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Where To Get Vitamin D

Signs Symptoms And Associated Disorders

Woman’s Doctor: How to get more vitamin D

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:

  • Rickets, a childhood disease characterized by impeded growth and deformity of the long bones. The earliest sign of vitamin D deficiency is craniotabes, abnormal softening or thinning of the skull.
  • Osteomalacia, a bone-thinning disorder that occurs exclusively in adults and is characterized by proximal muscle weakness and bone fragility. Women with vitamin D deficiency who have been through multiple pregnancies are at elevated risk of osteomalacia.
  • Osteoporosis, a condition characterized by reduced bone mineral density and increased bone fragility

Factors Affecting Serum 25ohd Levels

Dietary Intake

Available literature demonstrates that serum 25OHD levels increase in response to increased vitamin D intake, although overall it can be concluded that the relationship is non-linear rather than linear. Factors that may affect the relationship between vitamin D intake and serum 25OHD levels are not entirely clear, and the reliability of such measures may be less than desirable. Moreover, there remains debate over the equivalence of vitamins D2 and D3 in the diet , although it has been assumed that they are 25-hydroxylated at similar rates .

Three-dimensional scatter-plot of 4-week change in serum 25OHD concentration above baseline expressed as a function of both basic skin lightness and UVB dose rate. Surface is hyperboloid, plotting equation 1, and was fitted to data using least squares

A number of small studies have reported serum 25OHD levels to be consistently lower in persons with darker skin pigmentation, and data from NHANES suggest that serum 25OHD levels are highest in whites, lowest in non-Hispanic blacks, and intermediate in Hispanic groups . Overall, there is considerable evidence that darker skin pigmentation is associated with a smaller increase in serum 25OHD concentration for a given amount of UVB exposure.

Confounders Affecting Serum 25OHD Concentrations

Understanding The Importance Of Vitamin D

  • 1Know why vitamin D is important. Vitamin D is an important nutrient for the body. Vitamin D is involved in the proper functioning of the immune system, cell growth, and cell regulation. It also aids the body in numerous ways, such as encouraging calcium absorption, promoting bone growth, and aiding in bone remodeling. XResearch source
  • Vitamin D prevents rickets, osteomalacia , and osteoporosis . It has also been associated with cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment in older people, asthma in children, and even cancer.XResearch source
  • Low levels of Vitamin D also contribute to the risk of colon and pancreatic cancer. Vitamin D deficiencies can increase the risk of high blood pressure, multiple sclerosis, autoimmune diseases, insulin resistance, and Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.XResearch source
  • 2Learn who is at risk for deficiency. Some people are more at risk than others for vitamin D deficiency. If you are in one of the at risk categories, make sure to eat as much vitamin D as possible. However, even if you don’t fall under the typical category of someone who might be deficient, you could still be at risk. Have your blood tested to find out whether or not you are deficient, especially if you fall into one of the following groups:XResearch source
  • Elderly adults
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    How Vitamin D Works

    Vitamin D helps control how much calcium and phosphate you absorb from food.

    Calcium is essential for bone health. Phosphate is needed for healthy bones, teeth, muscles, nerves, and basic bodily functions.

    Vitamin D comes in two forms:

    • Vitamin D2 is naturally found in some plants.
    • Vitamin D3 is naturally found in animals and is produced by the skin when its exposed to sunlight.

    You can meet your vitamin D needs with either form. But healthcare providers generally suggest D3 supplements. That’s because it:

    • Raises your overall vitamin D level more than D2
    • Lasts longer in the body than D2

    Vitamin D2 Versus Vitamin D3

    Vitamin D

    Vitamins D2 and D3, as described previously, differ only in their side chain structure. Physiological responses to both forms of the vitamin include regulation of calcium and phosphate homeostasis and regulation of cell proliferation and cell differentiation of specific cell types, as described above. Qualitatively, vitamins D2 and D3 exhibit virtually identical biological responses throughout the body that are mediated by the VDR .

    Regarding the potency of the two forms of vitamin D, there are reports that certain animals, such as avian species and New World monkeys , discriminate against vitamin D2 However, it has been assumed for several decades that the two forms are essentially equipotent in humans . Recent reports involving human dietary studies have argued for or against a metabolic discrimination against vitamin D2, compared with vitamin D3. Part of the apparent conflict between these different studies is almost certainly due to differences in size and frequency of dose the differences reported suggest a difference in pharmacokinetic parameters between vitamin D2 and vitamin D3.

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    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.

    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 (

    16 ).

    For instance, an analysis of five studies examined the link between vitamin D blood levels and colorectal cancer .

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    Groups At Risk Of Vitamin

    Obtaining sufficient vitamin D from natural food sources alone is difficult. Consumption of vitamin D-fortified foods and exposure to some sunlight are essential for maintaining a healthy vitamin D status. Dietary supplements might be required to meet the daily need for vitamin D in some group of people.

    Breastfed infants

    Vitamin D requirements cannot ordinarily be met by human milk alone, which provides < 25 IU/L to 78 IU/L. Vitamin D content of human milk is related to the mother’s vitamin D status therefore mothers who supplement with high doses of vitamin D may have high levels of vitamin D in their milk. American Association of Paediatricians recommends that exclusively and partially breastfed infants must be supplemented with 400 IU of vitamin D per day, the recommended daily allowance for this nutrient during infancy.

    Older adults

    Older adults are at high risk of developing vitamin D insufficiency because of aging. Their skin cannot synthesize vitamin D as efficiently, they are likely to spend more time indoors, and they may have inadequate intakes of the vitamin.

    People with limited sun exposure

    People with dark skin

    People with fat malabsorption

    People who are obese or who have undergone gastric bypass surgery

    How Many Milligrams Of Vitamin D Should I Take In One Day

    How to Safely Get Vitamin D From Sunlight

    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.

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    Can I Get Vitamin D Through A Window

    Its time to answer your question: can you get your vitamin D through a window? The answer is no, you are unable to make vitamin D if youre sitting inside even if its an extremely sunny window.

    This is because of the fact that ultraviolet B , which are the ones that the body requires to manufacture vitamin D, cannot make their way through the glass.

    We do want to make a note about the sun method for obtaining vitamin D: While it could seem enjoyable to spend time tanning in the sun, its really not the best way to go about obtaining a vitamin that you need. The longer period of time you stay in the sun, especially without sunblock, the higher your risk for skin complications related to sun damage.

    If youre going to be outside for an extended period of time, you should be sure to apply sunscreen. While this might mean that your attempt at getting vitamin D isnt quite as effective, it also means that you wont get a nasty burn or likely experience complications due to sun exposure at a later date.

    How To Get Vitamin D

    That brings us to our next question: how can I get the vitamin D I need? There are several ways. The first is by eating foods that have vitamin D in them. While there are actually very few foods that contain it naturally, some have been fortified to offer it.

    Another way that you can get vitamin D is with a dietary supplement. This is our favorite way to go about it, as its quick and easy–not to mention you get to enjoy some delicious gummy vitamins every day!

    Finally, you can also get vitamin D from the sun. The way that it works is that vitamin D is able to be produced endogenously when ultraviolet rays from the sun strike your skin. This triggers a process referred to as vitamin D synthesis.

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    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.

    Who Should Take A Vitamin D Supplement

    Boost your vitamin D by adding these foods to your diet ...

    Supplements are recommended to those who cant obtain enough vitamin D from food or sunlight exposure. Since human milk doesnt provide a sufficient amount of this vitamin, breastfed infants need to receive vitamin D supplements.

    Furthermore, the elderly tend to have lower vitamin levels as their skin loses the ability to produce vitamin D efficiently. In addition, they usually spend less time outdoors. Other people who also spend most of their time indoors or wear clothes that cover most of their skin are at higher risk of developing a deficiency in vitamin D.

    People with dark skin should eat more foods with this nutrient or take vitamin D tablets as their skin has a reduced ability to synthesize vitamin D. Another group at risk of becoming deficient in vitamin D includes obese people or those who have undergone gastric bypass surgery.

    Note that some medical conditions, such as celiac disease and Crohns disease, decrease the absorption of dietary fat. Consequently, people with these conditions may have lower concentrations of vitamin D, which is fat-soluble.

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    Synthesis In The Skin

    Vitamin D3 is produced photochemically from 7-dehydrocholesterol in the skin of most vertebrate animals, including humans. The precursor of vitamin D3, 7-dehydrocholesterol is produced in relatively large quantities. 7-Dehydrocholesterol reacts with UVB light at wavelengths of 290â315 nm. These wavelengths are present in sunlight, as well as in the light emitted by the UV lamps in tanning beds . Exposure to light through windows is insufficient because glass almost completely blocks UVB light.

    Adequate amounts of vitamin D can be produced with moderate sun exposure to the face, arms and legs , averaging 5â30 minutes twice per week, or approximately 25% of the time for minimal sunburn. The darker the skin, and the weaker the sunlight, the more minutes of exposure are needed. Vitamin-D overdose is impossible from UV exposure: the skin reaches an equilibrium where the vitamin degrades as fast as it is created.

    The skin consists of two primary layers: the inner layer called the dermis, and the outer, thinner epidermis. Vitamin D is produced in the keratinocytes of two innermost strata of the epidermis, the stratum basale and stratum spinosum, which also are able to produce calcitriol and express the VDR.

    Metabolism To The Active Hormonal Form

    Vitamin D, regardless of origin, is an inactive prohormone and must first be metabolized to its hormonal form before it can function. Once vitamin D enters the circulation from the skin or from the lymph, it is cleared by the liver or storage tissues within a few hours. The processes that follow are illustrated in . Vitamin D is converted in the liver to 25OHD, a process carried out by a CYP enzyme that has yet to be fully defined but is likely CYP2R1 . The crystal structure of CYP2R1 has been determined with vitamin D in the active site, and the enzyme has been shown to metabolize both vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 equally efficiently . There is little, if any, feedback regulation of this enzyme. A large genome-wide association study of factors that might be determinants of the circulating 25OHD levels identified the human chromosomal 11p15 locus of CYP2R1 as a significant determinant, whereas the loci of the other enzymes purported to have 25-hydroxylase activity were not identified . The other determinants of serum 25OHD besides CYP2R1 have been reported to be DBP , which has six common phenotypes as well as 7-dehydrocholesterol reductase and CYP24A1. Increasing intake of vitamin D results in higher blood levels of 25OHD, although perhaps not in a linear manner .

    The metabolism of vitamin D3 from synthesis/intake to formation of metabolites. The process is the same for vitamin D2 once it enters the circulation. NOTE: CYP = cytochrome P450 .

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    Can You Get Vitamin D Through A Window

    We dont want to play favorites, but vitamin D is definitely one of the most important essential vitamins in our opinion. There are so many reasons why having enough of it is crucial . Therefore, its good to know how you can obtain this nutrient that you need to properly nourish your body.

    You likely have some questions about vitamin D and how you can acquire it. Dont worry, weve been there too, and we are here to help you on your journey towards understanding.

    Today, were going to answer an extremely common question that people have about obtaining vitamin D: Can you get it through a window?

    The answer might surprise you, but before we start diving into that, well give you some context. We begin by sharing what exactly vitamins are. From there, we dive into some background on vitamin D and why its critical you get enough of it.

    After that, well share the three main ways that you can acquire vitamin D, and yes, answer your question about obtaining vitamin D through a window. We have a lot to talk about, so buckle up for this adventure!

    People At Risk Of Vitamin D Deficiency

    How to get more Vitamin D in your life

    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.

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    Are You At Risk For These Common Nutrient Deficiencies

    Yet very few foods have enough vitamin D to reach recommended daily intakes, and sunshine can be unreliable in certain climates. Men and women relying on sourcing vitamin D through diet alone typically dont exceed 288 IU a day on average. Even drinking an 8-ounce glass of milk will only get you 100 IU one-sixth the amount that many adults need daily.

    But when supplements are added, they get closer to the 600 IU goal. Consider this: Women between ages 51 and 70, who averaged 156 IU through the diet-only approach, reached 404 IU with the help of supplements.


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