What Causes Vitamin D Deficiency
Your body can manufacture small amounts of vitamin D when you’re exposed to the sun. In addition, vitamin D is found in a number of foods, including fatty fish, egg yolks, beef liver and mushrooms. The nutrient is also added to some dairy products and breakfast cereals. People who are severely lacking in vitamin D may develop a condition called rickets, which causes the bones to become soft. Vitamin D deficiency symptoms may also include muscle weakness and pain can also stem from low vitamin D levels. People who are most likely to become deficient of vitamin D may include individuals who spend all of their time indoors, infants who are exclusively breastfed and those who cover all of their skin for style or religious reasons. Vitamin D deficiency can often be addressed with supplements.
Vegan Vitamin D: Everything You Need To Know
Posted by Sage Williams on October 24, 2018
Hundreds of scientists agree that a vegan diet brings a number of health benefits with it including a lower risk of diabetes, hypertension, arthritis, and heart disease. Unfortunately, when we eliminate major food groups, us vegans run the risk of missing out on critical micronutrients in our diet.
Today were going to pop the lid on a certain one of those micronutrients. You guessed it were talking about Vitamin D.
By the time you finish this article, youll be a self-proclaimed expert and will be able to educate your vegan friends about why they need to consider a vegan Vitamin D3 supplement. Youll know where to get it, how much to consume, and why its so important to our bodies.
Did you know that over 1 billion people worldwide currently have suboptimal levels of Vitamin D? You do not want to fall into this statistic. Thankfully with a little knowledge, some proper sunshine, or a Vitamin D supplement, you wont.
Ready for a Vitamin D crash course? Lets get started.
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.
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Easy To Add To Your Diet
Cod liver oil is incredibly easy to add to your diet. It comes in many forms, but liquid and capsule forms are the most common.
There are no set guidelines for cod liver oil intake, so most recommendations are based on safe intake levels of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A and D.
A common dose is often 12 teaspoons, but taking up to one tablespoon per day is usually safe. Higher doses are not recommended, as they would result in excess vitamin A intake .
Although cod liver oil is extremely healthy, some people need to be cautious about their intake since cod liver oil can act as a blood thinner.
So check with your doctor before taking cod liver oil if you take blood pressure or blood thinning medications.
Also, pregnant women should check with their doctor before taking it, as high levels of vitamin A may cause harm to the baby.
Cod liver oil is easy to add to your diet. Stick with recommended amounts, as excess cod liver oil may be harmful.
What Do Supplement Companies Say
Good question. I got busy with the phone and email to find out.
I called Centrum. They dont have any information on where the nutrients in their products come from. They told me that their vitamins are synthetic and the minerals are derived from natural sources.
I called Bayer two times. They didnt provide any response about where their vitamin supplements are derived.
I emailed CSPI. They said most vitamin supplements on the market are synthetic.
I emailed Vitamin Cottage. They believe that coal tar should not be a source for vitamin supplements since there are other non-petroleum materials that can be used. They also indicated that none of their vendors have C or B vitamins derived from coal.
I emailed Nature Made about vitamin B-1. They said: We appreciate your questions concerning our supplements. Nature Made Vitamin B-1 is manufactured in a laboratory from chemicals. It is synthetically made in our manufacturing facilities in Southern California.
I emailed GNC. They said: GNC purchases vitamins, herbs, minerals, and other dietary ingredients from domestic suppliers as well as suppliers in many other countries from around the world. This will vary by ingredient.
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More Mushrooms Exposed To Sunlight High In Vitamin D
- 122% DV per cup of portabella mushrooms
- 98% DV per cup of maitakes
- 92% DV per cup of white button mushrooms
- 17% DV per cup of morels
- 14% DV per cup of chantarelles
- 5% DV per cup of shiitakes
Mushrooms create vitamin D from sunlight much like our bodies. Placing any mushroom under the sun for 20 minutes will boost its vitamin D level.
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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Foods That Contain Vitamin D3
Vitamin D is important for bone health and is linked to reduced rates of Alzheimer’s disease, strokes and cancers.
Vitamin D is known as the sunshine vitamin because it is produced in the skin by ultraviolet rays from the sun. Gray skies, weak winter sun, sunscreen use and an indoor lifestyle mean that most of us are lacking in this essential vitamin.
May Improve Bone Health
Its incredibly important to maintain healthy bones as you age.
This is because you start losing bone mass after age 30. This can lead to fractures later in life, especially in women after menopause .
Cod liver oil is a great dietary source of vitamin D and may reduce age-related bone loss. Thats because it helps your body absorb calcium, which is a necessary mineral for strong bones, from the gut .
In fact, studies show that when accompanied by a diet high in calcium, taking a vitamin D supplement like cod liver oil can reduce bone loss among adults and strengthen fragile bones in children .
Getting enough vitamin D from foods and supplements like cod liver oil is especially important for people who live far from the equator, a their skin doesnt get enough sunlight to synthesize vitamin D for up to six months of the year .
Cod liver oil is rich in vitamin D, which helps with maintaining strong and healthy bones. It is especially important for people who live far from the equator.
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How Much Vitamin D Does My Child Need
Vitamin D is measured in international units .
- Babies younger than 1 year old need 400 IU of vitamin D a day. Baby formula has 400 IU per liter, so babies who drink at least 32 ounces of formula each day get enough. If your baby drinks only breast milk or gets less than 32 ounces of formula each day, ask your health care provider about giving your baby a vitamin D supplement.
- Kids older than 1 year need 600 IU or more of vitamin D a day. Health care providers often want healthy kids to take 600 to 1,000 IU daily.
Some kids might need more vitamin D, such as those who:
- have certain medical problems
Eating Foods With Vitamin D
Daily Vitamin D Requirements: If you dont get outside for at least 1 hour a week, your body needs to make up for the absence of sun. Here are the daily requirements for vitamin D :
Children younger than 12 months 400 IU
People between 1-69 years of age 600 IU
People aged 70 or older 800 IU
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding 600 IU
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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.
What Is The Difference Between Vitamin D & Vitamin D3
Vitamin D comes from plant sources like wild mushrooms, as well as foods like milk or cereal products. The different strengths are measured in international units, or âIUâ. Lower strengths are usually available over-the-counter, but there are stronger grades available through prescription. Since Vitamin D costs less to produce, it is usually what is found in most fortified foods.
Vitamin D3 usually comes from more natural sources or animal sources like fish oil, fatty fish, liver, and egg yolks. Vitamin D3 is also produced when your skin is exposed to sunlight. All forms of vitamin D3 are available over-the-counter. You can also find D3 measured in IU as well.
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People At Risk Of Vitamin D Deficiency
Some people will not make enough vitamin D from sunlight because they have very little or no sunshine exposure.
The Department of Health and Social Care recommends that adults and children over 4 take a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D throughout the year if they:
- are not often outdoors for example, if they’re frail or housebound
- are in an institution like a care home
- usually wear clothes that cover up most of their skin when outdoors
If you have dark skin for example you have an African, African-Caribbean or south Asian background you may also not make enough vitamin D from sunlight.
You should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D throughout the year.
Where Do Vitamin Supplements Come From
When people think of drugs, most think artificial. When people think of vitamin supplements, most think natural.
But both drugs and vitamin supplements can be artificial or natural. Many vitamin supplements produced today are artificial. Meanwhile, the world of natural isnt all hopscotch tournaments and fairy dances. Poison hemlock, hallucinogenic mushrooms, rhubarb leaves and sprouted kidney beans are all natural and potentially deadly.
There are six categories of nutrients used in the manufacturing of vitamin supplements.
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Conditions Treated By Vitamin D And D3
Vitamin D2 as a prescription is used to treat hypoparathyroidism , vitamin D resistant rickets, and hypophosphatemia . It is commonly used for vitamin D insufficiency in both its prescription and over-the-counter formulations. The FDA does not approve treatment claims for over-the-counter vitamin supplements, therefore, even though this use is very common, it is considered off-label.
All forms of vitamin D3 supplements are available over-the-counter, and therefore are not FDA approved to make treatment claims. However, vitamin D3 is commonly used off-label to treat hypoparathyroidism and vitamin D deficiency, as well as for osteoporosis prevention.
Various uses of vitamin D supplementation are listed in the table below. You should always seek medical advice before beginning vitamin D supplementation.
Where Do We Get Vitamin D3 From
If you ask, many people will probably tell you that we get Vitamin D from milk. After all, the labels on the milk cartons make it clear that it is Vitamin D enriched. Even if that were our most important source for Vitamin D3, it would not be the right kind. Summers sun has an inexplicable lure that draws us all to want to head to the beach or to the park to soak up its rays. Though, inundated with warnings of too much damaging sun rays, these rays of sunshine do hold one important factor Vitamin D3. Moderate exposure to the sun is the best way to get Vitamin D3. But, another great source is from fish.
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Can You Get Too Much Vitamin D
Too much vitamin D can cause toxicity that results in nausea, vomiting, poor appetite, constipation, weakness and weight loss. It can also raise blood calcium levels, causing mental status changes such as confusion and heart rhythm abnormalities.
Sun exposure is unlikely to result in vitamin D toxicity. Other compounds produced in the skin protect the body from synthesising too much vitamin D during periods of prolonged sun exposure. Vitamin D toxicity is likely to occur from overdose of vitamin D supplements. People taking vitamin D supplements should never exceed the recommended dose and should be made aware of the side effects of vitamin D overdose.
What Does Vitamin D2 Do
Vitamin D2 primarily comes from plant-based sources and fortified foods. It is used in medical prescriptions rather than vitamin D3 because the ergocalciferol found in D2 aids in treating hyperparathyroidism and hypophosphatemia. Vitamin D2 supplements and ergocalciferol drops can range in price from $7-$35.
Where to buy: Sold by
- Helps your body maintain the right amount of phosphorus and calcium
- Helps prevent low vitamin D levels
- Can strengthen bone and teeth density
- Assists with medical treatment of hyperparathyroidism, rickets, and hypophosphatemia
- Products such as ergocalciferol drops can give you the same benefits of direct sunlight without the harmful side effects of ultraviolet light.
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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.
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.
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Do You Suffer From Low Levels Of D
While you might not be deficient in Vitamin D, the chances are you probably dont have optimal levels of it.
Because it is so crucial to your immune system, cognition, and bone health, the last thing you want is for your body to end up with a D-ficiency. All jokes aside, if you suspect that have suboptimal levels of Vitamin D, this is what to look out for…