What Are The Benefits Of Vitamin D3
Your body creates vitamin D3 when the sun touches your skin. In the winter months however, we tend to stay inside more, making it harder to get the proper amount of D3.
Drops in D3 can be damaging to both mind and body. Your bones, muscles and entire immune system need it to survive. Furthermore, your mood can be greatly affected by a shortage of D3. During this time of year, pay attention to the amount of sun you get and if needed, take D3 supplements to enjoy its benefits.
The Role Of Vitamin D3
Another surprising thing about vitamin D3? Its not actually a vitamin, but a pro-hormone. Its considered a pro-hormone because the body is able to produce it on its own by absorbing sunlight on the skin.
Other vitamins and nutrients are unable to be produced by the body and therefore must be obtained via diet and supplements. The body needs to store a healthy amount of vitamin D in order absorb phosphorous and be able to maintain normal levels of calcium. In fact, vitamin D is essential to many functions in the body:
- Vitamin D is necessary for the maintenance of strong bones and healthy teeth.
- Keeping a healthy store of vitamin D gives added protection to such diseases as cancer, multiple sclerosis, and type 1 diabetes.
- Helps with diabetes management and maintaining healthy insulin levels.
- Vitamin D offers immune support as well as protection to the nervous system and the brain.
- Vitamin D is essential to the health of the lungs and cardiovascular system.
- Helps inhibit the development of cancer.
Vitamin D Can Fight Inflammation
Vitamin D is beneficial to the immune system because it helps regulate the production of cytokines. Cytokines are proteins that are used by the immune system to communicate with other cells, and when they are produced in the wrong amounts or at the wrong time, they can cause inflammation.
Vitamin D can also help reduce the risk of infections by promoting the production of white blood cells and increasing the efficiency of T-cells. A lack of Vitamin D has been linked to an increased susceptibility to infection, so maintaining healthy levels might help keep you from getting sick.
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Common Uses Of Vitamin D3
Vitamin D3 helps support immune health as well as various other important functions in the body. As part of your daily health routine, regular D3 supplementation can help protect you against seasonal and environmental threats. Additionally, by helping support immune cell function and promoting healthy immune responses, D3 can help reduce common oxidative stress.
The role that vitamin D3 plays in supporting bone strength allows it to be an important addition to a daily routine for those looking to maintain strong, healthy bones. As part of a healthy lifestyle, D3 can help achieve optimal peak bone mass to support a healthy musculoskeletal structure at any age.
Finally, vitamin D3 can be used to support heart health. A lack of vitamin D3 in the diet can be associated with high cholesterol, so with regular supplementation, you can promote healthy cholesterol levels to support heart and arterial health.
What Are The Side Effects Of Vitamin D3
The majority of people do not generally experience any vitamin D3 side effects when the recommended amount is taken.
Vitamin D3 is fat-soluble, meaning the body has a difficult time removing it if you take in an excessive amount.
A few unwanted effects of taking a lot of vitamin D3 can include dry mouth, weakness, headache, vomiting, loss of appetite, metallic taste, and nausea.
If you take too much vitamin D3, your liver creates a great deal of a chemical called 25D, which can cause a problem referred to as hypercalcemia.
Early indicators of hypercalcemia include muscle pain, anorexia, dry mouth, fatigue, ataxia, vertigo, tinnitus, headache, nausea, vomiting, constipation, metallic taste, abdominal cramps, weakness, and bone pain.
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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
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.
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Drug Interactions Of Vitamin D2 Vs D3
Vitamin D2 and D3 each are metabolized by the liver to 25D, and therefore the potential drug interactions are similar for both forms. Vitamin D may increase the serum levels of aluminum when taken with aluminum hydroxide, a common antacid, and therefore the combination should be avoided. Thiazide diuretics, such as hydrochlorothiazide, may increase the chance of vitamin D raising calcium levels in the blood to a dangerously high level. Patients on both thiazide diuretics and vitamin D supplementation should be monitored for this effect by their healthcare provider. Some drugs may decrease the absorption and effectiveness of your vitamin D supplement. Bile-acid sequestrants, such as cholestyramine, are an example of a drug which will impair vitamin D absorption. Vitamin D and cholestyramine should not be administered at the same time.
The following table may not be a complete list of drug interactions. Please consult your pharmacist or healthcare provider for more information and a complete list of interactions.
Frequently Asked Questions About Vitamin D3
Can I take vitamin D3 every day?
Lower doses of vitamin D3 can be taken every day. Vitamin D3 sometimes comes as a high dose and is typically taken only once a week, or as instructed by your healthcare provider. If you aren’t sure what dose and how often you should take vitamin D3 , ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist.
How much vitamin D3 should I take every day to prevent low vitamin D levels?
The recommended amount of vitamin D3 to help prevent low vitamin D levels and promote bone health will vary depending on your age. Different organizations and medical expert societies have slightly different recommendations. In general, infants up to 1 year of age should get at least 400 IU and up to 1,000 IU per day. Children should get at least 600 IU and up to 1,000 IU per day. Adults should also get at least 600 IU and up to 2,000 IU per day. Adults older than 70 years of age should get at least 800 IU and up to 2,000 IU per day. Adults shouldn’t take more than a total of 4,000 IU per day , unless instructed to do so by your provider, to avoid side effects. The total daily limits for children are based on their age.
Is vitamin D3 safe for newborns?
Is vitamin D3 safe for pregnant women?
Is too much vitamin D3 harmful?
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Q: Should People Consider Vitamin D Supplements
A: If the level of vitamin D in your blood is less than 20 nanograms per milliliter, your doctor may recommend taking a supplement. Many women already take calcium and vitamin D supplements together for bone health because vitamin D can help in calcium absorption, and they work best when taken together. Ask your doctor if supplements are right for you.
Combination Vitamin D3 And K: Game Changing Benefits
Supplementing vitamin D3 and K2 comes with all the benefits of vitamin D and vitamin K, but also some unique health benefits that are only unlocked when these two vitamins are used together.
New research is revealing this game-changing pair of vitamins and their effect on our hearts, our bones, and our blood sugar.
In this day and age, its important to invest in your health using the most up-to-date science. Thats where vitamins D3 and K2 enter the scene.
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How Do You Know You Are Vitamin D Deficiency
There are a few ways to know if you are vitamin D deficient. The most common way is to get your blood tested by a doctor. You can also look for symptoms of deficiency, which include fatigue, bone pain, and muscle weakness.
If you think you might be deficient, it’s important to talk to your doctor and get a blood test. Vitamin D deficiency can be treated with supplements, so it’s important to get diagnosed and treated early.
People With Medical Conditions That Reduce Fat Absorption
Because vitamin D is fat-soluble, it relies on the guts ability to absorb fat from the diet.
Thus, people who have medical conditions that reduce fat absorption are prone to vitamin D deficiencies. These include inflammatory bowel disease , liver disease and also people who have had bariatric surgery (
Summary: Those who need the most vitamin D are older people, people with darker skin, those who live farther from the equator and people who cant absorb fat properly.
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Where Does Vitamin D Come From
Our bodies make vitamin D when our skin is exposed to the sun. It’s hard to get enough vitamin D from the sun, though. Most kids and adults spend lots of time indoors at school and work. When outdoors, it’s important to protect skin to prevent skin cancer and skin damage from too much sun exposure.
Very few foods have vitamin D naturally. The foods with the most are fatty fish , liver, eggs and fish oils. Kids don’t eat these foods a lot. That’s why food companies add vitamin D to milk, yogurt, baby formula, juice, cereal, and other foods.
Adding vitamin D to foods is called “fortifying.” It’s helpful, but it still may not be enough.
To get enough vitamin D, children often need to take a multivitamin with vitamin D or a vitamin D supplement. Vitamin D is sometimes labeled as vitamin D3.
You can buy vitamin D pills, gummies, chewables, liquids, and sprays in stores without a prescription. Ask your child’s health care provider for advice on choosing the right one.
Food Sources Of Vitamin D
“Vitamin D naturally occurs in egg yolks, beef liver, fatty fish like salmon, tuna, swordfish or sardines and fish liver oils. Unfortunately, vitamin D isn’t naturally occurring in lots of foods, which is why some foods have vitamin D added to them. Vitamin D is added to cereals, dairy and plant milks and orange juice,” Tolentino says.
Even though you can get vitamin D from food, it’s difficult to get enough from that source on its own since the amount of vitamin D in most foods is pretty small. “It’s not that easy to get your daily recommended intake of vitamin D through food. We’re just not eating large quantities of most of these foods. How much beef liver or sardines are you realistically eating every day?” Tolentino says.
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Lowers The Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes
If you have a history of diabetes in your family or have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes, you should consider taking more Vitamin D. Vitamin D insufficiency has been linked to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes in recent studies. By resolving insulin resistance, you may be able to avoid the development of type 2 diabetes.
The insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas include alpha-hydroxylase enzymes and VDRs, which contribute to glucose tolerance and resistance.
Vitamin D deficiency might also decrease the secretion of insulin from the pancreas, which can cause insulin resistance and modify how the body responds to glucose. Given these results, it’s worth discussing with your doctor whether taking extra Vitamin D would improve your general health.
Should I Take Vitamin D Or D3
Vitamin D and vitamin D3 are each effective vitamin D supplements. Vitamin D2 is approved in the treatment of hypoparathyroidism, vitamin D resistant rickets, and hypophosphatemia. Both supplements are commonly used for vitamin D supplementation.
Studies have shown that vitamin D3 supplements may be superior in raising the bodys vitamin D stores. There are many health benefits to vitamin D supplementation, but your doctor should use lab tests to recommend the amount of vitamin D you should take and which form.
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Boost Immunity With Vitamin D3
Vitamin D3 is much more than the sunshine vitamin. It also plays an important role in supporting immune function. Through specific mechanisms, vitamin D3 activates key peptides in the immune system that help defend against environmental threats. This peptide activity influences immune cell activity, to promote strong immune responses.
Reduced levels of vitamin D3, can affect your immune cells ability to protect against occasional environmental threats. In order for immune cells such as T cells to function efficiently, they must first encounter a seasonal or environmental threat. At this time, the T cells extend a special receptor that looks for vitamin D3. If the T cell cannot find the vitamin, it cannot be activated, nor can it become mobilized to protect you.
There is also a role for vitamin D3 involving overstimulation of the immune system. This is critical in helping to reduce occasional unnecessary immune responses. The knowledge of vitamin D3s activating role in the immune response can help researchers learn more about reducing these unwanted immune responses.
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Typical Dosing For Vitamin D3
Vitamin D3 is taken by mouth. Your dose will depend on your individual needs. Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist about what dose and how often you should take vitamin D3 .
Vitamin D Can Help Treat Hypertension
According to a 2019 review published in the journal Current Protein & Peptide Science suggests that vitamin D may play a role in treatment of high blood pressureone of the markers of cardiovascular diseasesays Newgent. According to authors of the review, even short-term vitamin D deficiency may directly raise BP and promote target organ damage. The researchers went on to add that, “due to the high correlation between vitamin D and hypertension, vitamin D supplementation therapy may be a new insight in the treatment of hypertension.”
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Why You Need Vitamin D3
A deficiency of vitamin D can have serious consequences in the body. Vitamin D is vital for these reasons:
1. Bone Health
Doctors discovered vitamin D when they were studying rickets, a children’s bone disorder. Today rickets is rare, but vitamin D is still needed for bone health. It’s especially important for women past menopause, who are at risk of osteoporosis. Vitamin D is also used to treat a more serious bone condition called osteomalacia . Vitamin D allows the body to absorb calcium. Without vitamin D, the body uses only a small percentage of the calcium in food.
2. Anti-Cancer Properties
Higher levels of vitamin D in the blood are associated with lower levels of some cancers, including colorectal,prostate, and pancreatic. In animal studies, vitamin D was associated with fewer tumors and slower growth of tumors. Clinical trials in humans suggest that vitamin D may not prevent cancer but may slow its progress.
3. Brain Health
Low levels of vitamin D may be a risk factor for various forms of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. Animal studies and cell studies have shown a connection, but the results of clinical trials have been mixed. Further research is needed.