How To Improve Your Vitamin D Status
Fortunately, there are many ways you can improve your vitamin D status.
Below are a few ideas:
- Spend at least half an hour in the sun daily, if possible
If you take vitamin D supplements, make sure not to exceed the safe upper intake level, which is 4,000 IU per day for adults .
According to the US Institute of Medicine, the recommended daily allowance is 400800 IU , but common supplemental doses range from 1,0002,000 IU per day.
For detailed information on the optimal dosage of vitamin D, read this article.
Summary You can increase your vitamin D levels by regularly eating foods rich in vitamin D and spending time in the sun.
How Much Vitamin D2 Or Vitamin D3 Should You Take
The recommended minimum daily intake can vary quite a bit from person to person, depending on their age, location, the season, how often their skin is exposed to the sun.Â¹Â³
Guidance around safe upper daily limits varies as well, but generally tops out around 4000 IU per day for most adults.Â¹â´Â¹âµ
But remember, more isnât necessarily better, says Dr. Prassas, nodding to vitamin Dâs current celebrity-vitamin status, which he calls an âoversellâ.
âVitamins have very good PR,â he notes, explaining that while vitamin D is necessary for overall health, and useful for preventing specific conditions such as rickets, thereâs no reason to take more than your doctor recommends.
Whats The Difference Between Vitamin D And Vitamin D3
There are two possible forms of vitamin D in the human body: vitamin D2 and vitamin D3. Both D2 and D3 are simply called âvitamin D,â so thereâs no meaningful difference between vitamin D3 and just vitamin D.
That being said, it can be worth understanding how vitamin D2 and D3 specifically are different from each otherâso hereâs a quick rundown:
Vitamin D3 is the form of vitamin D the human body makes when sunlight strikes the skin. The body canât manufacture vitamin D2.
Vitamin D3 is found in animal sources of foods, like fatty fish and fish oil, liver, organ meats, and egg yolks.
Vitamin D2 primarily comes from plant sources , and forms when certain kinds of plants are exposed to ultraviolet light from the sun.
Vitamin D2 is also less expensive to produce, so it is the form most commonly used to fortify foods, like milk, cereal products, and orange juice.
Read Also: How Much Is A Vitamin Iv Drip
Taking Vitamin D Or D3 Supplements
In the UK, medical advice from the NHS recommends that adults should at least consider taking Vitamin D or D3 supplements throughout the winter months. This is because the British climate doesnt offer enough sunshine from September through to March to maintain recommended Vitamin D levels and there are only limited food sources through which to receive the vitamin.
Supplements for Vitamin D and D3 are readily available from pharmacists and supermarkets and, unless you are a vegan, it is probably best to go for the Vitamin D3 supplements.
However, dietary supplements arent always necessary or advisable. If you get enough sun exposure already, or eat a lot of oily fish, you shouldnt need to take Vitamin D supplements at all. 10 micrograms a day is generally considered to be enough.
It is possible to have too much Vitamin D, and any more than 10 micrograms does run the risk of side effects. These can include vomiting, abdominal pain, confusion, and dehydration in serious cases of Vitamin D toxicity.
High Levels Of Melanin
Melanin is a pigment in the skin that makes it darker, so black people have high amounts of melanin, giving their skin its characteristic look.
But melanin can somewhat act like shade and lower the amount of D3 that your skin makes. Those with darker skin tones, and thus more melanin, might be at higher risk of low vitamin D levels.
Read Also: Can You Buy Vitamin D
How D2 And D3 Are Formed
When in contact with the sun, human skin has the ability to generate vitamin D3, which generally satisfies all its beneficial requirements. However, the skin cannot produce D3 in sunlight that’s filtered through a window, or on cloudy days.
Invertebrates like plants and fungus produce vitamin D2 in much the same way as the human skin produces D3. However, vitamin D2 made for human consumption in supplement form is created in a laboratory by exposing fungus to ultra violet light.
What Is Vitamin D1 D2 D3
In the early 1920s, a German researcher called Adolf Windaus isolated three forms of vitamin D, which he named Vitamin D1, D2, and D3. However, subsequent researchers discovered that what he called vitamin D1 was a mixture of compounds rather than a pure vitamin D product, so the term D1 is no longer used.
Subsequently, its rather hard to explain the difference between D1 and D2 since vitamin D1 technically doesnt exist. However, the other two forms D2 and D3 have been extensively researched, so its much easier to tell them apart.
Don’t Miss: Does Vitamin D Help You Grow Taller
What Are Some Of The Early Symptoms Of Vitamin D Deficiency
Some of the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency are weakness, metallic taste in the mouth, bone or muscle pain, weight loss, nausea, constipation and vomiting.
Some of the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency are weakness, metallic taste in the mouth, bone or muscle pain, weight loss, nausea, constipation and vomiting.
Please try one more time!
Coverage And Cost Comparison Of Vitamin D Vs D3
Vitamin D2 in prescription form is commonly covered by most commercial and Medicare insurance plans. The over-the-counter formulations are typically not covered by commercial or Medicare insurance plans. The price can vary greatly depending on dosage. The average cost of the 50,000 IU dose for 12 weeks of therapy is $54. With a coupon from SingleCare, this price drops to as low as $2.
Vitamin D3 is over-the-counter, and therefore is typically not covered by insurance plans. The price varies depending on dose. D3 can cost as much as $50 per one month supply, but if your doctor prescribes the medication you can get it for as low as $8 with a SingleCare discount coupon.
Don’t Miss: Minerals And Vitamins In Broccoli
What Are The Benefits Of Taking A Vitamin D Supplement
The government says around 25% of teenagers and adults in the UK have low levels of vitamin D, which puts them at risk.
As there are so few food sources of vitamin D, and sun exposure can be unreliable, supplements are considered a safe way to prevent a deficiency.10
A 2013 review of evidence concluded that a vitamin D supplement could help protect against coughs and colds, while a separate 2013 study reported that women with lower levels of vitamin D experience tiredness and low energy.11,12
With so many factors putting us at risk of low levels, it makes sense to look at ways to supplement.
Some foods are fortified with Vitamin D, although you need to be sure it is Vitamin D3 and not just Vitamin D2.
Cod liver oil is a good source of Vitamin D supplementation .
A quality Vitamin D3 or wide-spectrum Vitamin D supplement is a sensible way to keep your daily levels topped up.
The most helpful aspect of taking any trustworthy health supplement is peace of mind. Just one little tablet or capsule per day and you can carry on knowing that you have covered your health bases.
With Vitamin D, you will be protecting your bone health, supporting your immune system, and helping your body build and maintain cells. That is why Vitamin D is one of the most important supplements you can take.
Elm & Rye D3 Capsules
Image courtesy Elm & Rye
Now that you know more about why Elm & Rye is an excellent option for your D3 vitamin needs, here’s what they have to say about their D3 capsules:
âIn all of our products, we only utilize high-quality, pure ingredients. There are no extra additives, fillers, or other nonsense in our supplements. These components combine to form a premium recipe and way of life for you.
Not all pills are made equal. We frequently send our items to third-party laboratories for testing and evaluation. Then we make the outcomes available here so that you can see them for yourself.â
Recommended Reading: What Can Vitamin C Do For Your Body
It Helps Build Strong Bones
Our bodies need vitamin D to extract calcium properly from the food we eat, but a vitamin D deficiency means we cannot absorb enough calcium.
Over time, this can contribute to osteomalacia a condition where the bones become weak and more likely to fracture. But upping your vitamin D levels helps remineralise bone structures, making them stronger.
It could also help prevent osteoporosis. While osteomalacia is caused by poor bone structures being built, osteoporosis is caused by bone breaking down.
Some studies have found that the vitamin can also slow down bone loss, warding off osteoporosis and keeping you stronger for longer.
So Which Should I Take
Vitamin D deficiency is now more prevalent than ever, with around a billion people worldwide being vitamin D deficient. It is important that people at risk of vitamin D deficiency older adults, people living in less sunny climates and people with darker skin take vitamin D supplements.
Health professionals recommend that most people take 10 micrograms of vitamin D a day, especially in winter. It would appear that vitamin D3 supplements are the superior option for maintaining vitamin D levels, but short exposure of the skin to the sun, even on a cloudy day, will also help you keep healthy vitamin D levels.
You May Like: What Are The Best Vitamins For Seniors
What Is Vitamin D2
Vitamin D2, just like D3, is not a vitamin but rather a secosteroid. The scientific name for vitamin D2 is ergocalciferol and it is a synthetic calcium regulator. Vitamin D3 is a natural calcium regulator.
WebMD states that both vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 are the same vitamin. However, vitamin D2 is not absorbed from the sun it is either taken via supplements or obtained through foods, mainly milk and vegetables.
According to the National Library of Medicines Medical Publication website, vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 are not interchangeable. Both have had adequate success for the treatment and prevention of rickets, but that is the extent of its use.
In fact, the articles at the NLM website recommend that nobody should supplement with vitamin D2. This is because it doesnt provide adequate benefits vitamin D3 provides everything that vitamin D2 does and more.
Why Take Vitamin D And K
Vitamin K has similarities with vitamin D. Its fat-soluble, found in egg yolks and liver, as well as some plant foods, and, like vitamin D, it assists calcium in promoting strong bones. K works with D to make sure calcium gets where it needs to go without causing a problem.
Heres what we mean: your blood levels of calcium need to stay at a certain level. When you dont get enough calcium from your diet, one of vitamin Ds functions is to take it from your bones and move it into your bloodstream. Obviously, this isnt ideal, but if you generally get enough calcium in your diet, it isnt cause for concern.
While D takes calcium from your bones, it doesnt control where it ends up in the body. Vitamin K steps in as a protective measure, seeing that the calcium doesnt accumulate in places that could be dangerous, such as the blood vessels or kidneys. For this reason, some people believe that any vitamin D you take should be supplemented with vitamin K. In cases where vitamin D intake was too high, some subjects ended up with too much calcium in their blood, suggesting that, if taken, vitamin K might have helped to regulate the buildup and prevent the problem.
Join our community of like-minded individuals and get tips, workouts, and advice, FREE!
Also Check: Does Iv Vitamin Therapy Work
Vegan Vitamin D Capsules
Capsules are what most people imagine of when thinking of vitamin supplements. Alas, many vitamin D tablets and capsules contain a non-vegan source of vitamin D3, such as sheep lanolin or fish oils.
Dont worry though, we have a solution! Our Mushroom Vegan Vitamin D Capsules contain 25µg of vitamin D2 in each capsule and you only have to take one a day.
What Happens When You Take Your Daily Vitamin D3
When you take a Vitamin D supplement, the vitamin passes from your bloodstream into your liver.
From here, it goes to the kidneys where it turns into calcitriol.
It is then released back into your bloodstream and can now enter your bodys cells where it attaches to Vitamin D receptors.
At this point, it can get to work regulating the minerals calcium and phosphorous. Clever stuff!
Don’t Miss: What Vitamins To Boost Metabolism
Similarities Between Vitamin D And D3
Vitamin D and D3 are both ultimately metabolized to the active metabolite form, calcitriol. From calcitriol come the important end results of a healthy level of vitamin D in your body. Calcitriol promotes renal absorption of calcium, increases intestinal absorption of both calcium and phosphorus, and increased mobilization of calcium from bone to plasma. Calcitriol has even been shown to inhibit cancer cell growth. Ultimately both vitamin D and D3 provide your body with the critical metabolite, calcitriol.
D3 Is The Sunshine Vitamin D2 Isnt
Its vitamin D3 that is found in the skin, after sunshine converts cholesterol into the pre-vitamin cholecalciferol. It is this vitamin D that is found in egg yolks, oily fish, some fortified foods and some supplements.
Vitamin D2 can be found in supplements and comes from plant and/or fungal sources such as mushrooms.
So, vitamin D3 is the form naturally found in the body, and as a supplement is normally manufactured from lanolin which is sourced from sheeps wool. Vegan supplements contain the D2 version of the vitamin.
Also Check: Can Prenatal Vitamins Make You More Fertile
How Do Vitamin D2 And D3 Differ
There are two main kinds of vitamin DD2 and D3 . D2 is found in plant foods, including fungi like mushrooms and yeasts. D3 is only available in animal foods, and its the type of vitamin D your body makes on its own when its exposed to UV light.
D2 is inexpensive to produce, so its often added to foodssuch as milkto boost their vitamin D content. However, D2 is not as well absorbed by the body as D3. Some studies indicate that D3 may be almost twice as effective at raising levels of vitamin D in the blood as D2 . If you supplement with vitamin D to achieve optimal levels, nutrition experts generally recommend choosing vitamin D3 supplements.
According to an American Journal of Clinical Nutritionreport, medical literature regarded D2 and D3 as equivalent and interchangeable for many years, yet this presumption of equivalence is based on studies of rickets prevention in infants conducted 70 years ago
Despite an emerging body of evidence suggesting several plausible explanations for the greater bioefficacy of vitamin D3, the form of vitamin D used in major preparations of prescriptions in North America is vitamin D2.
Vitamin D3 Vs D: Final Points
When you shop for an OTC vitamin D supplement, you will likely find vitamin D3 or cholecalciferol. This is the form of vitamin D that your body makes through exposure to UV sunlight. Vitamin D3 is an animal-sourced product. If you are looking for a plant-based supplement, look for vitamin D2 or ergocalciferol. If you have kidney problems, be sure to talk with your provider before taking OTC vitamin D.
Save on your prescription medications with ScriptSave WellRx!
Recommended Reading: How Much Vitamin D Should A Person Take Each Day
Vitamin D Vs D: Whats The Difference
The question here is not really the difference between vitamin D vs. D3, but between vitamin D2 vs. D3.
There are two forms of vitamin D: vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 . Both of these nutrients are commonly referred to as vitamin D, understandably causing some confusion. Lets get clear on the differences.
How Much Vitamin D Do I Need
We need 10mcg of vitamin D a day.3 Between April and September, around 15-20 minutes of direct sunlight can provide you with enough vitamin D, but this will vary according to your skin type.4 In autumn and winter the sun isnt strong enough in the UK for us to produce vitamin D, so it is recommended that everyone from the age of one takes a daily supplement of 10mcg.5 For vulnerable groups who do not get enough sunshine people with darker skin, those aged 65 or older, people who cover up for religious or cultural reasons, for example a year-round vitamin D supplement is advised.6
Also Check: Where To Buy Garden Of Life Vitamins
Vitamin D3 Is Formed In Your Skin
Your skin makes vitamin D3 when its exposed to sunlight.
Specifically, ultraviolet B radiation from sunlight triggers the formation of vitamin D3 from the compound 7-dehydrocholesterol in skin .
A similar process takes place in plants and mushrooms, where UVB light leads to the formation of vitamin D2 from ergosterol, a compound found in plant oils .
If you regularly spend time outdoors, lightly clad and without sunscreen, you may be getting all the vitamin D you need.
In Indian people, an estimated half an hour of midday sun twice a week provides the adequate amount .
Just keep in mind that this duration of exposure does not apply in countries farther away from the equator. In these countries, you may need more time to achieve the same results.
Nevertheless, be careful not to spend too much time in the sun without sunscreen. This is especially important if you have light-colored skin. Sunburns are a major risk factor for skin cancer .
Unlike dietary vitamin D, you cannot overdose on vitamin D3 produced in your skin. If your body already has enough, your skin simply produces less.
That said, many people get very little sun. They either work indoors or live in a country that doesnt get much sunlight during the winter. If this applies to you, make sure to regularly eat plenty of food rich in vitamin D.
Summary Your skin produces vitamin D3 when you spend time in the sun. In contrast, vitamin D2 is produced by plants and mushrooms exposed to sunlight.