What Type Of Vitamin D Is Best
Vitamin D comes in two major forms, vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 .
The human body can absorb and process both forms. However, as vitamin D3 occurs naturally as your bodys response to sunlight, its generally considered the preferred form of supplementation.
Vitamin D3 supplements are typically made using lanolin, a type of wax extracted from sheeps wool. However, at BetterYou, we use a plant-origin source of D3 in our Vegan Health Oral Spray and Vegan DLux 1000 Oral Spray.
Interesting Facts About Vitamin D5
Vitamin D is sometimes referred to as the sunshine vitamin because your body makes most of your vitamin D when your skin is exposed to sunlight.
But you can also dial up your vitamin D intake through what you choose to eat and drink.
Good sources of vitamin D include fatty fish like salmon or sardines, as well as egg yolks, fortified milk, orange juice, and cereal.
Interestingly, mushrooms absorb vitamin D when they’re exposed to sunlight.
So they can be a good choice for more of that sunshine vitamin too, especially if you put them in the sun before eating them.
Ahn J, Yu K, Stolzenberg-Solomon R, et al. Genome-wide association study of circulating vitamin D levels. Human Molecular Genetics. 2010 19:27392745. doi:10.1093/hmg/ddq155.
Anderson D, Holt BJ, Pennell CE, Holt PG, Hart PH, Blackwell JM. Genome-wide association study of vitamin D levels in children: replication in the Western Australian Pregnancy Cohort study. Genes & Immunity. 2014 15:578583. doi:10.1038/gene.2014.52.
Elkum N, Alkayal F, Noronha F, et al. Vitamin D Insufficiency in Arabs and South Asians Positively Associates with Polymorphisms in GC and CYP2R1 Genes. PLoS ONE. 2014 9. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0113102.
GC Vitamin D Binding Protein . National Center for Biotechnology Information. March 28, 2019. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/gene/2638
Mushrooms and Vitamin D. Berkeley Wellness. December 5, 2016. http://www.berkeleywellness.com/healthy-eating/nutrition/article/mushrooms-and-vitamin-d
The Difference Between Vitamin D2 And Vitamin D3
At your local pharmacy or online, youll likely see two options for vitamin D supplements: vitamin D2 and vitamin D3. Whats the difference, and which should you opt for? Essentially, Kennedy says, D3 is the natural form of the vitamin that your body generates from the sun. D2 is the form that our body cannot make on its own. She says that if youre looking to add more nutrients to your body, D3 is generally preferable because its more potent than D2 when used at high levels, though scientists and physicians continue to debate which version trumps the other.
There are various kinds of tablets and pills out there including some that you would swallow like a normal pill, as well as dissolvable tablets.
Just keep in mind that the Food and Drug Administration doesnt regulate supplements. Its important to work with your doctor to pick a safe and responsible supplement that is effective and wont interfere with any medication youre already taking. After all, you wouldnt want to worsen your health with the addition of a supplement!
Its important for you and your healthcare provider to be on the same page. Never feel afraid to ask your doctor or dietitian about what might be a good supplement for you, Kennedy says.
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Take A Vitamin D Supplement In Pill Or Tablet Form
Taking a pill or tablet supplement can be a good way to make sure youre getting enough vitamin D, especially if youre at risk for deficiency or your doctor has determined that your levels are low with a blood test.
A low vitamin D blood test reading would be less than 20 nanograms per milliliter .
Vitamin D Deficiency And Depression
There may be an association between low levels of vitamin D and depression, but studies show mixed results and further research is needed. Vitamin D receptors in the brain have been linked to the development of depression. Vitamin D itself may not ward off depression, but patients who are taking antidepressants along with vitamin D may help reduce symptoms of depression.
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What Is Vitamin D Good For Bone Brain And Immune System Health
- Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, build a strong immune system, and prevent neurodegenerative conditions.
- Vitamin D deficiency can increase the risk of osteoporosis, especially for the elderly.
- Too much vitamin D causes nausea, vomiting, weakness, and kidney damage, but vitamin D toxicity is rare and usually only happens from taking too many supplements.
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Vitamin D’s main function is to promote bone health, but it helps with other necessary bodily functions, as well. That’s why it’s important to make sure you are getting a proper amount of vitamin D, as too little or too much vitamin D can be harmful. Here’s what you need to know.
The Importance Of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is essential for bone health. It helps increase the absorption of calcium from the stomach, regulates the amount of calcium in the blood and strengthens the skeleton.
The main source of vitamin D is production in the skin after exposure to sunlight. Small amounts of vitamin D are available in some foods. For vitamin D to work effectively it needs to be activated by the liver and kidney, which then turns it into a hormone.
Vitamin D has many roles within the body. The most understood role is its ability to help the body absorb calcium and phosphorus and vitamin D also assists with:
- bone development and strength
- maintaining a healthy immune system
- hormone function
- nervous system regulation
Apart from its important role in maintaining bone health, vitamin D may also have an important role in other diseases such as diabetes, cancer and infection. These are currently areas of intense research.
Health Effects Of Low Vitamin D
Vitamin D deficiency does not always have obvious symptoms but without treatment there can be significant health effects. These can include bone and muscle pain, and softening of the bones such as rickets and osteomalacia .
Some people are at greater risk of vitamin D deficiency, including:
- people with naturally very dark skin this is because the pigment in dark skin doesnt absorb as much UV radiation
- people who avoid the sun due to previous skin cancers, immune suppression or sensitive skin and those people who have limited sun exposure, such as nightshift workers
- people who wear covering clothing or concealing clothing
- people who spend a long time indoors such as those who are housebound or institutionalised
- people who are obese
- people who have a disability or a disease that affects vitamin D metabolism, such as end stage liver disease, renal disease and fat malabsorption syndromes such as cystic fibrosis, coeliac disease and inflammatory bowel disease
- people who take medication that affects vitamin D metabolism
- breast-fed babies of vitamin D deficient mothers
If you think you may be at risk of vitamin D deficiency, talk to your GP for advice. Your GP may recommend taking a vitamin D supplement.
Overexposure to UV is never recommended, even for people who have vitamin D deficiency.
Vitamin D Is Linked To Improved Muscle Health
Getting adequate vitamin D is also necessary for your muscle health and strength, according to a November 2012 study in Sports Health.
Increasing your vitamin D can help improve your muscle protein synthesis and ATP concentration, a compound that supplies your body with the energy needed for muscle function.
Vitamin D supplementation can also help reduce inflammation or pain, making it helpful for athletes, according to the above-mentioned study. Increasing vitamin D levels is tied to helping improve athletic factors like strength, jump height, jump power, exercise capacity and physical performance.
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Vitamin D And Genetics
Some researchers have noticed low vitamin D can run in families, indicating a possible genetic connection.
AncestryDNA looks at a gene called GC. This gene codes for a protein that binds to vitamin D, so it can be activated and then carried to the tissues in your body that need it.
Certain DNA differences in the GC gene are more common in people whose ancestors come from regions where people have darker skin other DNA differences are more common in people with very fair ancestors.
Overall the role of genetics in determining your vitamin D levels is small, and the GC gene is just one of the genetic factors that can affect them.
Why Your Body Needs Vitamin D
Broccoli and cabbage contain a special molecule that helps your body absorb vitamin D. Raw cruciferous vegetables are even more beneficial when theyre easy to digest ferment your veggies with the Veggie Culture Starter.
Many of us associate vitamin D with strong bones and healthy teeth.
Indeed, vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that promotes the use of calcium and helps bones grow. Vitamin D also encourages immune cells to mature, bolstering the immune system and keeping infectious bacteria in check.
Researchers have found receptor sites for vitamin D on the surface of intestinal cells. This tells us that vitamin D is essential for intestinal health. We also know that vitamin D controls inflammation and autoimmune flare-ups.
Mutations in the VDR genewhich limit the bodys ability to absorb vitamin Dare associated with Crohns disease, an autoimmune and inflammatory disorder that affects the intestinal tract.
Vitamin D also protects against the development of cancer. Many genes that control cell growth and cell death are partially regulated by vitamin D. This helps to explain the pivotal role that vitamin D plays in the fight against cancer.
Besides cod liver oil, shellfish, and seafood, you can also find smaller amounts of vitamin D in liver and egg yolk.
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What Is The Fastest Way To Absorb Vitamin D
In fact, sunlight has proven most effective in terms of reaching your vitamin D recommendation, because your skin can produce the necessary amount of Vitamin D naturally from exposure to ultraviolet light. The average adult will be able to absorb enough vitamin D in between ten to twenty minutes of direct sunlight over the course of a day.
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.
How Much Vitamin D Does My Child Need
Vitamin D is measured in international units .
- Babies younger than 1 year old need 400 IU of vitamin D a day. Baby formula has 400 IU per liter, so babies who drink at least 32 ounces of formula each day get enough. If your baby drinks only breast milk or gets less than 32 ounces of formula each day, ask your health care provider about giving your baby a vitamin D supplement.
- Kids older than 1 year need 600 IU or more of vitamin D a day. Health care providers often want healthy kids to take 600 to 1,000 IU daily.
Some kids might need more vitamin D, such as those who:
- have certain medical problems
How To Get Vitamin D
There are three main sources of vitamin D: sunlight, certain foods, and supplements.
The sun is the number one source of the nutrient. Staying for 10 minutes under the midday sun is equivalent to 10,000 units of vitamin D.
Certain foods are also good sources of vitamin D. They include:
- Egg yolk
- Calcium-fortified foods like cereal, orange juice, and oatmeal
Yet, the sun remains by far the best way to boost vitamin D levels. These few foods dont have more than 200 IU per serving, at best.
Now, if you dont have the opportunity to get enough sunlight or eat food that can provide vitamin D, we recommend taking vitamin D supplements.
Usually, 10 milligrams a day are enough for most people. Anything more can be harmful.
What Are The Symptoms Of Vitamin D Deficiency
If youre not getting enough vitamin D, this might lead to:
- aching and/or weakened bones
- an increased vulnerability to coughs and colds
- gut problems
For many people, the symptoms are fairly subtle and wont cause any serious risk to your health. However, it is possible for a vitamin D deficiency to bring about more harmful complications if left untreated.
There are simple blood tests you can do at home to check whether your vitamin D levels are low. These give you an accurate reading of the amount of vitamin D in your blood. You then send off the tester and receive the findings back via email. Read more about BetterYous vitamin D testing service here
Not Getting Enough Vitamin D
We dont need vitamin D from food or sunlight every day. But if you dont get enough over a longer period of time, you wont have enough vitamin D for good health known as vitamin D deficiency. This is very common in the UK around one in five adults and one in six children dont have enough vitamin D.
Some people are more likely to have a vitamin D deficiency than others. Supplements and eating foods which contain vitamin D can help.
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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.
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
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Should I Take Vitamin D Supplements
Just under 1 in 4 Australians has a vitamin D deficiency. People most at risk are the elderly and people with certain medical conditions such as liver disease and kidney disease, and those with problems absorbing food, including cystic fibrosis, coeliac disease and inflammatory bowel disease. Some medicines can also contribute to vitamin D deficiency.
A blood test can confirm whether you have a vitamin D deficiency. Your doctor may then recommend you take a vitamin D supplement along with a calcium supplement.
If you need vitamin D supplements, you will probably also be advised to spend more time outdoors and increase the amount of calcium in your diet. If your vitamin D is low due to a chronic medical condition, you may need to take supplements for the rest of your life.
Vitamin D supplements come in many different strengths and dosages. They can be low dose which you take every day or high dose, which you take monthly or less frequently.
Too much vitamin D can also cause health problems including weight loss, heart rhythm problems or damage to the heart, blood vessels and kidneys. Its not possible to get too much vitamin D from sunlight, but if you are taking vitamin D supplements its important to speak to your doctor or pharmacist to check you are taking the right dose.