Do I Need Vitamin D Supplements
There are many different reasons that someone might take vitamin D supplements. The most common reason of course, is having low levels of vitamin D.
People can have low vitamin D levels for a variety of reasons:
Low dietary intake: Most people do not have a diet rich in liver and mushrooms. Young infants are particularly at risk for low vitamin D levels because of low dietary intake.
Low sunlight exposure: This is common in winter months and climates and latitudes where sunlight is limited. Otherwise, people whose lifestyles involve more time indoors are also at risk for low vitamin D levels.
Darker skin: People with high levels of skin pigmentation make less vitamin D with sun exposure.
People with certain medical conditions also commonly take vitamin D supplements, often as a preventative measure to help strengthen their bones. Some examples include:
Vitamin D Drops For Kids
No swallowing necessary vitamin D drops are perhaps the sneakiest and most effective way to get your children and babies to take their vitamin D supplement.
Our Holland & Barrett Vitamin D3 Drops provide a perfect dose of vitamin D3 for children from 6 months to five years.
They are odour- and taste-free too, so you can mix them into your little ones drinks and food a completely incognito way of giving them their daily dose of vitamin D! Alternatively, just drop it onto their tongue easy.
Vitamin D2 Vs D: What Is The Difference And Which Is Better
Vitamin D, also called calciferol, is a fat-soluble vitamin produced by your body when your skin is exposed to sunlight. It is available as a dietary supplement and a prescription medication, and it is naturally present in or added to some foods. Vitamin D2 and D3 are the two primary forms of vitamin D. Although they are often used interchangeably, you may ask, what is the difference between vitamin D2 and vitamin D3?
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How Much Vitamin D Do I Need
From about late March/early April to the end of September, the majority of people should be able to make all the vitamin D they need from sunlight on their skin.
Children from the age of 1 year and adults need 10 micrograms of vitamin D a day. This includes pregnant and breastfeeding women, and people at risk of vitamin D deficiency.
Babies up to the age of 1 year need 8.5 to 10 micrograms of vitamin D a day.
A microgram is 1,000 times smaller than a milligram . The word microgram is sometimes written with the Greek symbol followed by the letter g .
Sometimes the amount of vitamin D is expressed as International Units . 1 microgram of vitamin D is equal to 40 IU. So 10 micrograms of vitamin D is equal to 400 IU.
Do Babies Need Vitamin D
Yes, babies under the age of 1 need vitamin D too.
Babies up to 1 year of age who are being breastfed should be given a daily supplement that contains 8.5 10 µg every day to make sure they are reaching recommended levels.17
This still applies if the breastfeeding mother is taking a supplement herself.
However, babies fed infant formulas will not need a vitamin D supplement if they are having more than 500ml of formula a day, as it will already by fortified with vitamin D and other nutrients.
The easiest way to provide breastfed babies with vitamin D is with vitamin D drops.
We have a Vitamin D3 Drop formula that is specifically designed for babies to take daily from birth until they are 12 months old.
- Yes, babies who are being breastfed need 8.5-10µg vitamin D a day
- Babies drinking infant formula wont need to supplement as their milk will have been fortified with vitamin D already
What Are The Side Effects Of Vitamin D2
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives difficult breathing swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop taking this medicine and call your doctor at once if you have:
- chest pain, feeling short of breath
- growth problems or
- early signs of vitamin D overdose–weakness, metallic taste in your mouth, weight loss, muscle or bone pain, constipation, nausea, and vomiting.
Less serious side effects may be more likely, and you may have none at all.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Your Digestive System
Vitamin D also gets to work in your intestines. Here, it helps your body absorb the calcium from your healthy diet and from any calcium supplements.
Make sure you get enough Vitamin D in a format which your body can use. Support your diet and lifestyle with a quality daily Vitamin D3 supplement which can be absorbed and digested by your body.
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Effects Of Vitamin D2 And D3 On Vitamin D Levels
While both vitamin D2 and D3 can increase blood levels of vitamin D, a review of seven randomized clinical trials demonstrated that vitamin D3 was more effective than vitamin D2 .
When the studies were analyzed by their dosing regimen, however, vitamin D3 was shown to be better than D2 only when supplemented in large doses separated by weeks or months.
No significant differences between daily vitamin D2 and D3 supplementation on vitamin D levels were found.
Similarly, the results of another study demonstrated that the effects of vitamin D2 and D3 supplements on vitamin D levels may be dependent on the dosing .
The results showed that vitamin D3 was less effective than vitamin D2 at raising vitamin D levels when supplemented with daily in smaller doses but more effective when supplemented two to four times per week in larger doses.
Collectively, these results suggest that vitamin D3 may be more effective at raising and maintaining levels of vitamin D when supplemented with in less frequent, larger doses, whereas vitamin D2 may be best taken daily in smaller amounts.
How Much Vitamin D Should I Take Daily
Most healthy adults should strive to maintain an intake of 15mcg of vitamin D daily. In a tropical country, its estimated that two half-hour sessions of midday sun every week provides enough vitamin D. However, if you live in a more northerly or cloudy climate, you may want to consider upping your intake of vitamin D-rich foods, or taking a supplement.
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Vitamin D3 Is More Effective At Improving Your Overall Vitamin D Levels
Both vitamin D2 and D3 each have their own benefits, but they are not totally equal when it comes to increasing the overall vitamin D levels in your blood.
Both vitamins are absorbed into your bloodstream, but the liver metabolises them in different ways. Vitamin D3 is better than D2 at improving the overall vitamin D status. Read our Vitamin D3: Usage, Health Benefits & Side Effects guide for more information.
Vitamin D3 Vs Vitamin D2 & How To Obtain Both
Vitamin D3 is one of the most buzzed-about supplements in the health industry. Its estimated that over 40 percent of the population is deficient in vitamin D, which plays a central role in everything from regulating mood to modulating immune cells in the body and beyond. Not only that, but its one of the few nutrients thats difficult to get from food sources alone, making supplementation absolutely necessary in many cases.
So whats the difference between vitamin D vs. D3? And what is vitamin D3 good for? Keep reading for everything you need to know about this important micronutrient and how it can impact your health.
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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.
What Supplement Should I Take If I Am At Risk Of Low Vitamin D
The UK government recommendation stays at a minimum of 10µg vitamin D a day for vulnerable groups like the over 65s, people with darker skin and those who cover a lot of their skin for religious reasons, etc.
They just recommend that you take it all year round, and not just in autumn and winter.
We hope this guide has helped you determine which vitamin D supplement is best for you.
As always, this information cannot replace medical care, so please check with your doctor before trying any new supplements.
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Vitamin D2 Vs D: Same For Boosting D Levels But D3 Superior For Sustaining Levels
Supplementation with large doses of vitamin D2 or D3 forms boosted blood levels of the vitamin D levels), but declines in 25D were more rapid in the D2 group, compared with the D3 group, report scientists from the Hospital de Clinicas in Buenos Aires and the Universidad de Buenos in Buenos Aires
Fifty days after the last dose of vitamin D, the D2 groups 25D levels were the same as those in the placebo group, but elevated levels were still observed in the D3 group, according to findings published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
In the long term, vitamin D3 seems more appropriate to sustain adequate levels of 25OHD, which could be relevant for classic and non-classic effects of vitamin D, wrote the researchers.
The sunshine vitamin
According to the 2014 CRN Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements, vitamin D is the second leading category among supplement users after multivitamins.
Vitamin D refers to two biologically inactive precursors – D3, also known as cholecalciferol, and D2, also known as ergocalciferol. Both D3 and D2 precursors are transformed in the liver and kidneys into 25- hydroxyvitamin D D), the non-active ‘storage’ form, and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D 2D).
D2 vs D3
Several studies have reported that the D3 form of the vitamin is more potent that D2, with a study led by Robert Heaney, MD, from Creighton University in Nebraska reporting earlier this year that D3 was 87% more potent than D2 .
Surrogate Versus Clinical Outcomes
Although 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels are a better surrogate than a rat binding study, clinical outcomes are the most relevant. Low levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D are very common in North America and have been associated with a wide variety of diseases including osteoporosis, bone fractures, malignancy, cardiovascular disease, infections, and more. The majority of the data supports association, not causation, of low vitamin D levels. In other words, much of the data does not clearly support the idea that vitamin D supplementation in a patient with low vitamin D levels reduces the risk of these diseases.
With that said, a recent Cochrane review analyzed the all-cause mortality benefit of vitamin D supplementation by pooling 95,286 participants from 56 randomized clinical trials. In this meta-analysis, about 80% of participants received cholecalciferol and about 20% received ergocalciferol . The vast majority were women , and most were older than 70 years of age.
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Is Vitamin D Or D3 More Effective
Vitamin D2 and D3 are absorbed into the bloodstream where they are metabolized by the liver into 25-hydroxyvitamin D2 and 25-hydroxyvitamin D3, otherwise collectively known as 25D or calcifediol. Calcifediol is the vitamin D complex circulating in your blood, and its levels directly reflect your bodys stores of vitamin D. Calcifediol is commonly referred to as the active form of vitamin D. When your doctor orders lab tests to check your vitamin D levels, they are measuring your calcifediol levels.
There have been several studies comparing whether supplementation with vitamin D2 or D3 produces a higher blood level of calcifediol. A study published by the National Institutes of Health was conducted in elderly, post-menopausal women who had been identified as vitamin D deficient. It compared the effects of receiving a single high dose of vitamin D2 or vitamin D3 on calcifediol levels. The study concluded that vitamin D3 produced about twice the amount of circulating calcifediol in this patient population versus that of vitamin D2.
In a separate clinical trial comparing a 10-week regimen of twice weekly 50,000 IU dosing of both vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 in demographically matched groups, vitamin D3 was also found to be superior in producing higher levels of 25D, or calcifediol.
Vegan Vitamin D Spray
If you want a vegan source of the faster-acting vitamin D3 or simply cannot stand taking tablets or capsules, a vitamin D spray could be for you.
Vitamin D sprays act incredibly fast as they bypass the digestive system and deliver vitamin D directly into the bloodstream.
Beware however, that not all vitamin D sprays are vegan, but BetterYou Dlux Vegan Vitamin D Spray is. Give it a go and see if it works for you.
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!
What Is Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that promotes the absorption of calcium, regulates bone growth and plays a role in immune function.
Your skin produces vitamin D when its exposed to sunlight. However, if you spend most of your time indoors or live at a high latitude, youll need to get this vitamin from your diet.
Good dietary sources include fatty fish, fish oils, egg yolk, butter and liver.
However, it may be difficult to get adequate amounts of this vitamin from your diet alone, as rich natural sources are rare. For these reasons, its common for people to not get enough.
Luckily, many food manufacturers add it to their products, especially milk, margarine and breakfast cereals. Supplements are also popular.
To prevent deficiency symptoms, make sure to eat vitamin D-rich foods regularly, get some sunlight or take supplements.
Since vitamin D is fat-soluble, it is better to choose oil-based supplements or take them with food that contains some fat (
Since vitamin D2 is cheaper to produce, its the most common form in fortified foods.
Summary Vitamin D3 is only found in animals, while vitamin D2 comes from plant-sourced foods.
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Whats The Difference Between Vitamin D D2 & D3
To make it easy to understand, lets break down the difference between vitamin D, vitamin D2, and vitamin D3.
Vitamin D is the vitamin thats produced by our bodies when our skin is exposed to sunlight. Most people get their entire vitamin D supply from sun exposure, but it can also be absorbed from foods like fatty fish, cod liver oil, mushrooms, or yeast.
In the 1920s, scientists discovered the benefits of vitamin D, and within ten years realized that it would be easy to begin fortifying common foods with this vitamin, in order to improve the overall health of the population. Milk was the first food in North America to be fortified with vitamin D, followed shortly after by orange juice, cereals, and soy milk.
Vitamin D2 and D3 are the two synthetically derived forms of vitamin D, which are available for human consumption. Vitamin D2 is derived from plants, while vitamin D3 comes from animal sources like egg yolks and fish oil.
Vitamin D2 Vs D: Whats The Difference
Vitamin D is more than just one vitamin. Its a family of nutrients that shares similarities in chemical structure.
In your diet, the most commonly found members are vitamin D2 and D3. While both types help you meet your vitamin D requirements, they differ in a few important ways.
Research even suggests that vitamin D2 is less effective than vitamin D3 at raising blood levels of vitamin D.
This article sums up the main differences between vitamin D2 and D3.
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Your Skin Produces Vitamin D3
Another significant difference between D1 and D2 and D3 is that your skin produces Vitamin D3 when exposed to sunlight, which is the primary source of vitamin D for many people. To be more specific, the ultraviolet B radiation in sunlight causes your skin to produce vitamin D3 from naturally occurring 7-dehydrocholesterol compounds in your skin.
In laymans terms, sunlight equals vitamin D, though many people dont get their recommended daily allowances this way because they spend too much time indoors or cover up when outside. If you struggle to get enough sun or are worried about your vitamin D levels during winter, you may need to boost your intake with manufactured supplements.
How Does Sunlight Give Us Vitamin D
When we get sunlight on our skin, our body produces a substance called cholecalciferol.
This is then turned into calcidiol and then calcitriol by the liver and kidneys.
Calcitriol is what your Doctor would measure to assess your Vitamin D levels.
There are three ways to get enough Vitamin D:
During sunny months, your body might make excess calcidiol. But it will not go to waste. Any extra will be stored in your body fat as a kind of back up for those grey winter days.
Experts think that just 10 minutes of sunlight on your skin is enough to avoid Vitamin D deficiency. So get outside when you can!