Spend Time In Sunlight
Vitamin D is often referred to as the sunshine vitamin because the sun is one of the best sources of this nutrient.
Your skin hosts a type of cholesterol that functions as a precursor to vitamin D. When this compound is exposed to UV-B radiation from the sun, it becomes vitamin D.
In fact, sun-derived vitamin D may circulate for twice as long as vitamin D from food or supplements (
However, the amount of vitamin D your body can make depends on several variables.
How Many Milligrams Of Vitamin D Should I Take In One Day
The recommended dietary allowance for vitamin D is 15 micrograms or 600 international units for most adults under 70. Vitamin D supplements often contain much more than the RDA, with some products ranging from 1,000 to 5,000 IUs per dose. The National Institutes of Health recommends that people limit their daily vitamin D intake to no more than 4,000 IUs from food and supplements combined. Speak with your healthcare provider to determine the supplemental dose that is right for you.
Women: Ritual Essential For Women 18+
Rather than being a straight-up vitamin D supplement, Ritual Essential for Women hits a fair few marks thanks to its inclusive use of additional nutrients and is a great multivitamin. You can expect vitamin D, vitamin B12, Omega 3s, folate, iron, vitamin E and K2 among others. Available on a subscription service for those who want to keep it simple and with beadlet in oil technology, these vitamins are also vegan-friendly, sugar-free, and come without anything artificial woven in.
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Elm & Rye D3 Supplement
Image courtesy Elm & Rye
This is a great option for those who don’t eat fish or mushrooms. Elm & Rye D3 capsules or gummies provide all the benefits of vitamin D without any of the negative side effects. It’s an easy and convenient way to increase your vitamin D levels.
They only utilize high-quality substances in their pills. There are no superfluous additives, fillers, or fraudulent claims. These components work together to produce a superior recipe and approach to your regular routine.
Should I Take Vitamin D Or D3
Vitamin D and vitamin D3 are each effective vitamin D supplements. Vitamin D2 is approved in the treatment of hypoparathyroidism, vitamin D resistant rickets, and hypophosphatemia. Both supplements are commonly used for vitamin D supplementation.
Studies have shown that vitamin D3 supplements may be superior in raising the bodys vitamin D stores. There are many health benefits to vitamin D supplementation, but your doctor should use lab tests to recommend the amount of vitamin D you should take and which form.
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Can I Buy Calcium And Vitamin D Together
Some supplements combine calcium and vitamin D together in one dose, which can be beneficial because these two nutrients work together in the body. Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption in the gut and helps maintain adequate calcium levels throughout the body. Most of these combination supplements contain calcium and vitamin D3 and can be purchased at Walgreens over the counter.
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
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How Much Vitamin D3 Should A Person Take
There is no Recommended Dietary Allowance for vitamin D. The Institute of Medicine recommends a daily intake of 600 IU of vitamin D for most adults between the ages of 19 and 70 years, including pregnant and lactating women.
The IOM set an Upper Limit of 4000 IU per day for adults to avoid the potential risk of adverse health effects associated with excessive vitamin D intake.
Pregnant and lactating women, as well as people over the age of 70 years, are advised to get more than 600 IU/day because they are at increased risk for vitamin D deficiency.
People with dark skin are at increased risk for vitamin D deficiency and may need higher intakes of vitamin D. Some researchers recommend that people with dark skin should get up to 1000-2000 IU of vitamin D per day.
A number of factors can affect how much vitamin D you need, including your age, skin color, and level of sun exposure. Talk to your healthcare provider about how much vitamin D you should take.
If You Dont Get Enough Vitamin D
- Your bones can become weak and can break
- Children can get rickets, a disease that prevents their bones from growing properly, delays their growth, and causes problems with their immune system
- Adults can develop osteomalacia, a disease that weakens the bones and makes them hurt, and also causes fractures
- Older adults can get osteoporosis, which doesnt cause pain, but makes the bones thin and easy to fracture
The best way to know if you are getting enough vitamin D is to have a specific blood test. Otherwise, you may not know that youre not getting enough vitamin D until you start having symptoms associated with vitamin D deficiency. The vitamin D test is very expensive, so its not routinely done.
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Which Fruits And Vegetables Are High In Vitamin D
Mushrooms are a great source of vitamin D, as they have been exposed to sunshine. Other vegan foods rich in vitamin D include fortified soy products like tofu, soy milk, and soy yogurt, as well as fortified cereals and juices.
Unfortunately, no fruits are high in vitamin D, and only fortified orange juice is currently available.
Is It Possible To Get Enough Vitamin D On A Vegan Diet
According to certified clinical and integrative nutritionist Sunny Brigham, whose job is to help people transition to a plant-based lifestyle, its not possible to get enough vitamin D on a plant-based diet. But this isnt exclusive to vegans. For meat-eaters too, its hard to get enough vitamin D, Brigham notes. This is why plant-based vitamin D supplements are the way forward for her.
Not everyone shares Brighams view. Chirag Shah MD, the co-founder of Accesa Labs, which offers vitamin D testing, maintains it is possible to get enough Vitamin D on a plant-based dietif you eat enough mushrooms.
Shah explained to LIVEKINDLY, Mushrooms are thought to make vitamin D from a molecule called provitamin D2 with the help of the sun.She added, however, that people who are interested in tracking their vitamin D levels should consider getting a vitamin D blood test before adding some mushrooms to their diet.
David Barbour, the co-founder of wellness company Vivio Life Sciences, agrees with Shah. There are two main versions of vitamin D D2 and D3 is in animals. Living on a plant-based diet you should you eat mushrooms , fortified foods, and/or supplements,Barbour said.
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Coverage And Cost Comparison Of Vitamin D Vs D3
Vitamin D2 in prescription form is commonly covered by most commercial and Medicare insurance plans. The over-the-counter formulations are typically not covered by commercial or Medicare insurance plans. The price can vary greatly depending on dosage. The average cost of the 50,000 IU dose for 12 weeks of therapy is $47.99. With a coupon from SingleCare, this price drops to as low as $11.
Vitamin D3 is over-the-counter, and therefore is typically not covered by insurance plans. The price varies depending on dose. D3 can cost as $40 but if your doctor prescribes the medication you can get it for as low as $20 with a SingleCare discount coupon.
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What Is The Difference Between Vitamin D And Vitamin D3
Vitamin D is a vitamin that humans require to survive. Vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 are the two forms of the vitamin in the human body. There isn’t much of a difference between vitamin D3 and simply vitamin D, since they’re all referred to as “vitamin D.”
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is stored in the liver and released into the bloodstream when needed. Vitamin D can also be obtained from food or supplements. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium and phosphorus, two minerals that are essential for bone health.
Vitamin D deficiency can lead to osteoporosis, rickets, and other health problems. Most people get enough vitamin D from exposure to sunlight and from their diet. However, some groups of people are at risk for vitamin D deficiency and may need to take supplements.
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What Happens If I Overdose
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose of vitamin D can cause serious or life-threatening side effects.
Overdose symptoms may include nausea, loss of appetite, thirst, urinating more or less than usual, body aches, stiffness, confusion, or irregular heartbeats.
People Taking Certain Medications
Vitamin D deficiency can be induced by a number of factors, including corticosteroid usage. Corticosteroids reduce calcium absorption and impair vitamin D synthesis.
Vitamin D and other fat-soluble vitamins are less likely to be absorbed when weight-loss medicines with orlistat, as well as cholesterol-lowering treatments with cholestyramine, are taken.
Vitamin D is necessary for calcium absorption, and anti-seizure medications including phenobarbital and phenytoin have been linked to vitamin D deficiency and reduced calcium intake.
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What Are The Best Sources Of Vitamin D
Its hard to get enough vitamin D from sunshine, but its even harder to get it from foodat least the way most people eat. The best source of dietary D is from fish livers, such as cod liver oil, but now ask yourself when was the last time you ate cod liver oil?
Mackerel, salmon, sardines, swordfish, trout, and tuna all offer D, as do mushrooms and eggs. If you eat them regularly, youll meet the government-recommended requirement, but if youre in the camp that thinks 600 IU is too low, youll need to be more aggressive to hit your D goals. Dairy products and cereals are fortified with vitamin D, which helps, but one review, and Harvard University, determined that supplementation with a multivitamin or concentrated vitamin D capsule provides a better insurance policy.
Of course, you shouldnt completely avoid the sun. According to a report in Alternative Medicine Review, the health benefits accruing from moderate UV irradiation, without erythema or excess tanning, greatly outweigh the health risks, with skin pigmentation providing much of the protection.
Sachet: Dayli Sunshine Blend
If popping pills and capsules isnt your thing, a sunny drink may be just the ticket instead. This sachet from Dayli Sunshine Blend brings together vitamin D, turmeric, and lion mane and comes in a peach and mango flavor. Simply mix it into cold water and gulp down. While the health benefits are big, it can taste a little on the sweet side to some people.
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Why Do Doctors Prescribe Vitamin D2 Instead Of D3
Your doctor may determine your vitamin D recommendation based on lab work. Among some health professionals, there may be a perception that vitamin D2 is more effective because it is available by prescription only, even though studies have shown this is not necessarily true. Vitamin D2 may also be a lower cost to the patient, especially when covered in part or full by their insurance.
What Is Vitamin D And Why Is It Important
Vitamin D belongs to the family of fat-soluble vitamins, which include vitamins A, D, E and K. These vitamins are absorbed well with fat and are stored in the liver and fatty tissues.
There are two main forms of vitamin D in the diet:
- Vitamin D2 : Found in plant foods like mushrooms.
- Vitamin D3 : Found in animal foods like salmon, cod and egg yolks.
However, sunlight is the best natural source of vitamin D3. The UV rays from sunlight convert cholesterol in your skin into vitamin D3 .
Before your body can use dietary vitamin D, it must be activated through a series of steps .
First, the liver converts dietary vitamin D into the storage form of vitamin D. This is the form that is measured in blood tests. Later, the storage form is converted by the kidneys to the active form of vitamin D thats used by the body .
Interestingly, D3 is twice as effective at raising blood levels of vitamin D as vitamin D2 .
The main role of vitamin D in the body is to manage blood levels of calcium and phosphorus. These minerals are important for healthy bones .
Research also shows that vitamin D aids your immune system and may reduce your risk of heart disease and certain cancers .
A low blood level of vitamin D is linked to a greater risk of fractures and falls, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, several cancers and even death (
For instance, an analysis of five studies examined the link between vitamin D blood levels and colorectal cancer .
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Does Vitamin D3 Give You Energy
Increasing vitamin D intake is thought to improve energy. A clinical trial was done examining fatigue levels in patients who were identified as vitamin D deficient. These patients were given vitamin D3 supplementation to increase blood levels of vitamin D, and the results showed a significant improvement in fatigue levels. Scientists have shown this may be due to vitamin Ds effect at the cellular level where it augments mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation in skeletal muscle. This decreases muscle fatigue.
How Can I Track My Food Intake And My Vitamin D And Omega
To help you track your food intake along with vitamin D levels, GrassrootsHealth has created an online tracking system called myData-myAnswers. You can also track your sun exposure and supplement use to see how vitamin D from food, sun and supplements impact your vitamin D levels and your health. Check it out today!
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What Happens If Vitamin D3 Is Low
A vitamin D deficiency can lead to a number of health problems, such as bone loss, muscle weakness, and an increased risk for falls and fractures. A lack of vitamin D can also cause mood changes, such as depression and anxiety.
In children, a vitamin D deficiency can cause rickets, a condition that leads to softening and weakening of the bones.
Breaking The Old Rules
Vitamin D is one of the 13 vitamins discovered in the early 20th century by doctors studying nutritional deficiency diseases. Ever since, scientists have defined vitamins as organic chemicals that must be obtained from dietary sources because they are not produced by the bodys tissues. Vitamins play a crucial role in our bodys metabolism, but only tiny amounts are needed to fill that role.
Although vitamin D is firmly enshrined as one of the four fat-soluble vitamins, it is not technically a vitamin. True, its essential for health, and only minuscule amounts are required. But it breaks the other rules for vitamins because its produced in the human body, its absent from all natural foods except fish and egg yolks, and even when its obtained from foods, it must be transformed by the body before it can do any good.
As our habits change, most of us cannot rely on our bodies to produce vitamin D the old-fashioned way. Instead, we increasingly depend on artificially fortified foods and pills to provide this vital nutrient. Coming full circle in the modern world, this substance may actually come to fit the technical definition of a vitamin.
Why Your Eyes Need Vitamin D And Where To Get It
Research from the American Optometric Association discusses how crucial vitamin D is for our eyes, bones, and heart. Having a deficiency can lead to many types of cancers as well as eye conditions. When we think about nutrients for eye health, we often jump to beta-carotene. But, vitamin D is incredibly necessary for eye health and strong vision.
Despite its underrated reputation, vitamin D may be one of the most beneficial nutrients for preventing age-related macular degeneration . The benefits dont end there though vitamin Ds power is extensive. Luckily, there are many different sources we can get it from to maintain optimal eye health.
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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The Role Of Vitamin D3
Another surprising thing about vitamin D3? Its not actually a vitamin, but a pro-hormone. Its considered a pro-hormone because the body is able to produce it on its own by absorbing sunlight on the skin.
Other vitamins and nutrients are unable to be produced by the body and therefore must be obtained via diet and supplements. The body needs to store a healthy amount of vitamin D in order absorb phosphorous and be able to maintain normal levels of calcium. In fact, vitamin D is essential to many functions in the body:
- Vitamin D is necessary for the maintenance of strong bones and healthy teeth.
- Keeping a healthy store of vitamin D gives added protection to such diseases as cancer, multiple sclerosis, and type 1 diabetes.
- Helps with diabetes management and maintaining healthy insulin levels.
- Vitamin D offers immune support as well as protection to the nervous system and the brain.
- Vitamin D is essential to the health of the lungs and cardiovascular system.
- Helps inhibit the development of cancer.