Why Do Doctors Prescribe Vitamin D2 Instead Of D3
Your doctor may determine your vitamin D recommendation based on lab work. Among some health professionals, there may be a perception that vitamin D2 is more effective because it is available by prescription only, even though studies have shown this is not necessarily true. Vitamin D2 may also be a lower cost to the patient, especially when covered in part or full by their insurance.
Vitamin D Deficiency: Follow These To Deal With It
Celebrity nutritionist Munmun Ganeriwal took to Instagram to share a few tips that you should keep in mind while taking vitamin D supplements. “To fight deficiencies effectively, you need to start with eating right. For optimum vitamin D intake add a good amount of quality fats to your meal. So, avoid going fat-free and include generous amounts of desi ghee, homemade butter, nuts, kachi ghani oil and dairy.”
“There is a research from the Harvard Public of School health which says that good amount of exercise also boosts vitamin D levels. So, exercise regularly, follow a healthy lifestyle and eat right to see the magic of the supplements you are consuming,” she adds.
Mayo Clinic Q And A: How Much Vitamin D Do I Need
DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I have heard different recommendations from different sources regarding vitamin D. One doctor told my husband that everyone living in the Northern Hemisphere should take a vitamin D supplement every day, even in the summer. What do you recommend?
ANSWER: Understanding how much vitamin D you need can be confusing because there are different recommendations about how much vitamin D adults should get. Using the recommendations that fall on the low end, many adults dont get the amount of vitamin D they should. Because few foods contain vitamin D naturally, eating foods fortified with vitamin D and taking a supplement may be beneficial.
Vitamin D is important because it helps your body sustain normal levels of calcium and phosphorus. Because it works as a key that allows your body to absorb calcium, vitamin D plays a critical role in forming and maintaining healthy bones. It also helps keep your muscles, nerves and immune system healthy.
Research suggests that consistently getting enough vitamin D can significantly lower the risk for the bone-thinning disease osteoporosis. Low vitamin D also is associated with falls, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic pain, diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and some cancers. However, an association does not mean low vitamin D causes these conditions, or that taking a vitamin D supplement will adequately prevent or treat them.
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The Final Verdict On Vitamin D
No bones about it, the endocrinologists we interviewed agree with our dermatologist.
“Just being outdoors, you get a fair amount of sun exposure and some sun-related generation of vitamin D, says Dr. Insogna. Because skin cancer, particularly melanoma, can be such a devastating disease, it’s best to use sunblock when outdoors in strong sunlight for any prolonged length of time. Because this may limit the amount of vitamin D you get from sun exposure, make sure your diet includes sources of vitamin D from foods or supplements, he says.
Both your skin and your bones will thank you.
Symptoms Of Too Much Vitamin D
Generally, when you have consumed too much vitamin D, youll experience symptoms that will let you know that all is not well in your body. These vitamin D overdose symptoms are mainly the result of too much calcium accumulating in the blood a condition known as hypercalcemia.
The symptoms include:
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How Can You Measure Your Vitamin D Intake In International Units
If youâre taking a vitamin D supplement, the amount of vitamin D will likely be listed on the supplement’s nutritional label, either in International Units or micrograms . Micrograms may be abbreviated as “mcg.”
Vitamin D amounts arenât always listed directly on the labels of food items. However, labels often do list the percent Daily Value , which reflects the amount of vitamin D in a serving of that food as a percentage of 800 IU.
Finally, you can also get a sense of the vitamin D content of various kinds of food by visiting the National Institutes of Health’s resource on vitamin D .
Understanding A Vitamin D Overdose
A vitamin D overdose is when you take in too much vitamin D. But you might be wondering, Can you take too much vitamin D?” Yes, you can. Since theres only so much of the vitamin you can naturally take in from your diet and through your skin, an overdose is likely to be from dietary supplements containing the vitamin.
In areas in the northern hemisphere, there are days when the sun doesnt come out. There are also, of course, people who spend most of the day indoors or sleeping, like office workers and workers on the night shift. These people dont get enough vitamin D through exposure to the suns ultraviolet light.
If youre an adult, the recommended dietary allowance of vitamin D shouldnt exceed 600 international units in one day. More than this can cause vitamin D toxicity and its associated effects in the body.
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What Is The Ideal Time To Take It
Taking vitamin D with a meal can enhance its absorption and increase blood levels more efficiently.
However, theres limited research on whether taking it at night or in the morning may be more effective.
The most important steps are to fit vitamin D into your routine and take it consistently to ensure maximum effectiveness.
Try taking it alongside breakfast or with a bedtime snack as long as it doesnt interfere with your sleep.
The key is to find what works for you and stick with it to ensure youre meeting your vitamin D needs.
Taking vitamin D with a meal can increase its absorption, but studies on specific timing are limited. For best results, experiment with different schedules to find what works for you.
Supplements can be an effective way to boost your blood levels of vitamin D, which is crucial to your health.
Taking vitamin D with food can enhance its effectiveness, as its fat-soluble.
While the best timing has not been established, scientific data to confirm anecdotal reports that supplementing at night may interfere with sleep is unavailable.
Current research suggests you can fit vitamin D into your routine whenever you prefer.
Taking It Late In The Day May Affect Sleep
Research links vitamin D levels to sleep quality.
In fact, several studies associate low levels of vitamin D in your blood to a higher risk of sleep disturbances, poorer sleep quality and reduced sleep duration .
Conversely, one small study suggested that higher blood levels of vitamin D may be linked to lower levels of melatonin the hormone responsible for regulating your sleep cycle in people with multiple sclerosis .
Some anecdotal reports claim that taking vitamin D at night can negatively influence sleep quality by interfering with melatonin production.
However, scientific research to determine how supplementing with vitamin D at night may affect sleep is currently unavailable.
Until studies exist, it may be best to simply experiment and find what works best for you.
Vitamin D deficiency may negatively impact sleep quality. Some anecdotal reports assert that supplementing with vitamin D at nighttime may interfere with sleep, but scientific data to that effect is unavailable.
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How Much Vitamin D Do You Need
In healthy people, the amount of vitamin D needed per day varies by age. The chart below shows the often-cited recommendations of the Institute of Medicine, now the Health and Medicine Division of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. It is important to know that these are general recommendations. If your doctor is checking your blood levels, he or she might recommend higher or lower doses based on your individual needs.
If you have osteoporosis, your doctor might suggest a blood test of your vitamin D levels. The amount of vitamin D supplement can be customized for each person, based on the results. For many older patients, a vitamin D supplement containing anywhere between 800 to 2000 IUs daily, which can be obtained without a prescription, can be both safe and beneficial. It is important to speak with your doctor about your individual needs.
|People by age|
*refers to adequate intake vs recommended dietary allowance of the other age groups.
Is It Possible To Prevent Vitamin D Deficiency
A few foods naturally contain vitamin D, and other foods are fortified with it. With only 20% of our vitamin D intake expected from food, exposure to the sun and taking supplements remain the primary sources. Follow your health care provider’s recommendations for supplementing on a regular basis, get some sun exposure, consume foods that contain vitamin D, have regular blood work to monitor your level, and make adjustments to your intake based on your medical needs and seasonal changes.
- 1 tsp cod liver oil has 400 to 1,000 IU/vitamin D
- 3.5 oz salmon, fresh has 600 to 1,000 IU/vitamin D
- 3.5 oz salmon, fresh has 100 to 250 IU/vitamin D
- 3.5 oz salmon, canned has 300 to 600 IU/vitamin D
- 3.5 oz sardines, canned has about 300 IU/vitamin D
- 3.5 oz mackerel, canned has about 250 IU/vitamin D
- 3.5 oz tuna, canned has 236 IU/vitamin D
- 3.5 oz shiitake mushrooms has about 100 IU/vitamin D
- 3.5 oz shiitake mushrooms has about 1,600 IU/vitamin D
- 1 egg yolk has about 20 IU/vitamin D
- 8 oz fortified milk or yogurt has 100 IU/vitamin D
- 8 oz fortified orange juice has about 100 IU/vitamin D
- 3 oz fortified cheese has about 100 IU/vitamin D
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Supplements : Vitamin D
Vitamin D is involved in many of your bodys functions. There are two forms in the diet, D2 and D3. It can also be produced in your skin when exposed to sunlight.
Vitamin D deficiency is a problem all over the world.
However, its pervasive in young women, infants, older adults, and people who have dark skin .
About 42% of the U.S. population is vitamin D deficient. However, this rate rises to 82% in Black people and 70% in Hispanics, which systemic problems likely play a role in .
If you have access to strong sun all year, then occasional sun exposure may be enough to fulfill your vitamin D requirements.
However, if you live far north or south of the equator, your vitamin D levels may fluctuate depending on the season. The levels may go down during the winter months due to a lack of sufficient sunlight .
In that case, you may need to rely on your diet for vitamin D as well as on vitamin D thats stored in body fat (
- intensify bone loss
- increase the risk of fractures
In children, a severe vitamin D deficiency can cause delays in growth and rickets, a disease where the bones become soft.
Furthermore, vitamin D deficiency is linked with several cancers, type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, high blood pressure, and thyroid problems .
Vitamin D deficiency is prevalent worldwide but occurs at higher rates in specific populations. A deficiency in vitamin D is linked to various health problems.
How much vitamin D you need depends on many factors. These include:
What Happens If I Take Too Much Vitamin D
Taking too many vitamin D supplements over a long period of 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 will be 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, including pregnant and breastfeeding women and 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, you should consult your doctor.
If your doctor has recommended you take a different amount of vitamin D, you should follow their advice.
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.
Page last reviewed: 03 August 2020 Next review due: 03 August 2023
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How Much Vitamin D Should You Take
Public Health England recommends that adults take at least 10 micrograms of vitamin D each day, particularly during autumn and winter. Children under the age of five should take the same amount all year round.
Babies under one year old should have a daily supplement of 8.510 mcg, unless they’re consuming more than 500 ml of infant formula each day. Supplements should be administered from soon after birth as there isnt enough natural vitamin D in a normal diet, nor are babies exposed to enough sunshine to produce the vitamin naturally.
Without sufficient vitamin D, babies can develop problems with their bones and muscles.
The Department of Health highlights certain at-risk groups and recommends that they take a vitamin D supplement all year round. These groups include:
- women who are pregnant or breastfeeding
- elderly people
- people who have little or no exposure to the sun
- people who have darker skin
Vitamin D Can Help You Lose Weight
Dr. Boyd points out that obesity is a known risk factor for low vitamin D levelswhich means more vitamin D may help with weight loss. One 2009 study in the British Journal of Nutrition found that, in overweight or obese women with low calcium levels, those who took a daily dose of calcium paired with vitamin D were more successful shedding pounds than those who took a placebo supplement, due to an appetite-suppressing effect of the combination.
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What Is Vitamin D
Your skin has the ability to convert sunlight into vitamin D. Every time you step out into the sunlight, your skin is making vitamin D.
But many people also opt for supplements in order to get enough vitamin D. However, by doing this, you risk putting too much of the vitamin into your body. In this article, well look at how much vitamin D is too much. Well also cover the symptoms and side effects of too much vitamin D and what to do when you overdose on the vitamin.
Before we wade into this topic any further, lets first find out what exactly vitamin D is. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays an integral role in the regulation of calcium and phosphorus in the body and therefore in bone development, as well as muscle and nerve function. It only appears naturally in a few foods, including fatty fish and fish oils. You can also find smaller amounts in egg yolk, beef liver, and cheese.
The most common source of the vitamin is from exposure to sunlight. When you expose your skin to the sun, it begins to make an inert form of the vitamin. Further processing in the liver and the kidney will deliver the final active form of vitamin D, which is what the body needs for various bodily processes.
What Are The Best Sources Of Vitamin D
Its hard to get enough vitamin D from sunshine, but its even harder to get it from foodat least the way most people eat. The best source of dietary D is from fish livers, such as cod liver oil, but now ask yourself when was the last time you ate cod liver oil?
Mackerel, salmon, sardines, swordfish, trout, and tuna all offer D, as do mushrooms and eggs. If you eat them regularly, youll meet the government-recommended requirement, but if youre in the camp that thinks 600 IU is too low, youll need to be more aggressive to hit your D goals. Dairy products and cereals are fortified with vitamin D, which helps, but one review, and Harvard University, determined that supplementation with a multivitamin or concentrated vitamin D capsule provides a better insurance policy.
Of course, you shouldnt completely avoid the sun. According to a report in Alternative Medicine Review, the health benefits accruing from moderate UV irradiation, without erythema or excess tanning, greatly outweigh the health risks, with skin pigmentation providing much of the protection.
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How Do Health Care Professionals Diagnose A Vitamin D Deficiency
|Considered safe||< 100 ng/mL|
The largest meta-analysis ever conducted on all of the published studies between 1966 and 2013 regarding 25D levels and all-cause mortality found that the lowest mortality risk is seen when the levels are > 40 ng/mL. According to this, the IOM guidelines are too low and there is a plea calling on the public health authorities to change the recommendations for both the ideal blood level and the requirements needed to achieve this level.
Your 25D level will change by season if you vary how much time you spend in the sun each season. Keep this in mind when scheduling your test.
Individuals About To Initiate Treatment With Antihormonal Effects
We suggest obtaining a baseline 25D level in all individuals who are initiating therapy that could impact bone mineralization. This means that premenopausal women undergoing chemotherapy or medical or surgical ovarian ablation and postmenopausal women beginning aromatase-inhibitor therapy should be tested. Estrogen upregulates both the 1–hydroxylase enzyme that converts 25D to 1,252D and increases levels of vitamin D receptor protein., Thus, depletion of estrogen may unmask a subclinical vitamin D deficiency, which may increase the severity of muscle and joint symptoms experienced by women entering menopause or undergoing aromatase-inhibitor therapy. For cancer survivors, 25D levels drawn in late winter or early spring will provide an estimation of trough levels of vitamin D.
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