What Does Sunlight Have To Do With Getting Enough Vitamin D
There are health benefits of sunlight. Vitamin D is produced when your skin is exposed to sunshine, or rather, the ultraviolet B radiation that the sun emits. The amount of vitamin D that your skin makes depends on such factors as:
- The season: This factor depends a bit on where you live. In areas such as Cleveland, OH, the UV-B light does not reach the earth for six months out of the year due to the ozone layer and the zenith of the sun.
- The time of day: The sun’s rays are most powerful between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
- The amount of cloud cover and air pollution.
- Where you live: Cities near the equator have higher ultraviolet light levels. It is the UV-B light in sunlight that causes your skin to make vitamin D.
- The melanin content of your skin: Melanin is a brown-black pigment in the eyes, hair and skin. Melanin causes skin to tan. The darker your skin, the more sun exposure is needed in order to get sufficient vitamin D from the sun.
How Much Vitamin D Is Enough
Adults and children over the age of one need 10mcg of vitamin D per day. This is the same for everyone, including people at risk of vitamin D deficiency and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Babies up to one year old need 8.5-10mcg of vitamin D per day. Find out more about how you can reach this from the NHS.
What Is Vitamin D
Vitamin D is not one chemical but many. The natural type is produced in the skin from a universally present form of cholesterol, 7-dehydrocholesterol. Sunlight is the key: Its ultraviolet B energy converts the precursor to vitamin D3. In contrast, most dietary supplements are manufactured by exposing a plant sterol to ultraviolet energy, thus producing vitamin D2. Because their function is almost identical, D2 and D3 are lumped together under the name vitamin D but neither will function until the body works its magic .
How your body makes vitamin D
The sun’s energy turns a chemical in your skin into vitamin D3, which is carried to your liver and then your kidneys to transform it to active vitamin D.
The first stop is in the liver, where vitamin D picks up extra oxygen and hydrogen molecules to become 25-hydroxyvitamin D, or 25D. This is the chemical that doctors usually measure to diagnose vitamin D deficiencies. But although 25D is used for diagnosis, it can’t function until it travels to the kidney. There it acquires a final pair of oxygen and hydrogen molecules to become 1,25 dihydroxy vitamin D scientists know this active form of the vitamin as 1,252D, or calcitriol, but for ordinary folks the name vitamin D is accurate enough.
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You Have An Increased Need For Vitamin D
Growing children, pregnant women, and breast-feeding women need extra vitamin D because it is required for growth. So, vitamin D deficiency is more likely to develop in the following groups of people:
- Pregnant or breastfeeding women. Vitamin D deficiency is even more likely to develop in women who have had several babies with short gaps between pregnancies.
- Breast-fed babies whose mothers are lacking in vitamin D, or with prolonged breastfeeding, as there is little vitamin D in breast milk.
How Is Cystic Fibrosis Treated
Youll probably have a healthcare team that includes a specialist in cystic fibrosis and many other types of caregivers. There is no cure for cystic fibrosis, but your team will help you manage the disease. The major focus of management is keeping your airways clear. Your provider will also prescribe medicine when needed.
Keeping airways clear
You can help to keep your airways clear if you have cystic fibrosis in a number of ways:
- You can learn special ways of coughing and breathing.
- You can use devices that fit into your mouth or therapy vests that rely on vibrations to loosen mucus.
- You can learn something called chest physical therapy, also known as postural drainage and percussion to loosen mucus. With this method, you move into certain positions so that your lungs can drain. Another person claps their hand on your chest and/or your back to help loosen the mucus. You might combine this with coughing.
Medications for cystic fibrosis
Your provider may prescribe these medicines, which wont cure CF, but which will help you in certain situations. They include:
Surgeries for cystic fibrosis
You may need surgery for cystic fibrosis or one of its complications. These might include:
- Surgery on your nose or sinuses.
- Bowel surgery to remove blockages.
- Transplant surgery, including a double lung transplant or a liver transplant.
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Can Medications Cause A Vitamin D Deficiency
Yes. Vitamin D levels can be lowered by certain medications. These include:
- Cholesterol-lowering drugs .
- Seizure-control drugs .
- A tuberculosis drug .
- A weight-loss drug .
Always tell your doctor about the drugs you take and any vitamin D supplements or other supplements or herbs/alternative health products that you take.
What Is The Prognosis For Hypercalcemia
Prognosis, like treatment, depends on the cause and severity of hypercalcemia. If the serum calcium is only slightly elevated, you will probably have few or no health complications. When hypercalcemia is the result of an underlying medical condition or disease, the prognosis depends on your overall health and your specific circumstances.
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The Kidneys Start To Fail
Remember that youre frequently urinating because of the toxicity in your blood. Your kidneys have to work much harder than they had to in the past, and this can lead to overworking. There have been cases where the kidneys have completely failed due to too much vitamin D.
Too much calcium can also lead to calcium stones forming within the kidneys. At the same time, the body tries to get rid of the extra toxins, but more are being created at a higher rate. Your kidneys are working double time without the extra support.
The majority of studies state that vitamin D toxicity leads to some type of kidney failure. This can lead to patients being placed on dialysis until they get a necessary kidney transplant, depending on the severity.
What Are Good Sources Of Vitamin D
- Oily fish like salmon, mackerel and sardines
- Red meat
- Fortified foods like breakfast cereals
- Dietary supplements
In some countries cows milk is fortified with vitamin D, which can provide a good source of intake. But in the UK this is not standard practice. Although you may be able to find a small minority of cows milk brands that have extra vitamin D included, it’s best to concentrate on the other dietary sources above if youre looking to increase your levels, says Dr McClymont.
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Increase Your Vitamin D Through Food
The best way to make vitamin D is to spend a little time in the sunshine without sunscreen or to eat foods that are naturally rich in vitamin D. These are foods like:
- Fatty fish
- High quality cod liver oil
- Egg yolks from pastured hens
- Liver from grass-fed animals
These foods are rich in natural vitamin D3. Avoid foods that are fortified with synthetic vitamin D2, as this form of vitamin D can be toxic in the human body.
A key Body Ecology Principle when eating the above foods is to food combine properly 80% vegetables, 20% proteins. It is also crucial to digest your proteins well by using enzymes designed for protein and drinking a few ounces of a probiotic beverage with your protein meal.
The best way to use vitamin D3 is to manage stress and make sure that you are asleep well before midnight. A good nights sleep will help to regulate cortisol levels and promote the use of vitamin D3 keeping your body and your brain strong!
Vitamin D And Respiratory Illnesses
There has been a lot of talk about preliminary research that found vitamin D supplements may be beneficial in preventing or managing COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus. While studies are still in their early stages, past research does show that vitamin D may help protect people from respiratory illnesses.
Of the 11,321 study participants, researchers found that people who took vitamin D were 12 percent less likely to develop respiratory illness compared with people who did not take the vitamin. While that percentage may seem impressive, study authors noted there were limitations. For example, they didnt have data on who, among the study participants, had received a flu shot, which may have affected their risk for respiratory illness.
Speaking of the flu, results are mixed about vitamin D and flu prevention or mitigation. For example, a study published in March 2018 in Nutrients found that taking vitamin D didnt make the flu shot any more effective.
Meanwhile, previous research found that school-age children who took vitamin D, compared with a placebo, were 42 percent less likely to get the flu.
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People At Risk Of Vitamin D Deficiency
Some people will not make enough vitamin D from sunlight because they have very little or no sunshine exposure.
The Department of Health and Social Care recommends that adults and children over 4 take a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D throughout the year if they:
- are not often outdoors for example, if they’re frail or housebound
- are in an institution like a care home
- usually wear clothes that cover up most of their skin when outdoors
If you have dark skin for example you have an African, African-Caribbean or south Asian background you may also not make enough vitamin D from sunlight.
You should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D throughout the year.
What Is Hormone Imbalance
Hormones are the vital chemicals that control many of the bodys vital functions, including reproduction, growth and development, heart rate, metabolism, sleep cycles – the list goes on.
In this regard, our body needs hormonal shifts to carry on.. For example, after a meal, your pancreas produces insulin to regulate your fats, carbohydrate, and protein levels. Similarly, when youre dealing with a stressful situation, your adrenal glands produce cortisol to increase glucose in the blood, as a response to the stressor.
These are all healthy hormone fluctuations that you dont even notice in your daily life.
Its when there is an imbalance of a specific hormone, that you experience hormone imbalance symptoms.
These symptoms can be light at first, such as a slight headache or bloating. If left untreated, though, they can become more intense and cause trouble sleeping, low libido, unexplained weight changes, and fatigue.
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Too Much Of A Good Thing: Overdoing Vitamin D
It’s important to not overdo vitamin D supplements since taking unsafe amounts of it can have negative effects on your health, like kidney problems, kidney stones, or hypercalcemia, a toxic condition where there is too much calcium in the blood. Generally, taking more than 4,000 IU per day is considered too much.
This is why it’s important to talk to your doctor before you take a supplement, and also ask for a test. If you think you get a decent amount of sun, eat foods with vitamin D regularly, and your levels are healthy, your doctor will likely say you don’t need any extra.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.
Can You Ever Have Too Much Vitamin D
Yes. You can get too much vitamin D if you overdo the supplements. Interestingly, you cannot get too much vitamin D from the sun. Vitamin D toxicity is, thankfully, quite rare but can lead to hypercalcemia and together the symptoms can include:
- Ataxia .
Do not take higher-than-recommended doses of vitamin D without first discussing it with your doctor. However, your doctor might recommend higher doses of vitamin D if he or she is checking your blood levels and adjusting your dose accordingly. Also, be cautious about getting large doses of vitamin A along with the D in some fish oils. Vitamin A can also reach toxic levels and can cause serious problems.
Vitamin D Deficiency: Symptoms Treatments Causes And More
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Vitamin D is an extremely important vitamin that has many important functions throughout your body .
Unlike other vitamins, vitamin D functions like a hormone. Many cells in your body have a receptor for it.
Your body makes it from cholesterol when your skin is exposed to sunlight.
Its also found in certain foods such as fatty fish and fortified dairy products, though its very difficult to get enough from your diet alone.
The Endocrine Society recommends that most adults get 1,5002,000 IUs of vitamin D daily (
According to one review, 41.6% of adults in the United States are deficient. This number goes up to 69.2% in Hispanic adults and 82.1% in African American adults (
Here are some signs and symptoms of vitamin D deficiency.
Vitamin D Side Effects And Risks Of Too Much Vitamin D
Why are vitamins essential? What do these vitamins do for your body? Vitamins are the essential components that help your body to function normally. Vitamins boost our immune system, aid in healthy growth, help in cell reproduction and vitamins provide energy for the body functions.
It is advisable to intake vitamins daily, but you should know your limitations because too much intake of vitamins can cause severe damage to you. There are quite many vitamins, such as vitamin A, D, E, K, B12 etc., which benefits your body in different ways. To concentrate on one vitamin, in particular, lets take a look at the significance of vitamin D, its side effects and the risk factors if consumed more in amount.
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How Is Hypercalcemia Treated
Treatment of hypercalcemia depends on what is causing the disorder and how severe it is. Often the doctor may tell you calcium levels can be lowered if you:
- Drink more water
If the hypercalcemia is due to an overactive parathyroid gland, your doctor can consider several options:
- Close monitoring of the calcium level
- Referral to surgery to have the overactive gland removed
- Starting a medication such as cinacalcet , which is used to manage hypercalcemia
- Using bisphosphonates, osteoporosis drugs given intravenously that treat hypercalcemia due to cancer
- Using denosumab , another bone-strengthening drug for patients with cancer-caused hypercalcemia who dont respond to bisphosphonates
If the hypercalcemia is severe, and/or causing significant symptoms, your doctor may recommend immediate hospitalization for intravenous fluids and other treatments.
What Happens If I Have Too Little Vitamin D
Vitamin D deficiency is common in the UK, probably due to lifestyle changes and lack of sun exposure. If you have severely low vitamin D levels you are unable to maintain an adequate concentration of calcium in your blood for bone growth. This causes rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. As the role of vitamin D as a regulator of other functions throughout the body has emerged, it has been suggested that a lack of vitamin D is linked to an inability to fight infections effectively, muscle weakness, fatigue and the development of diabetes, certain cancers, multiple sclerosis, depression, heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke, although the direct relevance and mechanisms underlying these responses remain unknown.
Oily fish such as sardines, mackerel and salmon are good dietary sources of vitamin D. Calcium can be found in cows milk and dairy products. In the UK, foods such as breakfast cereals and margarine are fortified with vitamin D. Adequate exposure to sunlight is important, especially between April and October, for around 15 minutes daily. Public Health England recommends vitamin D supplements are taken by people in at risk groups .
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What Causes A Vitamin D Deficiency
Limited exposure to the sun
You may look out your window and see the sun shining and think that you are safe from this deficiency, but that is not always the case. Even in sunny climates, there is an increased prevalence of vitamin D deficiency. We have all heard about the dangers of skin cancer and the need for sunscreen to protect us from this disease. This knowledge and the preventive actions we take have significantly decreased our vitamin D levels. Sunscreen protects so well against UV-B rays that an SPF of 30 decreases vitamin D synthesis in the skin by more than 95%. On top of this, we tend to spend more time indoors. One study found that it took Caucasians exposure of more than 30% of their body every day in the summer to make the optimal amounts of vitamin D. Most adults work indoors and wear more clothing during the workweek, which leaves only about 10%-15% of their body exposed to UV for short periods, so they cannot meet their vitamin D needs through the sun alone. Even if you do have some exposure to the sun, the total amount of vitamin D you can produce is affected by the season, time of day, ozone amount, latitude, and the number of clouds in the sky.