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What Does Vitamin D Do To You

What Are Symptoms And Signs Of An Excessive Vitamin D Intake

Mayo Clinic Minute: How much vitamin D do you need?

There have never been warnings about getting too much vitamin D from the sun so many do not realize that there is such a thing as too much vitamin D. There are negative health consequences from too much vitamin D, but this can only happen with excessive doses of supplements. A Tolerable Upper Limit has been set to avoid any issues, but there is some controversy about how much is too much. A blood level above 150 ng/mL appears to be the point at which problems occur, but some suggest that levels above 120 ng/mL should be the cap. Potential problems are hypercalcemia , hypercalciuria , and hyperphosphatemia . Over the long term, the elevated blood levels of calcium can lead to vascular and tissue calcification, with subsequent damage to the heart, blood vessels, and kidneys. Research has shown that very high doses of vitamin D can actually increase the risk of falls and fractures. A study of 2,256 community-dwelling women, aged 70 years or older, found that over five years those given very high doses of vitamin D experienced 15% more falls and 26% more fractures than those in the placebo group.

The current UL set for vitamin D supplements is as follows:

4,000 IU/day 10,000 IU/day

Vitamin D May Help Reduce The Risk Of Certain Cancers

Dr. Boyd points to various studiesmost of which are referenced on the National Cancer Institute’s websitethat provide some evidence that vitamin D may have cancer fighting powers. Evidence is increasing that vitamin D supplementation may improve cancer outcomes, he explains. The cancers for which the most human data are available are colorectal, breast, prostate, and pancreatic cancer.

The NCI specifically calls out a few reasons why researchers are interested in a link between vitamin D and a lowered risk of cancer. The organization points out that some research shows that incidence and death rates for certain cancers were lower among individuals living in southern latitudes, where levels of sunlight exposure are relatively high, than among those living at northern latitudes, though additional research needs to be done to find a specific causal or correlational link between more sunlight exposure and a lower risk of cancer. More experimental evidence, per the NCI, shows, that cancer cells and of tumors in mice, vitamin D has been found to have several activities that might slow or prevent the development of cancer cells and tumors in mice, including promoting cellular differentiation, decreasing cancer cell growth, stimulating cell death , and reducing tumor blood vessel formation .

Why Is Vitamin D More Important In Winter

In the winter, humans are exposed to more infections and spend less time outside. Exactly how much vitamin D healthy adults should have is debated. Some authorities recommend from 200 IU per day to 2,000 IU per day. In the U.S., the Institutes of Medicine recommends 600-800 IU per day for adults, while the Endocrine Society states that optimal vitamin D status may require 1500-2,000 IU per day. In the winter, people have a reduced ability to make vitamin D when they go outside, so amounts of at least 600 IU per day of vitamin D from food or supplements would help maintain vitamin D status at summer levels.

But, just like many things, too much vitamin D can be harmful. Vitamin D toxicity does not result from too much sun or food. Because of the risk of skin cancer, dermatologists and other health professionals do not recommend unprotected sun exposure to boost your vitamin D. Instead they suggest supplements. But vitamin D toxicity can occur if an individual takes too many.

The experts that set the national intakes of vitamin D for the U.S. recommend that adult individuals take no more than 4,000 IU per day of vitamin D to avoid toxic side effects. Vitamin D helps you absorb calcium from your diet, but when vitamin D is too high, calcium levels in the blood go up and that can lead to kidney disease.

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How Much Vitamin D To Take

There are few foods containing vitamin D that you can naturally add to your diet. Therefore, you have to resort to dietary supplements to increase the amount of vitamin D in your body.

Nutritionists and scientists have not agreed on an amount of the vitamin that is just enough for the body. What they do agree on is that if you exceed a certain amount of the vitamin, you will experience unpleasant side effects.

They recommend only 1000 IU to babies under the age of six months. Those who are between 7 months and a year old can only tolerate 1500 IU of vitamin D. Toddlers from age 1 to 3 years shouldnt exceed 2500 IU, whereas children from 4 to 8 years should have a maximum of 3000 IU of vitamin D.

From 9 years onwards into adulthood, the highest tolerated intake of vitamin D is 4000 IU. Intake past these recommended amounts will likely result in the undesirable symptoms mentioned above.

Vitamin D is a critical vitamin for the body, and its important to remember that too-low levels can also put you at risk for negative health effects. The best course of action is to get your vitamin D levels tested and talk to your doctor about how to safely increase your vitamin D intake, if necessary.

Vitamin D Deficiency Symptoms To Look Out For

Supplements For Amazing Health: Why You Need Vitamin D

If youre concerned that you may have low levels of vitamin D, you can keep an eye out for the following symptoms:

1. Feeling Tired or Sleepy

If you find yourself yawning throughout the day, you may want to get your vitamin D levels tested. Low levels of vitamin D are associated with daytime sleepiness, and studies have shown that a vitamin D supplement may help boost energy.13

2. Getting Sick Often

Vitamin D plays a huge role in the bodys immune system, boosting the health of the skin, the eyes, the urinary tract, the respiratory system, and the intestine.14

So, if you struggle with frequent respiratory infections or other bugs, you may want to increase your intake of vitamin D to help support your immune system.15,16

3. Intestinal Issues

Recurring gastrointestinal issues are strongly associated with insufficient vitamin D.

In fact, a 2015 study found that in a group of 49 people complaining of gastrointestinal issues, 82 percent were deficient in vitamin D.17

4. Back Pain

Back pain has many causes it can be brought on by heavy lifting, or even from a bad nights sleep. But sometimes, back pain is evidence of something more a vitamin D deficiency.

Scientific studies have demonstrated that inadequate vitamin D levels are linked with back pain, especially in older populations, and in those with lower than average bone density.18

5. Tooth Decay

6. Hair Loss

1. Female pattern hair loss, which is an overall thinning of hair on the scalp20

7. Chronic Muscle Pain

8. Low Mood

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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.

Do I Have A Vitamin D Deficiency

Most people living in first-world countries dont have many vitamin deficiencies. We can get most of the nutrients we need through food alone, and many foods have vitamins added to them to ensure that we get enough. Vitamin D deficiency, however, is still rampant, even among otherwise healthy people.

The main reason why is lack of sun exposure. Contrary to what you might think, just walking around outside on a sunny day usually isnt enough, even if you live on a tropical island. Clouds and shade dramatically cut down on ultraviolet lightthe stuff that your skin needs to produce vitamin Dand window glass blocks it completely. Furthermore, the National Institutes of Health explain that wearing sunscreen with an SPF of eight or more wont allow your body to absorb enough light to make D, although its obviously important to use some anyway to avoid sunburn and long-term skin damage.

Ethnicity also plays a factor. Melanin is a pigment that darkens the skin, but it also reduces the skins ability to absorb vitamin D. African Americans and Hispanics typically have more melanin than white people, so they tend to be more deficient.

Senior citizens are also in jeopardy. A trial in the American Journal of Geriatric Pharmacotherapy stated that elderly subjects had insufficient D levels, despite vitamin D intake consistent with national recommendations.

Also Check: What Vitamins Give More Energy

Can You Have Too Much Vitamin D

Yes, it is possible to overdo vitamin D. What makes vitamin D different from other common vitamin supplements is that its a fat-soluble vitamin. When you ingest too much of a water-soluble vitamin, such as vitamin C, your body will eliminate excess via urine, says Tan. But the same cant be said for vitamin D.

Its very hard to have vitamin D toxicity from sun exposure or diet, but when people start taking supplementswhether through vitamin D drops or a prescriptionit can get to very high levels, says Tan. Too much vitamin D can cause calcium buildup and lead to kidney stones and other problems.

In general, a toxic dose of vitamin D is more than 4,000 IU a daya level that may actually hinder bone health rather than help it, according to a 2019 study in JAMA. In fact, vitamin D toxicity can result in hypercalcemia, a condition marked by an above-average amount of calcium in the blood, which can lead to nausea, vomiting, muscle weakness, neuropsychiatric disturbances, pain, loss of appetite, dehydration, polyuria, excessive thirst and kidney stones.

Ways To Get Vitamin D

Do You Need To Take A Vitamin D Supplement?

You can get vitamin D from sunlight exposure, dietary sources, and supplements.

Getting ample vitamin D through sun exposure can be straightforward, but you do need to make sure you donât get sunburned .

In food, vitamin D can be found in beef liver, egg yolks, and fatty fish like salmon and tuna. There are also many fortified foods, like milk and dairy products, that provide your body with vitamin D.

Read Also: Is Fish Oil Vitamins Good For You

If You Take Any Group Of Patients With Almost Any Disease Their Vitamin D Levels Will Be Lower Than In A Healthy Individual Ian Reid

Ian Reid, professor in medicine at the University of Auckland, believes that diseases cause low vitamin D levels, as being unwell often leads to spending less time outdoors exposed to sunlight, rather than vice versa. If you take any group of patients with almost any disease, their vitamin D levels will be lower than in a healthy individual. This has led some to hypothesise its low vitamin D developing the disease, but theres no evidence to prove it, he says.

Some experts believe people who are unwell have low vitamin D levels because they spend less time outdoors, not that their low levels cause health problems

Researchers have found that higher vitamin D levels are associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer it plays a role in stemming the formation of new blood vessels and stimulating better communication between cells. Vitamin D also has been found to help maintain normal levels of calcium in the colon, which slows growth of non-cancerous but high-risk cells.

Other studies, including of the link between vitamin D and liver cancer,breast cancer and prostate cancer, suggest there is good reason to think that low vitamin D plays a part in the spread of cancer cells. But taking supplements would then, surely, help stave off cancer and a recent meta-analysis failed to find that supplementation reduced cancer risk.

D for depression

What Is The Most Painful Autoimmune Disease

Myositis is a rare type of autoimmune disease that inflames and weakens muscle fibers. Autoimmune diseases occur when the bodys own immune system attacks itself. In the case of myositis, the immune system attacks healthy muscle tissue, which results in inflammation, swelling, pain, and eventual weakness.

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When Is The Best Time To Take Vitamins

1 ).

While these nutrients are found in varying amounts in food, some people need to supplement with certain vitamins to meet their nutritional requirements.

Normally, most vitamins can be taken at any time of day. That said, some vitamins are better absorbed under special conditions, which is why its good to know how and when to take a supplement to promote optimal absorption.

This article explains how and when to take vitamins.

What Does A Lack Of Vitamin D Do To You

Expat Family Health » Do you know how much vitamin D your ...

Even though exposure to the sun can help your body make sufficient amounts of vitamin D needed for health, about 42 percent of Americans do not get adequate amounts of this essential nutrient, according to a Nutrition Research article published in 2011. The impact of vitamin D deficiency results in poor bone health and may increase your risk of diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases, reports a 2004 review article in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Also Check: What Foods Are High In Zinc And Vitamin C

How Does Vitamin D Affect Your Bones

A vitamin D deficiency can lead to osteoporosis. According to the Mayo Clinic, higher doses of prednisone, an RA medication, also increase your risk for osteoporosis. This condition causes your bones to lose density and become weak, which increases your risk for bone fractures from incidents ranging from falls to bumping into objects. Talk to your doctor if you have arthritis and think you may be at risk for osteoporosis. Osteoporosis often develops without symptoms and requires a bone mineral density test for diagnosis.

Sunlight And Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a unique vitamin. This is because your body can make it when it is exposed to sunlight.

Many factors can reduce how much vitamin D your body makes, including:

  • smog
  • amount of skin exposed to sunlight
  • age:
  • you make less vitamin D as you get older
  • amount of melanin :
  • it takes longer for people with more melanin to make vitamin D from the sun’s ultraviolet rays
  • These factors make it hard to estimate the amount of vitamin D you make from sun exposure.

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    Vitamin D Boosts Weight Loss

    Consider adding vitamin D supplements to your diet if youre trying to lose weight or prevent heart disease. You can find a great selection of vitamin D supplements on .

    In one study, people taking a daily calcium and vitamin D supplement were able to lose more weight than subjects taking a placebo supplement. The scientists said the extra calcium and vitamin D had an appetite-suppressing effect.

    In another study, overweight people who took a daily vitamin D supplement improved their heart disease risk markers.

    Many factors can affect your ability to get sufficient amounts of vitamin D through the sun alone. These factors include:

    • Being in an area with high pollution
    • Using sunscreen
    • Spending more time indoors
    • Living in big cities where buildings block sunlight
    • Having darker skin.

    These factors contribute to vitamin D deficiency in an increasing number of people. Thats why its important to get some of your vitamin D from sources besides sunlight.

    The symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency in adults include:

    • severe bone or muscle pain or weakness that may cause difficulty climbing stairs or getting up from the floor or a low chair, or cause you to walk with a waddling gait
    • stress fractures, especially in your legs, pelvis, and hips

    Doctors can diagnose a vitamin D deficiency by performing a simple blood test. If you have a deficiency, your doctor may order X-rays to check the strength of your bones.

    • salmon

    Symptoms Of Vitamin D Deficiency

    What Vitamin D Can Do For Your Health

    Does vitamin D deficiency cause symptoms?

    Yes, deficiency of vitamin D can cause bone pain and muscle weakness. However, mild vitamin D deficiency is not necessarily associated with any symptoms. Vitamin D has been referred to as the “sunlight vitamin” because it is made in our skin when we are exposed to sunlight.

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    What Are Vitamin D Deficiency Symptoms And Signs What Are Health Risks Of Vitamin D Deficiency


    • It’s possible that maintaining adequate vitamin D levels could lessen the length and severity of upper respiratory infections and possibly even prevent them from occurring in some people. A review of 12 studies, including 2,279 children, found that children with lower respiratory infections had significantly lower vitamin D levels compared with controls. There was also a relationship between the how low the level went and the incidence and severity of LRTI. The role of vitamin D in reducing the risk of hospital-acquired infections, such as pneumonia, bacteremia, urinary tract infections, and surgical site infections is also being investigated.

    Inflammation reduction

    • Many of the health benefits associated with vitamin D may come from its role in decreasing inflammation. Research has shown a decrease in levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation, with increased levels of vitamin D.

    Inflammatory bowel disease

    • When there is an inability to properly absorb nutrients in the GI tract, there is a higher risk for nutritional deficiencies. Vitamin D’s role goes beyond this in that the level of deficiency may impact the severity of IBD, and maintaining adequate levels may keep you in remission longer. There has even been evidence showing larger numbers of cases of IBD in northern latitudes suggesting it has a role in prevention, as well.


    Skeletal disease

    Type 2 diabetes risk reduction


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