influenza, COVID-19, and deaths.
The authors present evidence to suggest that higher levels of vitamin D in the population will reduce the risk of acute respiratory tract infections including influenza, COVID-19, and pneumonia. They suggest additional vitamin D should be started now, to raise levels before the onset of the winter.
The authors are suggesting a higher vitamin D dosing regime than is currently recommended in the UK. They also comment that people on vitamin D supplements should also consider taking additional magnesium because magnesium helps activate vitamin D.
However, caution is needed. The available evidence comes from observational studies only, and these do not prove causation. High levels of vitamin D can be harmful.
PHE have recommended we all take a low dose vitamin D supplement to ensure adequate vitamin D levels for our general health.
If there is an additional benefit for COVID-19 or other respiratory infections, this would be a bonus.
This new NHS advice, for the general public to take daily vitamin D supplements, is endorsed, for example, by The British Nutrition Foundation, The Nutrition Society, and the Royal Osteoporosis Society.
For more information
Did The Iom Report Make Recommendations With Respect To Serum Vitamin D Levels
Serum concentration of 25-hydroxy-vitamin-D D) is the best indicator of vitamin D status. It reflects total vitamin D input from food, supplements, and sun exposure.
There is considerable discussion surrounding the serum concentrations of 25D associated with optimal health, and cut points have not been developed by a scientific consensus process.
However, the IOM expert committee stated that its review of the data suggests that, relative to bone health:
- People are at risk of vitamin D deficiency at serum 25D concentrations < 30 nmol/L. Some are potentially at risk for inadequacy at levels ranging from 3050 nmol/L.
- Practically all people are sufficient at levels 50 nmol/L
- There may be reason for concern at serum concentrations > 125 nmol/L
The IOM expert committee encouraged the development of evidence-based cut points for serum vitamin D measures relative to deficiency as well as excess.
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So How Much Vitamin D Should You Take Daily
The amount of vitamin D you need depends on a few factors, including your age, health status, and whether youâre exposed to sunlight.
So whatâs the best way to get enough vitamin D?
There are a few ways. You can get vitamin D through sunlight exposure, food, and supplements.
Letâs take a closer look at each of these:
Which Foods Contain Vitamin D
Oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines, egg yolks, red meat, liver and certain mushrooms that have been grown in sunlight or UV light all contain vitamin D.
Other foods are fortified with vitamin D, such as some breakfast cereals, yoghurt drinks and fat-based spreads.
But itâs hard to get enough from food alone a salmon fillet contains around 13mcg vitamin D , boiled eggs only have 1.6mcg, and a bowl of fortified cereal around 2.5mcg.
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How Much Vitamin D Should You Take For Optimal Health
Vitamin D is essential for good health.
Its often referred to as the sunshine vitamin and is made in your skin when exposed to sunlight.
Despite that, vitamin D deficiency is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies in the world.
Up to 42% of the American adult population has low vitamin D levels, which can cause health problems (
Vitamin D is crucial for bone health and immune system function.
This article discusses how much vitamin D you need.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin thats involved in many essential body functions.
There are two forms of vitamin D in the diet and supplements:
- Vitamin D2 : found in some mushrooms.
- Vitamin D3 : found in oily fish, fish liver oil, and egg yolks.
D3 is the more powerful of the two types and raises vitamin D levels almost twice as much as D2 .
Significant amounts of vitamin D can also be made in your skin when exposed to UV rays from sunlight. Any excess vitamin D is stored in your body fat for later use.
Almost every cell in your body has a receptor for vitamin D. Its essential to many processes, including bone health, immune system function, and can help protect against cancer (
How Much Vitamin D You Need
Babies under 12 months need 5 micrograms of vitamin D as a supplement every day from birth if they are:
- have less than 300mls or 10 fluid oz of infant formula a day
You should stop giving your child formula milk when they reach 1 year of age.
Children aged 1 to 4 need 5 micrograms of vitamin D as a supplement every day for a few months each year. Give this from Halloween to St Patricks Day .
A microgram is 1,000 times smaller than a milligram . The word microgram is sometimes written with the Greek symbol followed by the letter g .
Sometimes the amount of vitamin D is expressed as International Units . 1 microgram of vitamin D is equal to 40 IU. So 10 micrograms of vitamin D is equal to 400 IU.
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Vitamin D Intoxication And Hypersensitivity
Vitamin D intoxication is rare and usually only occurs at very high supplementation doses . However, various mutations in vitamin D metabolizing enzymes that may lead to increased sensitivity to standard vitamin D supplementation or even endogenous vitamin D intoxication with hypercalcemia, hypercalciuria, and nephrocalcinosis/chronic renal insufficiency have been described . Typically, these mutations affect CYP24A1, the enzyme that catabolizes 1,25OHD2 to the inactive metabolite 24,25OHD2. Therefore, a diagnosis can be made by using the ratio of 24,25:25 D and does not necessarily require genetic testing.
This condition has been termed idiopathic infantile hypercalcemia, but due to the greatly varying clinical phenotypes, patients may well become symptomatic only in adulthood. Currently, no causal treatment is available, but avoidance of a high-calcium diet, UV-B exposure, and vitamin D or calcium supplements is advised.
Your Value Is Between 100
These values are considered to be too high, but are not classified as harmful to health. Nevertheless, you should reduce your 25D value to below 100 ng/ml. To achieve this, simply stop taking vitamin D in dietary supplement form and do not sunbathe. After roughly 3 months, have your 25D level retested. After your Vitamin D value is back in the normal range, adjust your vitamin D intake accordingly.
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Final Thoughts About Vitamin D3
In general, most people need between 600 and 800 IU of vitamin D per day to maintain healthy blood levels. However, some people may need more or less than this, so itâs important to speak to a healthcare professional before starting any supplement regimen.
Vitamin D is an important nutrient for overall health, so itâs important to make sure youâre getting enough. If youâre not sure how much you need, speak to a healthcare professional to find out. They can help you determine the right dose for you based on your individual needs.
Usual Adult Dose For Osteoporosis
Calcium â General Range: 1000 mg to 1300 mg dailyVitamin D â General Range: 200 international units to 800 international units dailyNote: While much larger vitamin D dosages have been recommended as a single agent, many calcium-vitamin D combination supplements will contain approximately 200 international units to 400 international units of vitamin D per dose.
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Effects Of Taking Too Much Vitamin D
Taking too many vitamin D supplements over a long 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 is 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, 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, talk to your GP.
Follow the advice of your GP if they recommend that you take a different amount of vitamin D.
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.
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What Is Vitamin D And How Does It Work
- Vitamin D is available under the following different brand names: Drisdol, Calciferol, cholecalciferol, 1,25-Dihydroxycholecalciferol, and ergocalciferol.
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What Is The Recommended Dosage Of Vitamin D
The recommended daily allowance for vitamin D is 600 IU per day for adults. However, many experts believe that this amount is too low and that most people need more.
The Vitamin D Council recommends taking 1,000-2,000 IU of vitamin D per day, and some experts believe that even higher amounts may be necessary.
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What Is Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a nutrient that helps the body use calcium and phosphorous to build and maintain strong bones and teeth. Vitamin D is unique in that it can be synthesized by the body after exposure to ultraviolet rays from sunlight. Too little vitamin D can cause calcium and phosphorus levels in the blood to decrease, leading to calcium being pulled out of the bones to help maintain stable blood levels. This can cause rickets in children and osteomalacia or osteoporosis in adults. However, too much vitamin D can cause too much calcium to be deposited in the body, which can lead to calcification of the kidney and other soft tissues including the heart, lungs and blood vessels.
Does Being A Man Or A Woman Affect How Much Vitamin D You Need
Yes and no. Body size is more influential than sex when it comes to vitamin D intake recommendations, Foroutan says. On average, men weigh more than women. However, the relative amount of body fat an individual has may be more pertinent, since vitamin D is stored in body fat.
A study published online in November 2014 in PLoS One aimed to analyze the effect that body mass index may have on vitamin D dosing targets. Findings suggested that participants who were obese needed 2 to 3 times more vitamin D than their normal-weight counterparts.
But men and women are at different risks for various chronic conditions, which means adjusting your vitamin D target may be helpful for managing symptoms or delaying disease progression.
For example, women may be more likely than men to develop both thyroid disease, per the Department of Health and Human Services Office on Womens Health, and osteoporosis, and a vitamin D deficiency is associated with both, other research suggests. If you live with a chronic disease that is associated with your sex, your doctor may factor in vitamin D as part of your personal management plan.
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What Foods Provide Vitamin D
The major sources of vitamin D are fortified foods. In Canada, cow’s milk and margarine must be fortified with vitamin D. Goat’s milk, fortified plant based beverages , and some calcium-fortified orange juices are permitted to be fortified with vitamin D. Cheese and yogurt can be made with vitamin D-fortified milk, however, the final product does not contain as much vitamin D as fluid milk alone. The only natural sources of vitamin D in the Canadian food supply are fatty fish and egg yolks.
Because it is a commonly-consumed food, fluid milk is a major dietary source of vitamin D.
Vitamins And Minerals For Older Adults
Vitamins help your body grow and work the way it should. There are 13 essential vitamins vitamins A, C, D, E, K, and the B vitamins .
Vitamins have different jobs to help keep the body working properly. Some vitamins help you resist infections and keep your nerves healthy, while others may help your body get energy from food or help your blood clot properly. By following the Dietary Guidelines, you will get enough of most of these vitamins from food.
Like vitamins, minerals also help your body function. Minerals are elements that our bodies need to function that can be found on the earth and in foods. Some minerals, like iodine and fluoride, are only needed in very small quantities. Others, such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium, are needed in larger amounts. As with vitamins, if you eat a varied diet, you will probably get enough of most minerals.
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Where To Buy The Cheapest Vitamin D Supplements
There are many different forms of vitamin D supplement available, from tablets and capsules to sprays, gummies and even teas.
Prices vary from less than 1p to more than 30p per dose depending on what format you pick.
Own-brand vitamin D tablets from pharmacies, discount stores and supermarkets are usually cheapest, and buying larger packs or multi-buy offers can also help keep costs down.
We’ve rounded up the cheapest prices we could find for vitamin D supplements in a ‘high strength’ 25mcg format, as this is one of the most commonly available high-street doses:
- Cheapest tablets: Asda High Strength Vitamin D tablets 25mcg, 180 pack – £1.15 , available from Asda.
- Cheapest spray: VitSpritz Vitamin D3 Oral Spray orange flavour 25mcg, 30ml bottle – £9.95 , available from Sainsburys, or Boots Vitamin D 25mcg peppermint spray, £6 for 15ml . Available from Boots.
- Cheapest gummy vitamins: Boots Vitamin D gummies, blackcurrant flavour 25mcg, 30 pack – £2 on offer – currently half-price but otherwise often on 3 for 2, available from Boots. Also consider: Aldi Vitawell Vitamin D gummies, blackcurrant flavour 25mcg, 30 pack– £2.29 , available from Aldi.
Prices correct as of 26 November 2021. Price per dose rounded up to nearest pence.