People Most At Risk Of Vitamin D Deficiency
Some people dont have enough vitamin D. This could be because their skin isnt exposed to enough sunlight, or because of health problems or higher needs for vitamin D.
For example, if:
- you dont go outdoors often, for example if you are housebound, in hospital or are disabled and less able to get about
- you wear clothes which cover most of your skin when you go outside
- you have dark skin, for example if youre from an African, African-Caribbean or south Asian background as you need more sunlight to make enough vitamin D
- you wear sunscreen most or all of the time
- you need more vitamin D, babies, young children and pregnant and breastfeeding women need more vitamin D
- you are an older adult, as older people cant make as much vitamin D
- you have a health problem or youre taking certain medications which change the way vitamin D is controlled in the body, such as Crohns disease, coeliac disease, and some types of liver and kidney disease.
- you are very overweight, a there is some evidence to suggest that people who are very over weight are more likely to lack vitamin D
- you eat very few foods that contain vitamin D.
Uv Levels In Victoria
As shown in the table below, from mid-August to April, average UV levels in Victoria are three and above for much of the day. This level of UV increases the risk of overexposure and skin damage, and sun protection is recommended. Using good sun protection should not put people at risk of vitamin D deficiency.From May to mid-August, average UV levels in Victoria are low . During this time, sun protection is not recommended, unless you work outdoors, are near highly reflective surfaces , or are outside for extended periods.
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.
Don’t Miss: What Does Vitamin C Do To The Face
Vitamin D And Safe Sun Exposure
UV levels vary depending on the time of year, and the amount of sun exposure you need varies accordingly.
The ‘daily sun protection times’ indicate when the UV level is forecast to be three or above. During these times, people are recommended to use a combination of sun protection measures .Check the free SunSmart app or the Bureau of Meteorology website for daily sun protection times for your location.
How Are Walking Abnormalities Diagnosed
During a physical examination, your doctor will review your symptoms and medical history and observe the way you walk. They may perform tests to check your nerve or muscle function. This will help determine whether theres a structural problem causing your condition.
Your doctor may also order an imaging test, such as an X-ray, to check for fractures or broken bones. This is typically done if youve recently had an injury or fall. A more in-depth imaging test, such as an MRI, can check for torn tendons and ligaments.
You May Like: Which Vitamin Helps With Memory
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!
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.
Read Also: What Vitamins Are Good For Seniors
Some People Are Overdoing It In Search Of Better Health
Vitamin D is having its day in the sun. In recent years, research has associated low blood levels of the vitamin with higher risks of everything from heart disease, diabetes, and cancer to mood disorders and . The findings have not gone unnoticed. and screening tests have surged in popularity.
“Vitamin D testing is one of the top Medicare lab tests performed in the United States in recent years,” says Dr. JoAnn E. Manson, the Michael and Lee Bell Professor of Women’s Health at Harvard Medical School. “This is really surprising for a test that is recommended for only a small subset of the population.”
Unfortunately, this vitamin D trend isn’t all blue skies. Some people are overdoing it with supplements. Researchers looking at national survey data gathered between 1999 and 2014 found a 2.8% uptick in the number of people taking potentially unsafe amounts of vitamin D that is, more than 4,000 international units per day, according to a research letter published in the June 20 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association . And during the same time period there was nearly an 18% increase in the number of people taking 1,000 IU or more of vitamin D daily, which is also beyond the dose of 600 to 800 IU recommended for most people.
Get Your Levels Checked
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force does not recommend routine vitamin D screening in asymptomatic adults, therefore, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider if you think you may have a vitamin D deficiency.
Before you start taking vitamin D3 supplements, ask for a blood test to check your levels. That way, you know you’re taking a dosage that is both adequate and safe for your needs.
You May Like: Does Vitamin C Help With Immune System
Vitamin D Can Support The Immune System And Fight Inflammation
Dr. Nasrallah adds that vitamin D can also help build immunity. It can support the immune system by fighting off harmful bacteria and viruses, she says. In fact, this role in possibly preventing infections has become a critical concern during COVID-19 pandemic, as researchers are interested in its potential role in infection outcomes. There is particular interest in its role in viral infections such as influenza and coronavirus,Barry Boyd, MD, RDN, a Yale Medicine hematologist, oncologist, and nutritionist, tells Health. He points to a 2017 BMJ analysis of 25 randomized control trials comparing vitamin D supplements to placebos, which found that vitamin D reduced the risk of acute respiratory infection with either daily or weekly vitamin D supplementation, particularly in individuals who were deficient in it. Studies indicate that high latitudes and winter season are risk factors for both low vitamin D, increased influenza, and other respiratory illness and adverse outcomes, he says. We now are seeing a similar pattern with higher mortality rates in COVID-19 infections,” though more research still needs to be done to determine whether the link is causal or merely a correlation.
How Does Vitamin D Affect Your Bones
A vitamin D deficiency can lead to osteoporosis. According to the Mayo Clinic, higher doses of prednisone, an RA medication, also increase your risk for osteoporosis. This condition causes your bones to lose density and become weak, which increases your risk for bone fractures from incidents ranging from falls to bumping into objects. Talk to your doctor if you have arthritis and think you may be at risk for osteoporosis. Osteoporosis often develops without symptoms and requires a bone mineral density test for diagnosis.
Don’t Miss: Is Vitamin E And Fish Oil The Same
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.
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.
Recommended Reading: Does Lemon Juice Have Vitamin C
Good Sources Of Vitamin D
From about late March/early April to the end of September, most people should be able to make all the vitamin D they need from sunlight.
The body creates vitamin D from direct sunlight on the skin when outdoors.
But between October and early March we do not make enough vitamin D from sunlight. Read more about vitamin D and sunlight.
Vitamin D is also found in a small number of foods.
- fortified foods such as some fat spreads and breakfast cereals
Another source of vitamin D is dietary supplements.
In the UK, cows’ milk is generally not a good source of vitamin D because it is not fortified, as it is in some other countries.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Vitamin D Deficiency
Severe lack of vitamin D causes rickets, which shows up in children as incorrect growth patterns, weakness in muscles, pain in bones and deformities in joints. This is very rare. However, children who are deficient in vitamin D can also have muscle weakness or sore and painful muscles.
Lack of vitamin D is not quite as obvious in adults. Signs and symptoms might include:
Don’t Miss: How Long Does A Vitamin B Shot Last
Treatment For Vitamin D Deficiency
Treatment for vitamin D deficiency involves getting more vitamin D — through diet and supplements. Although there is no consensus on vitamin D levels required for optimal health — and it likely differs depending on age and health conditions — a concentration of less than 20 nanograms per milliliter is generally considered inadequate, requiring treatment.
Guidelines from the Institute of Medicine increased the recommended dietary allowance of vitamin D to 600 international units for everyone ages 1-70, and raised it to 800 IU for adults older than age 70 to optimize bone health. The safe upper limit was also raised to 4,000 IU. Doctors may prescribe more than 4,000 IU to correct a vitamin D deficiency.
If you don’t spend much time in the sun or always are careful to cover your skin , you should speak to your doctor about taking a vitamin D supplement, particularly if you have risk factors for vitamin D deficiency.
What Is The Outcome
Vitamin B not only helps to build and maintain a healthy immune system but it could potentially prevent or reduce COVID-19 symptoms or treat SARS-CoV-2 infection. Poor nutritional status predisposes people to infections more easily therefore, a balanced diet is necessary for immuno-competence. There is a need for safe and cost-effective adjunct or therapeutic approaches, to suppress aberrant immune activation, which can lead to a cytokine storm, and to act as anti-thrombotic agents. Adequate vitamin intake is necessary for proper body function and strengthening of the immune system. In particular, vitamin B modulates immune response by downregulating pro-inflammatory cytokines and inflammation, reducing breathing difficulty and gastrointestinal problems, preventing hypercoagulability, potentially improving outcomes and reducing the length of stay in the hospital for COVID-19 patients.
Also Check: What B Vitamin Keeps Mosquitoes Away
Health Effects Of Too Much Vitamin D
As good as Vitamin D is for you, it is possible to have too much of it. For example, you can experience Vitamin D toxicity if you take too much through supplements. “Vitamin D is in a group of vitamins, which are fat-soluble, unlike the more common vitamins like C and B, which are water-soluble,” says Cutler.
If you take too many water-soluble vitamins, they’ll go through your kidneys and be flushed out through urination. However, fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin D can get absorbed into your body’s fatty tissue, liver, and even the brain, according to Cutler. So, your body has a harder time removing excess amounts. That’s why it’s important not to overdose on any fat-soluble vitamins, including vitamin D.
Signs of vitamin D toxicity include nausea, vomiting, weakness, confusion, and even kidney damage. Cutler says that this really only can happen from taking too many supplements. According to Mayo Clinic, the daily recommended amount of vitamin D for children and adults is 600 IU. A toxic level is around 4,000 IU. Your body will not produce toxic amounts of vitamin D from sun exposure.
Additionally, while some people believe vitamin D has anti-cancer properties, the opposite can be true. A study, published in the International Journal of Cancer in 2019, found a link between high levels of vitamin D with higher incidences of skin, prostate, and blood cancers, but a lower incidence of lung cancer.
Is Vitamin D3 Better Than Vitamin D2
Studies show that Vitamin D3 is far more important for our health than Vitamin D2. So either choose a Vitamin D3 supplement, or one which contains optimal levels of both forms. Vitamin D2 on its own is not enough.
Experts used to think that vitamins D2 and D3 were of equal importance for human health. But this was based on outdated studies of rickets in children. These days, we know lots more about Vitamin D. And it is clear that D3 is far more important and more effective for our health and wellbeing.
We need to look at how the body absorbs Vitamin D to understand why Vitamin D3 is more important. There are lots of biological processes involved. A specific enzyme in the liver helps Vitamin D3 metabolise into the bioactive form of Vitamin D. This process takes much longer with Vitamin D2.
Also Check: What Should Be In A Prenatal Vitamin
Protect Against Respiratory Infections
Increase your level of vitamin D if youre deficient, and you may find that you get fewer respiratory infections than usual.
One review of 25 randomized controlled trials involving about 11,300 people suggests that participants who were vitamin D deficient saw a 12 percent reduced risk for respiratory infections after taking a vitamin D supplement, though not every study saw a clear benefit from supplementation. Researchers published their findings in February 2017 in BMJ.
The main limitations? Researchers werent sure whether participants had received a flu vaccine or were diagnosed with the respiratory ailment chronic obstructive pulmonary disease , which are two confounding factors that may have skewed the results.
An accompanying editorial cautions readers to take the findings with a grain of salt, and the authors argue against standard year-round vitamin D supplementation and call for additional research.
How It Is Done
Your health professional drawing blood will:
- Wrap an elastic band around your upper arm to stop the flow of blood. This makes the veins below the band larger so it is easier to put a needle into the vein.
- Clean the needle site with alcohol.
- Put the needle into the vein. More than one needle stick may be needed.
- Attach a tube to the needle to fill it with blood.
- Remove the band from your arm when enough blood is collected.
- Put a gauze pad or cotton ball over the needle site as the needle is removed.
- Put pressure on the site and then put on a bandage.
Don’t Miss: Are Nature Made Vitamins Good Quality
So Who Should Be Screened For Vitamin D Deficiency
Dr. Finkelstein and his colleagues published a study of over 2,000 perimenopausal women who had been followed for almost 10 years, and they found that vitamin D levels less than 20 were associated with a slightly increased risk of nontraumatic fractures. They concluded that because few foods contain vitamin D, vitamin D supplementation is warranted in women at midlife with levels less than 20 ng/mL. “For perimenopausal women or other groups of people with higher fracture risk, certainly a level of 20 or above is ideal,” and he adds: “For the vast majority of healthy individuals, levels much lower, 15, maybe 10, are probably perfectly fine, and so I would say I agree with what the authors of the New England Journal perspective article are saying.”
All that said, most experts, including Dr. Finkelstein, agree we should be checking vitamin D levels in high-risk people those most at risk for a true deficiency. These include people with anorexia nervosa, people who have had gastric bypass surgeries, who suffer from other malabsorption syndromes like celiac sprue, or who have dark skin, or wear total skin covering . In addition, certain populations will require that vitamin D level of 20 ng/ml or higher. This can include perimenopausal women, people diagnosed with osteopenia and osteoporosis or other skeletal disorders, as well as pregnant and lactating women. All of these groups should be screened and treated as appropriate.