Vitamin D Intake Varies With The Seasons
The best time to take vitamin D is relative to which season you’re in. It depends on:
Obvious, we know. However, many people rarely consider what time of the year it is when taking their daily supplement routine.
While supplementation is fantastic for those of us who are running on an empty vitamin D tank, others may already get sufficient vitamin D during summer or if they live in a sunny climate.
The latter generally do not require supplementation because their vitamin D levels are high .
Which Foods Contain Calcium
For strong bones, calcium is also important. Dairy products, seeds, pulses, tofu, tinned fish with bones and some green leafy vegetables are all good sources. Interestingly, calcium supplements don’t appear to help much, and recent research suggests they may actually increase the risk of heart attack, so doctors are much more wary about prescribing these too.
But there is one sure-fire way to keep your bones strong – and it’s never too early to start. weight loss and weight-bearing exercise are key to preventing thinning bones. Anything except swimming counts – so get out your dancing shoes!
The Best Ways To Take Vitamin D
Vitamin D deficiency is a world problem. Vitamin D Council
Now the days are drawing in, its important to take a vitamin D supplement if the UV index where you live is 3 or below this level of exposure is not enough to synthesise vitamin D in your skin. As a result, vitamin D levels tend to plummet during autumn and winter in people living in northern latitudes such as the UK.
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Incorporating It Into Your Morning
Many people prefer to take supplements such as vitamin D first thing in the morning.
Not only is it often more convenient, but its also easier to remember your vitamins in the morning than later in the day.
This is especially true if youre taking multiple supplements, as it can be challenging to stagger supplements or medications throughout the day.
For this reason, it may be best to get in the habit of taking your vitamin D supplement with a healthy breakfast.
Using a pillbox, setting an alarm or storing your supplements near your dining table are a few simple strategies to remind you to take your vitamin D.
Some people may find that taking vitamin D first thing in the morning is more convenient and easier to remember than taking it later on.
How Much Vitamin D Do You Need Every Day
Your vitamin D needs depend on factors like your age and whether youre pregnant or breastfeeding. According to the National Institutes of Health , adults ages 18 to 70 should get 600 IU of vitamin D per day and adults over 70 should shoot for 800 IU per day.
However, many scientists suggest that the daily requirements for vitamin D are too low for some people to maintain optimal vitamin D status, which most experts agree lies between 40 and 60 nanograms per milliliter .
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What Happens If I Take Too Much Vitamin D
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.
If you choose to take vitamin D supplements, 10 micrograms a day will be enough for most people.
Do not take more than 100 micrograms of vitamin D a day as it could be harmful. This applies to adults, including pregnant and breastfeeding women and the elderly, and children aged 11 to 17 years.
Children aged 1 to 10 years should not have more than 50 micrograms a day. Infants under 12 months should not have more than 25 micrograms a day.
Some people have medical conditions that mean they may not be able to safely take as much. If in doubt, you should consult your doctor.
If your doctor has recommended you take a different amount of vitamin D, you should follow their advice.
You cannot overdose on vitamin D through exposure to sunlight. But always remember to cover up or protect your skin if you’re out in the sun for long periods to reduce the risk of skin damage and skin cancer.
Page last reviewed: 03 August 2020 Next review due: 03 August 2023
Is It Best To Get Your Vitamin D From The Sun Definitely Not
David J. Leffell, MD, Yale Medicine dermatologist and chief of Dermatologic Surgery
One of the biggest challenges weve faced in dermatology and in the world of skin cancer prevention has been a lot of misinformation about vitamin D metabolism.
There are claims that one needs to get a certain amount of sun exposure every day in order to produce enough vitamin D to be healthy. Its just not true. The majority of people can get their vitamin D from nutritional supplements and from vitamin D-fortified foods.
There are some people who have advocated for tanning to get vitamin D. But we know that UVB light causes skin cancer and that protecting yourself against it makes sense. As a doctor who treats patients who have melanomas, I want the general public to be advised that under no circumstances can use of a tanning bed or tanning in general be justified on the basis of vitamin D. Take a supplement instead.
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What Are The Optimal Blood Levels Of Vitamin D
To find out if you are deficient in vitamin D your doctor can order a blood test, called a 25-hydroxy vitamin D test.
- Vitamin D levels should be above 20 nanograms per milliliter of blood, which indicates that you arent suffering from severe vitamin D deficiency.
- A level of 50+ ng/mL indicates a good level of vitamin D, while 3050 ng/mL means you want to supplement with vitamin D, work on spending more time in the sun and adding vitamin D foods into your diet.
- Subclinical vitamin D deficiency is thought to be very common. It is defined as a lower than normal vitamin D level that has no visible signs or symptoms. Levels below 30 ng/mL indicate vitamin D insufficiency.
- A level less than 20 to 30 ng/mL means you are very deficient and definitely want to take immediate action to bring those levels up.
- On the other hand, vitamin D toxicity is considered anything above 200240 ng/mL of blood.
When To Take Vitamin D
It’s important to put this new study into context. It didn’t look at babies and children under 5, so does nothing to undermine the current Public Health England guidance that they, along with pregnant women, should take a daily vitamin D supplement. People who are at risk of vitamin D deficiency because they cover up for religious reasons or don’t get outside at all should also continue to take supplementation.
In addition, this study was only looking at the impact of vitamin D on bone health. In recent years, we’ve discovered that vitamin D regulates at least 1,000 genes in the body – affecting blood vessels, immune system, muscle strength and more. Tiredness and muscle pains are the most common symptoms, but low levels have been linked to an increased risk of depression, heart disease and even multiple sclerosis.
As yet, there haven’t been any large scale studies looking at whether taking a vitamin D supplement, if you’re at risk of deficiency, protects against any of these. But vitamin D at the recommended levels doesn’t appear to have any adverse side effects: so if Vitamin D supplements does offer any protection at all, the risk: benefit ratio is likely to come down in favour of taking them.
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My Recommended Daily Dose For Vitamin D In Older Adults
For most older adults, I recommend a supplement of vitamin D 1000 IU/day.
I do this because:
- The American Geriatrics Society recommends that clinicians tell older patients to take vitamin D 1000 IU/day, to help prevent fractures.
I also do this because:
- Many older adults have risk factors for vitamin D deficiency. These include having osteoporosis and spending limited time outdoors.
- The skin becomes less able to synthesize vitamin D as people get older.
- Vitamin D seems to be involved in muscle function. Some research has suggested it can help reduce falls, other research hasnt confirmed this finding. Either way, it seems sensible to avoid frank deficiency.
- In the vast majority of older people, taking vitamin D 1000 IU as a supplement every day has very low risk of harm.
- Research suggests that taking vitamin D 1000 IU/day will prevent low vitamin D levels in most older adults.
Other expert groups have provided similar vitamin D guidance. For instance, in 2010 the Institute of Medicine published a report with age-based Recommended Daily Allowances for vitamin D in normal healthy persons. For people aged 1-70, they recommended 600 IU/day. For people aged 71+, they recommended 800 IU/day.
Research suggests that low levels of vitamin D are common in older adults who dont take supplements, but are uncommon in those who do take supplemental vitamin D.
When Vitamin D Supplements Are Helpful
During the fall and winter, when the suns rays arent at an angle that will produce vitamin D in the skin, its good to give your child a vitamin. Most over-the-counter childrens vitamins contain 600 IU of vitamin D, which is the recommended daily allowance set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for kids 1 year old and older.
Children who are obese, who have dark skin, who rarely go outside or who wear clothing that covers most of their skin may need supplements to ensure they have adequate levels of vitamin D all year round. Some medications, such as anticonvulsants, as well as over-the-counter health aids like St. Johns Wort, can interfere with the way our bodies metabolize vitamin D. Certain conditions, such as celiac disease, can also interfere with absorption of vitamin D. Discuss your childs medical history and lifestyle with your pediatrician, and make sure to them about any medicine or herbal supplements your child takes. Your pediatrician can then determine your childs daily vitamin D requirement.
There are risks if kids take in too much vitamin D from supplements and food, including an increased chance of developing kidney stones. Parents need to calculate the amount of vitamin D their child gets from fortified milk, other food, and vitamin supplements to make sure the total amount does not exceed:
- 1,000 to 1,500 IU a day for infants
- 2,500 to 3,000 IU a day for children 1 to 8 years old
- 4,000 IU a day for children 9 years and older
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How Does Vitamin D Affect Womens Health
Sometimes a little bit of sunshine is the best medicine. A walk in the park or a bike ride probably puts you in a good mood, and a moderate amount of sun is also good for your physical health. While youre outside soaking up rays, your body is busy making vitamin D. Thats good news, because this hormone thats boosted by exposure to sunlight plays an important role in womens health.
We have known for a long time about vitamin Ds critical role in bone health. More recently, though, vitamin D has been linked to having a potential role in a number of chronic diseases, including heart disease, cancer, inflammation and autoimmune disease.
Erin Michos, M.D., associate director of preventive cardiology at the Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease, explains why vitamin D is important for womens health and how to make sure youre getting enough.
When Is The Best Time To Take Multivitamins
Multivitamins can be trickier: They often contain both water- and fat-soluble vitamins. The best time to take a multivitamin is with food so any fat can help with absorption. You can also drink a water-based beverage to wash it all down, notes Dr. Perez-Gallardo. But the drawback is that your body wont absorb the water-soluble vitamins as well as fat-soluble ones.
The reverse is true when you take a multivitamin on an empty stomach with water your body cant properly absorb the fat-soluble vitamins. You could also end up with an upset stomach. So for full absorption, Dr. Perez-Gallardo recommends taking water- and fat-soluble vitamins separately.
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How Much Vitamin D Should I Take Daily Tips For Canadians
If you’ve ever asked yourself “how much vitamin D should I take daily?” you’re in the right place. Check out our top tips for Canadians!
How much vitamin D should you be taking? And what are some good options for making sure you’re getting enough? We’ve got answers!
Most Canadians don’t get enough vitamin D due to limited sun exposure and nutritional gaps. For this reason, it’s important to understand how much of this nutrient you need during the different seasonsand how much of it you should take in supplement form.
Vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins you can take. It’s an essential nutrient your body needs to function properly, and it’s especially important for your bones and immune system.
In this article, we’ll discuss the recommended daily amount of vitamin D for Canadians and some tips for increasing your intake through foods, supplements, and sunshine.
Keep reading to learn more!
Individuals About To Initiate Treatment With Antihormonal Effects
We suggest obtaining a baseline 25D level in all individuals who are initiating therapy that could impact bone mineralization. This means that premenopausal women undergoing chemotherapy or medical or surgical ovarian ablation and postmenopausal women beginning aromatase-inhibitor therapy should be tested. Estrogen upregulates both the 1–hydroxylase enzyme that converts 25D to 1,252D and increases levels of vitamin D receptor protein.68,69 Thus, depletion of estrogen may unmask a subclinical vitamin D deficiency, which may increase the severity of muscle and joint symptoms experienced by women entering menopause or undergoing aromatase-inhibitor therapy. For cancer survivors, 25D levels drawn in late winter or early spring will provide an estimation of trough levels of vitamin D.
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How To Choose The Right Vitamin D Supplement For You
Before diving into the world of vitamin D supplementation, consult a healthcare professional and get your blood levels tested. This is the only way youll know if you have a vitamin D deficiency. From there, a pro will be able to determine a dose thats ideal for you.
You may have noticed that all the vitamin D supplements on this list surpass the recommended intakes we mentioned earlier. Theres also a daily upper limit of 100 mcg for children over 9 years old, adults, and folks who are pregnant or breastfeeding. A severe deficiency sometimes requires a larger dose at first, followed by maintenance dosage.
When you browse this list or go shopping for a vitamin D supplement, consider your specific needs. Do you prefer capsules, gummies, or liquid? There are a bunch of options, so pick one that works with your current routine and preferences.
Its also important to pay close attention to ingredients so you dont choose a product that contains something youre allergic to or that you avoid for personal reasons. Third-party certifications from organizations like United States Pharmacopeia and NSF International are a bonus!
Vitamin D Deficiency And Eczema
Vitamin D deficiency is pretty common in the U.S. today.
Some studies link lower vitamin D levels with increased rates of eczema, especially in children. Kids with moderate to severe eczema are more likely to have lower vitamin D levels than those without skin conditions, especially if they have lighter complexions.
So making sure you arent vitamin D deficient could help with your symptoms and reduce the risk of eczema in the first place.
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How Much Vitamin D We Really Need
The trouble doesnt end there. Many experts disagree about how much vitamin D we truly need to be at our healthiest.
While The National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements recommends that adults get 600 IU of vitamin D per day, other organizations recommend aiming highermuch higher. The Endocrine Society, for example, suggests up to 2,000 IU per day, while the The Vitamin D Council recommends 5,000 IU.
Most registered dietitians and doctors think the governments recommendation is outdated and too low, explains Bhanote.
And while a few foodslike liver, fatty fish, egg yolks, and mushroomscontain some vitamin D, you cant rely on your diet alone to meet your nutrient needs, says Jennifer Dennis-Wall, Ph.D., science writer at research organization Biorasi.
Check Your Supplements More Isnt Always Better
For Portlanders, moderate deficiency in the sunshine vitamin is about as common as a cloudy day. Since we cant get the daily sun exposure needed to synthesize our own vitamin D year-round, many of us pop a supplement to keep our levels in check and in most cases, thats a good thing. But in some cases, we could be taking too much and that can be a problem.
You need vitamin D to help you absorb calcium, among other benefits. But extra high blood levels of vitamin D may encourage your body to stash extra calcium where its not wanted in your kidneys, for example, which is why high levels of vitamin D make you more vulnerable to kidney stones. Calcium deposits in the arteries are another potential concern. High vitamin D levels also can cause nausea, vomiting, muscle weakness, confusion, loss of appetite, dehydration and frequent urination.
When people have too much vitamin D in their blood, its almost always caused by over-use of dietary supplements. That doesnt mean you should stop taking vitamin D altogether, but do take a closer look at how much youre taking to make sure youre not overdoing it.
Enough vs. too much where do you draw the line?
The recommendations may vary depending on your age, health, ethnicity and even whom you ask. But as a general guideline, the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements recommends getting 15 mcg of vitamin D daily from the age of 1 through 70, and 20 mcg from age 71 on.
Two ways we get into trouble
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