Why Wearing Sunscreen Can Affect Vitamin D Absorption
While wearing sunscreen daily is key to help prevent sunburns, premature aging, and skin cancer, this healthy habit can also affect how much vitamin D your skin synthesizes from the sun.
To get your fix, aim to spend 10 to 15 minutes outdoors without sunscreen, Foroutan says. It can help get your levels where they need to be, she says, echoing information from Harvard Health Publishing.
Vitamin D Dosing Considerations In Covid
William Simonson PharmD, BCGP, FASCP
I commonly share my bi-monthly pharmacy columns with friends and colleagues after I submit them to Geriatric Nursing for publication. The most recent article, which appeared in the May/June, 2020 issue reviewed the role of Vitamin D in COVID-19 infections, generated a number of questions about the vitamin, especially with respect to dosing. I decided to address some of these questions in this issue’s column. As always, space limitation prevents an in-depth review so the reader is referred to a Vitamin D Fact Sheet for Health Professionals for those who would like more detailed information as well as the other references that I cite below.,, , , , ,
What The Numbers Mean
Many of the terms you see on labels or supplement web sites can help you understand how much of the vitamin or mineral you should take. For example, here are some guidelines set up by the Institute of Medicine:
The RDA and the AI are the amounts of a vitamin or mineral you need to keep healthy and stay well-nourished. They’re tailored to women, men, and specific age groups.
The UL is the maximum amount of daily vitamins and minerals that you can safely take without risk of an overdose or serious side effects. For certain nutrients, the higher you go above the UL, the greater the chance you’ll have problems.
The DV is the only measurement you’ll find on food and supplement labels. That’s because space is limited, and there’s a need for one single reference number. That number is the amount of a vitamin or nutrient that you should get for top health from a diet of 2,000 calories a day. The DV is sometimes the same as the RDA.
Although the details may be different, remember that the RDA and DV are both set up to help you get the nutrients you need to prevent disease and avoid problems caused by lack of nutrition.
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Your Value Is Between 30
This value is officially considered to be normal. However, vitamin D experts still consider this to be too low. Still, this level of vitamin D is sufficient to ensure that calcium is adequately absorbed, making the risk of broken bones quite low.
Research has also shown that this level of vitamin D strengthens the immune system better, enabling it to fend off infections easier. However, one may need a higher level in order to get through the winter without becoming ill.
If your vitamin D blood level is e.g. 25 ng/ml or higher and you want to increase them, you can take the following amount of vitamin D :
To reach the mentioned value.. take this vitamin D Dose per day:
40 ng/ml ..800 IU 50 ng/ml ..2500 IU 60 ng/ml ..4600 IU 70 ng/ml ..7300 IU
Can Too Much Calcium Be Harmful
Answer: Maintaining adequate calcium intake is important for cardiovascular and bone health. However, consuming too much calcium, especially from supplements, can be harmful and is associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer, kidney stones and heart attacks, especially in postmenopausal women.
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Vitamin D: What You Need To Know About The Sunshine Vitamin
While some of the health claims around vitamin D might have been exaggerated, the buzz around this nutrient isn’t without reason. Experts agree it’s the one vitamin we should all be taking in the UK, especially during the winter months.
This is because vitamin D plays a key role in our immune and bone health, and we can’t get enough from the sun between October and March. It’s also hard to get enough from diet alone.
Find out why vitamin D is important, how much you need to take, which vitamin D supplements are cheapest and what your options are, and whether it really can boost your immune system.
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Taking Vitamin D Safely
Please make sure you read and comply with the instructions set out on the product label.
Each 1-A-Day vitamin D supplement contains 10 micrograms of vitamin D. This is equivalent to 400 international units of vitamin D. This is the daily amount recommended for the general population by government for general health and in particular to protect bone and muscle health.
If your GP has recommended that you take a different amount of vitamin D, you should follow your GPs advice.
Do not exceed the recommended dose equivalent to 400 international units). This is a safe level of intake, designed to meet your nutritional needs. Taking more is not currently recommended.
For most people taking up to 100 micrograms equivalent to 4,000 international units) per day is considered safe. In a few people, 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. NHS.UK has more information about vitamin D, including advice on intakes.
While some medications may interact with high doses of vitamin D, there are no issues associated with the 10 microgram vitamin D supplement. They are intended to supplement the diet and should not be substituted for a varied diet.
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Vitamin D Supplements: What Parents Should Know
Getting enough vitamin D is essential so kids bones can grow strong and their immune systems can ward off illness.
Vitamin D gets into the body through absorption of sunlight and ingestion of food. From April through the end of October, spending just 15 to 30 minutes outside in the middle of the day with hands and face exposed will stimulate the skin to make all the vitamin D your child needs. In fact, on a sunny summer day, a child wearing a bathing suit can generate 10,000 to 20,000 international units of vitamin D after 15 to 30 minutes. In a neat biological trick, a persons body cant overdose on vitamin D created by the sun.
Foods such as salmon, sardines, tuna, cod liver oil, egg yolks and shiitake mushrooms contain a lot of vitamin D. Many kids dont seem to love these vitamin D superfoods, so luckily store-bought milk is often fortified with vitamin D, as are many cereals and even orange juice. Not all dairy products are fortified with vitamin D, however, so make sure to read the labels.
How Much Vitamin D Do You Need
Despite widespread assertions in the popular and scientific press that many Americans have a vitamin D deficiency, the term “deficiency” isn’t strictly accurate. The official definition of a vitamin deficiency means that specific health problems stem solely from the lack of a specific nutrient. An actual vitamin D deficiency results in bone disease, such as rickets, which is rare in the United States.
On the other hand, lower-than-optimal levels of specific vitamins, including vitamin D, may increase your risk of numerous health problems, even though they are not solely responsible for these problems. “Insufficiency” may be a better term for these lower levels than “vitamin D deficiency”.
So far, the most clearly established benefit of vitamin D is that it helps the body absorb calcium and therefore promotes healthy bones. However, a steady drumbeat of studies beginning in the 1980s started to build a case that low blood levels of D were connected with a variety of chronic health problems, leading to claims by a number of researchers that the RDA for D was way too low. The confusion and controversy surrounding optimal vitamin D intake and blood values prompted the U.S. and Canadian governments to request that the Institute of Medicine review the evidence on vitamin D and calcium and update the DRIs.
To learn more about the vitamins and minerals you need to stay healthy, read Making Sense of Vitamins and Minerals, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School.
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What Supplements Are Bad
Scientific studies have shown that vitamin D supplements can also increase “bad” LDL cholesterol, prostate cancer, weakened immune system, autoimmune disorders, gastrointestinal symptoms, kidney disease and kidney stones.
Pills for menWhat are the best male supplements? The best vitamins for men are vitamins D, B12, A, C, E, and vitamin K. In addition to the best vitamins for men, minerals and essential fatty acids such as magnesium, omega-3 fish oil, and potassium are essential for good health.What do supplements really work?Supplements That Work! Multivitamin and mineral complex. Sure, it’s not a flashy plugin that looks really cool, but expect glitch
Vitamin D: The Healthy Aging Dose
Confused by all the back and forth in the media about vitamin D?
Dont be. Theres actually a pretty easy and straightforward approach that most older adults can take.
In this post, Ill explain what I recommend to most of my older patients, and why.
Ill also address the following frequently asked questions:
- Which type of Vitamin D should I take?
- Do I need to have my vitamin D blood level checked?
- What should ones vitamin D level be?
- Will vitamin D really prevent falls or fractures?
- Will vitamin D prevent dementia, cancer, and/or premature death?
- I am outside a lot. Do I need a vitamin D supplement?
- I heard that a higher level of vitamin D is better for you. How much is too much?
By the way, Im updating this post in part because I was disappointed by the recent NY Times article Why Are So Many People Popping Vitamin D?
Among other things, this article should have had a different headline. The key problem the article describes is that there are too many people being tested for vitamin D. The article does not make the case that too many people are taking vitamin D supplements.
In fact, vitamin D supplementation remains recommended by experts. And as Ill explain below, there are good reasons to believe that vitamin D supplementation is especially useful for older adults.
Now, I do agree with the article in that many people seem to have unrealistic expectations of what vitamin D can do for them.
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Can You Take Too Much Vitamin D
While it is possible to take too much vitamin D, toxicity is very rare.
In fact, you would need to take extremely high doses of 50,000 IU or more for a long period of time .
Its also worth noting that it is impossible to overdose on vitamin D from sunlight .
Although 4,000 IU is set as the maximum amount of vitamin D you can take safely, several studies have shown that taking up to 10,000 IU daily wont cause side effects (
Advice For Adults And Children Over 4 Years Old
During the autumn and winter, you need to get vitamin D from your diet because the sun is not strong enough for the body to make vitamin D.
But since it’s difficult for people to get enough vitamin D from food alone, everyone should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D during the autumn and winter.
Between late March/early April to the end of September, most people can make all the vitamin D they need through sunlight on their skin and from a balanced diet.
You may choose not to take a vitamin D supplement during these months.
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What Are The New Dris For Calcium
The DRIs for calcium are based on evidence related to bone health, largely from the results of calcium balance studies. Calcium balance, which can be positive, neutral or negative, compares total calcium intake with urinary and fecal excretion of calcium. It is used to determine the accumulation and level of bone mass.
|Adequate Intake rather than Recommended Dietary Allowance.|
The IOM report states that there are no additional health benefits associated with calcium intakes above the level of the new RDA.
Total calcium intake should remain below the level of the new UL to avoid possible adverse effects. Long-term intakes above the UL increase the risk of adverse health effects, such as kidney stones.
Do You Need A Vitamin D Supplement
Because there are so many factors that can affect your vitamin D level, its important to talk to your doctor if you suspect youre deficient. They can perform a blood test to see if you may benefit from upping your intake of vitamin Drich foods like salmon, fortified milk, and eggs, or taking a vitamin D supplement, according to MedlinePlus. Again, if you live in a place where winters are cool and dark, you may benefit from a supplement.
Talking with your doctor before supplementing is even more important if youre managing a chronic condition. Not only are the benefits of vitamin D supplements unclear for certain health conditions but theres a chance the supplement may do more harm than good if youre taking a medication that interacts poorly with it.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the Food and Drug Administration doesnt regulate supplements like it does over-the-counter medication and prescription medication. Have a conversation with your doctor about their recommended brand and dose to maintain or improve your health.
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Vitamin D Dose Depending On Your 25d Value:
Here you’ll find dosage recommendations for the intake of vitamin D in form of a dietary supplement, depending on the respective 25D value. The recommendations are based on the findings of Dr. John J. Cannell, a vitamin D expert and founder of the Vitamin D Council organization.
The given vitamin D dose may be slightly rounded up or down in order to take the recommended amount using the available vitamin D preparations.
Can You Take Too Much Vitamin D And What Are The Risks
The NHS says 10mcg a day is enough for most of the population to avoid a deficiency. However there are supplements widely available that contain much higher doses.
Supplements containing 25, 50 and 100mcg are also available, with around 25mcg a common ‘high strength’ option from supermarkets, discounters and pharmacies.
The NHS advises the following upper safety limits:
- Adults max 100mcg a day
- Children aged 10 and under max 50mcg a day
- Babies under one max 25mcg a day.
If you have a diagnosed deficiency , your doctor might prescribe you a course of high-dose vitamin D, but only for a short period.
Taking too much vitamin D over a long period of time can cause calcium to build up in the body which can actually weaken bones and damage your heart and kidneys. This is known as hypercalcaemia.
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What Are Warnings And Precautions For Vitamin D
This medication contains vitamin D. Do not take Drisdol, Calciferol, cholecalciferol, 1,25-Dihydroxycholecalciferol, or ergocalciferol if you are allergic to vitamin D or any ingredients contained in this drug.
Keep out of reach of children. In case of overdose, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center immediately.
- Ergocalciferol : Gastrointestinal , liver, or biliarydisease associated with malabsorption of vitamin D analogs
- Documented hypersensitivity with drugs that could have allergenic cross-reactivity with ergocalciferol
Effects of Drug Abuse
Pregnancy and Lactation
Use vitamin D with caution during pregnancy if the benefits outweigh the risks. Animal studies show risk and human studies are not available, or neither animal nor human studies are done. Vitamin D is distributed into breast milk use with caution while breastfeeding.
Vitamin D Supplements Advice
Vitamin D supplements may state the amount in micrograms or international units . 1 microgram of vitamin D is the same as 40 international units . 10 micrograms equates to 400 international units .
Everyone should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D , particularly during the winter months .
It is specifically recommended that groups at higher risk of vitamin D deficiency take a daily supplement all year round. These groups include:
- all pregnant and breastfeeding women
- infants and children under 5 years old
- people who have low or no exposure to the sun, for example those who cover their skin for cultural reasons, are housebound, confined indoors for long periods or live in an institution
- people from minority ethnic groups with dark skin such as those of African, African-Caribbean and south Asian origin, who require more sun exposure to make as much vitamin D
The current guidance on sun exposure should be followed: 10 to 15 minutes of unprotected Scottish sun exposure is safe for all. Once sunscreen is correctly applied, vitamin D synthesis is blocked. Staying in the sun for prolonged periods without the protection of sunscreen increases the risk of skin cancer.
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Are There Any Drug Interactions Between Xarelto And Vitamins
Drug interactions have been reported in people taking Xarelto and vitamins. Common interactions include asthma in women and gastrointestinal bleeding in men. EHealthMe is preparing the Phase IV clinical trial based on reports from 350 people taking Xarelto and vitamins from the FDA and is regularly updated.