Best Vitamin D3 Supplement
Vitamin D seems to be the talk of the town this season, and for good reason! Vitamin is an essential vitamin for the maintenance of good health and especially immune health.
Today we are helping you pick out your vitamin D supplement at Vitasave so you can learn everything you need to know to make the right choice!
Why Everyone Should Get Their Vitamin D Levels Checked
Just a few years ago, most doctors would not have thought to check a patients vitamin D levels unless they were suffering from rickets or a rare disease.
However, thanks to modern science we now know vitamin D is crucial to nearly every single function in the bodyfrom optimizing bone health to gene expression.
And many doctors, and us at kNew Health, now routinely run whats known as a 25-OH Vitamin D test.
Your vitamin D levels also play a lesser-known key role in chronic disease prevention and symptoms such as:
The above listed conditions only represent a small sampling of how vitamin D impacts our health, and new research is pouring in fast.
Bottom line: if your vitamin D levels are sub-optimal, your body is working at a disadvantage that could lead to a more serious condition.
Vitamin D Tests: When You Need Them And When You Dont
Many people dont have enough vitamin D in their bodies. Low vitamin D increases the risk of broken bones. It may also contribute to other health problems. Thats why health care providers often order a blood test to measure vitamin D.
But many people do not need the test. Heres why:
A test usually does not improve treatment.
Many people have low levels of vitamin D, but few have seriously low levels. Most of us dont need a vitamin D test. We just need to make simple changes so we get enough vitamin D. We need to get a little more sun and follow the other advice found below.
Even if you are at risk for other diseases, like diabetes and heart disease, a vitamin D test isnt usually helpful. The test results are unlikely to change the advice from your health care provider. It is much more important for you to make lifestyle changes firstto stop smoking, aim for a healthy weight and be physically active. And, like most other Canadians, you should try to get enough vitamin D from sun and foods. And talk to your health care provider about supplements.
Extra tests lead to extra treatments.
Getting tests that you dont need often leads to treatments you dont need, or treatments that can even be harmful. For example, if you take too much vitamin D, it can damage your kidneys and other organs.
When should you have a vitamin D test?
Talk to your health care provider about your risks. Here are some conditions where you might need a Vitamin D test:
How can you get enough vitamin D?
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How Often To Get Your Vitamin D Levels Checked
We recommend having your levels checked at least twice during the year, sometimes more depending on your situation.
This way we can account for change in season, changes in your health and adjust your regime accordingly.
It can take months to rebuild your vitamin D stores, but if you take the proper measures to do so, it will happen. So be patient and kind with your body and stay the course.
You always kNew fresh air and sunshine played a role in how good you felt and now you know vitamin Ds role in this beautiful symbiotic relationship between us and the sun.
Its a humbling reminder of how deeply we are connected to the natural world around us.
And now that you understand how your vitamin D levels affect your health and how to read your lab work, know we are here to help.
All kNew Health members receive a vitamin D lab workup as part of their initial assessment, along with a dedicated Health Coach to help you optimize your levels for the long-term.
Knew Health is only available in the US, excluding Vermont , Alaska, Washington. Please contact us with any questions.
Evexia provides comprehensive, cutting-edge lab services at convenient locations nationwide. Knew Health members have access to free and discounted tests, panels, and specialty kits with no prior approval needed.
Use SingleCare to save on prescriptions with our pharmacy discount card. You can also save on health care such as dental, vision and online doctor visits.
The Difference Between Vitamin D2 And Vitamin D3
At your local pharmacy or online, youll likely see two options for vitamin D supplements: vitamin D2 and vitamin D3. Whats the difference, and which should you opt for? Essentially, Kennedy says, D3 is the natural form of the vitamin that your body generates from the sun. D2 is the form that our body cannot make on its own. She says that if youre looking to add more nutrients to your body, D3 is generally preferable because its more potent than D2 when used at high levels, though scientists and physicians continue to debate which version trumps the other.
There are various kinds of tablets and pills out there including some that you would swallow like a normal pill, as well as dissolvable tablets.
Just keep in mind that the Food and Drug Administration doesnt regulate supplements. Its important to work with your doctor to pick a safe and responsible supplement that is effective and wont interfere with any medication youre already taking. After all, you wouldnt want to worsen your health with the addition of a supplement!
Its important for you and your healthcare provider to be on the same page. Never feel afraid to ask your doctor or dietitian about what might be a good supplement for you, Kennedy says.
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Reach For Foods High In Vitamin D
Although food isnt the most efficient way to absorb vitamin D, prioritizing vitamin Drich eats can help increase your intake in conjunction with either a supplement or exposure to direct sunlight.
Kennedy points out that healthy food sources of vitamin D include fatty fish such as cod and salmon yogurt and fortified milk and orange juice.
Healthy Foods That Are High In Vitamin D
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Vitamin D is the only nutrient your body produces when exposed to sunlight.
However, up to 50% of the worlds population may not get enough sun, and 40% of U.S. residents are deficient in vitamin D .
This is partly because people spend more time indoors, wear sunblock outside, and eat a Western diet low in good sources of this vitamin.
The recommended daily value is 800 IU of vitamin D per day from foods .
If you dont get enough sunlight, your intake should likely be closer to 1,000 IU per day (
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Vitamin D: Whole Foods Vs Fortified Foods
Fortified foods are meant to help boost vitamin and mineralintake. Theyre designed to add nutrients that dont naturally occur in theproduct. Sometimes iron, fiber, zinc or vitamin A is added. For instance, most milkis fortified with vitamin D and calcium is sometimes added to orange juice.
Since so few foods found in nature are good sources ofvitamin D, fortified foods provide most of the vitamin D found in the Americandiet, explains Taylor.
But she warns that some fortified foods can contain addedingredients that make the product less healthy, like sugar or hydrogenatedfats. Cows milk and most plant alternative milks are typically fortified withvitamin D, but its important to look for products with no added sugar.
Many types of yogurt and cereal are also fortified withvitamin D, but could contain excessive added sugar or saturated fat. Margarineis often fortified as well, but some products contain partially hydrogenatedoils, which should be avoided. Read labels to choose the best product for yourfamily.
Signs Symptoms And Associated Disorders
In most cases, vitamin D deficiency is almost asymptomatic. It may only be detected on blood tests, but is the cause of some bone diseases and is associated with other conditions:
- , a childhood disease characterized by impeded growth and deformity of the . The earliest sign of vitamin D deficiency is , abnormal softening or thinning of the skull.
- , a bone-thinning disorder that occurs exclusively in adults and is characterized by muscle weakness and bone fragility. Women with vitamin D deficiency who have been through multiple pregnancies are at elevated risk of Osteomalacia.
- , a condition characterized by reduced and increased bone fragility.
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The Final Verdict On Vitamin D
No bones about it, the endocrinologists we interviewed agree with our dermatologist.
“Just being outdoors, you get a fair amount of sun exposure and some sun-related generation of vitamin D, says Dr. Insogna. Because skin cancer, particularly melanoma, can be such a devastating disease, it’s best to use sunblock when outdoors in strong sunlight for any prolonged length of time. Because this may limit the amount of vitamin D you get from sun exposure, make sure your diet includes sources of vitamin D from foods or supplements, he says.
Both your skin and your bones will thank you.
How Can I Help Prevent Vitamin D Deficiency
The goals of treating and preventing the lack of vitamin D of treatment and prevention are the sameto reach and keep an adequate level of vitamin D in the body. Your healthcare provider will let you know if you need to take or keep taking vitamin D supplements. If so, they will also let you know how much you should take. You might also want to consider:
Eating more foods that contain vitamin D: See the vitamin D food sources table included in this article. Keep in mind that foods alone usually don’t meet the daily recommended levels of vitamin D.
Getting some exposure to sunshinebut not too much: Exactly how much sun exposure is needed isnt clear. 10 to 15 minutes of sun exposure two to three times a week to the face, arms, legs or back may be all that is needed to absorb a suitable amount of vitamin D. You might need more sun exposure if:
- You are older.
- You have a darker skin color.
- You live in northern climates.
The use of sunscreen, and standing behind a window, prevents vitamin D from being produced in the skin. However, you should remember that too much sunshine increases the risk of skin cancer and ages the skin. That is why taking an appropriately dosed D supplement is far safer than intentionally getting routine sun exposure.
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Why Is Vitamin D So Important
Calcium gets most of the credit for maintaining strong, healthy bones, but vitamin D is also a key player in bone health.
“You can have all the calcium in the world, it doesnt get absorbed into your bones” without vitamin D, Donald Ford, MD, a family medicine physician at Cleveland Clinic, tells Health. That’s vitamin D’s jobwithout it, the calcium you get from yogurt, cheese, and even vegetables like broccoli wouldn’t get absorbed, and ultimately wouldn’t do much in terms of keeping your bones strong. Vitamin D can also help prevent against osteoporosis, which makes your bones brittle, and a vitamin D deficiency can contribute to a gradual loss of strength of bones over time, Dr. Ford says.
As far as a daily dosage of vitamin D goes, the Institute of Medicine recommends 600-1000 IU of Vitamin D daily to meet 95% of the populations needs, says Tania Elliott, MD, an instructor of clinical medicine at NYU Langone. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to get the recommended amount each dayhere’s how.
What Are The Symptoms Of Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency may arise from lack of vitamin D in the diet, lack of sun exposure, or from poor absorption and conversion of vitamin D in the body. Most people with mild to moderate vitamin D deficiency will not experience any symptoms. Symptoms of severe vitamin D deficiency include bone pain and tenderness, muscle weakness, fractures, and difficulty walking. Children with severe vitamin D deficiency may develop rickets, where the bones become soft, weak, deformed, and painful. Teenagers and adults may develop osteomalacia, which causes bone pain and muscle weakness. Low vitamin D levels may also lead to osteoporosis in older women and men, where the bones become brittle and porous.
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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.
What Are The Benefits Of Vitamin D
Vitamin D provides powerful health benefits. It helps the body absorb calcium, which is critical for building strong bones and teeth. Without enough vitamin D, bones can become weak and brittle. This vitamin also plays an important role in immune health and proper nerve and muscle function. Research is still ongoing into the other potential health benefits of vitamin D.
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High In Vitamins A And D
Most cod liver oil is extracted from the liver of Atlantic cod.
Cod liver oil has been used for centuries to relieve joint pain and treat rickets, a disease that causes fragile bones in children .
Although cod liver oil is a fish oil supplement, its quite different than regular fish oil.
Regular fish oil is extracted from the tissue of oily fish like tuna, herring, anchovies and mackerel, while cod liver oil is extracted from the livers of cod.
The liver is rich in fat-soluble vitamins like vitamins A and D, which give it an impressive nutrient profile.
One teaspoon of cod liver oil provides the following :
- Calories: 40
- Omega-3 fatty acids: 890 mg
- Monounsaturated fat: 2.1 grams
- Vitamin A: 90% of the RDI
- Vitamin D: 113% of the RDI
Cod liver oil is incredibly nutritious, with a single teaspoon providing 90% of your daily requirements for vitamin A and 113% of your daily requirements for vitamin D.
Vitamin A has many roles in the body, including maintaining healthy eyes, brain function and skin .
Cod liver oil is also one of the best food sources of vitamin D, which has an important role in maintaining healthy bones by regulating calcium absorption .
Cod liver oil is very nutritious and provides nearly all of your daily requirements for vitamins A and D.
Consume Fatty Fish And Seafood
Fatty fish and seafood are among the richest natural food sources of vitamin D.
In fact, a 3.5-ounce serving of canned salmon can provide up to 386 IU of vitamin D about 50% of the RDI .
The exact vitamin D content of seafoods may vary depending on the type and species in question. For example, some research suggests that farmed salmon may contain only 25% of the amount of wild-caught salmon (
Fatty fish and seafood are among the foods highest in vitamin D, though exact vitamin content may vary depending on the type and source of the food in question.
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What Can Happen When We Are Chronically Vitamin D
Vitamin D impacts every single system of the body, like the circulatory system and our respiratory system, Kaplan says. So over time, if someone is chronically vitamin D-deficient, it could be a contributing factor to chronic health conditions. For example, it plays a part in osteoporosis, arthritis and bone fractures. Kaplan also adds that it can also contribute to inflammation, diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease a lot of these diseases are related to an inflammatory state, which vitamin D affects.
While the reverse is possible, its very rare, says Kaplan. Its more likely that people are vitamin D-deficient than that they have too much vitamin D, and that often happens only through excessive supplementation.
Does Vitamin D Help You Sleep
There is limited evidence to suggest that vitamin D deficiency may contribute to sleep disorders, which means vitamin D may be connected to sleep. This research is ongoing and more evidence is needed to know exactly how vitamin D may help with sleep. However, vitamin D is a vital nutrient for good health and its important to get enough vitamin D to keep the body functioning properly.
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How To Determine The Vitamin D3 Level
You can measure your vitamin D levels by using a blood test to determine if you have enough vitamin D in your body. In fact, not the active form of vitamin D is measured, but the concentration of 25D in the blood.
The 25 D value is a precursor of vitamin D, in which form is is transported in the blood. If necessary, this form is converted into the active form of vitamin D .
The 25 D value shows how much vitamin D you got through nutrition or produced during sun exposure. But this value does not tell you anything about your vitamin D levels throughout the year, which will vary depending on the sun exposure and vitamin D uptake from food.
The half-life of 25 Vitamin D is 2 month. This means, that the vitamin D level will fall to half of its value, provided that you no longer get any vitamin D at all.