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The recommended daily intake of vitamin D as per the National Institutes of Health is between 400-800 IU daily, or 10-20 micrograms daily. However some individuals may need more,” Claire says. And while the acceptable amount of vitamin D you can take certainly depends on a person’s deficiency, the average person is generally not advised to consume too much vitamin D by going over the maximum RDA at 100 micrograms/4000 IU per day.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that foods like fatty fish, eggs and nuts contain naturally occurring vitamin D, while some foods such as infant formulas and cereals have been fortified to have a higher amount in order to support public health.
Which Foods Contain Vitamin D
Oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines, egg yolks, red meat, liver and certain mushrooms that have been grown in sunlight or UV light all contain vitamin D.
Egg yolks and cheese contain a small amount.
Other foods are fortified with vitamin D, such as some breakfast cereals, yoghurt drinks and fat-based spreads.
But it’s hard to get enough from food alone a salmon fillet contains around 13mcg vitamin D , boiled eggs only have 1.6mcg, and a bowl of fortified cereal around 2.5mcg.
Best Prenatal Vitamin D: Natalist Vitamin D3 Gummies
Not verified by USP, NSF or ConsumerLabs
More expensive option
Vitamin D is important nutrient during pregnancy, promoting the absorption of calcium, and supporting the bone development and growth of the baby. Vitamin D deficiencies are common amongst high-risk populations including those with limited sun-exposure and those with dietary restrictions that limit animal-based foods.If your prenatal vitamin does not contain vitamin D, or if you have been diagnosed with a vitamin D deficiency, you may want to consider adding an additional vitamin D supplement to your routine.
We love Natalist’s Vitamin D3 Gummies, providing a tasty option with 2,000 IU per serving that is vegan and vegetarian friendly, made with pectin instead of gelatin. The Natalist brand, advised by OB/GYN medical advisors, has developed high-quality, third-party tested supplements made for the unique nutritional needs of fertility, pregnancy and postpartum. Natalist is also committed to sustainability with a net-zero plastic footprint.
Serving Size: 2 gummies | Servings Per Container: 45 | Vitamin D Dose: 2000 IUs | Other Ingredients: Glucose syrup, sugar, water, pectin, citric acid, sodium citrate, natural flavors, coconut oil, elderberry juice, annatto, carnauba wax
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Signs Of Deficiency And Toxicity
Vitamin D deficiency may occur from a lack in the diet, poor absorption, or having a metabolic need for higher amounts. If one is not eating enough vitamin D and does not receive enough ultraviolet sun exposure over an extended period , a deficiency may arise. People who cannot tolerate or do not eat milk, eggs, and fish, such as those with a lactose intolerance or who follow a vegan diet, are at higher risk for a deficiency. Other people at high risk of vitamin D deficiency include:
- People with inflammatory bowel disease or other conditions that disrupt the normal digestion of fat. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that depends on the guts ability to absorb dietary fat.
- People who are obese tend to have lower blood vitamin D levels. Vitamin D accumulates in excess fat tissues but is not easily available for use by the body when needed. Higher doses of vitamin D supplementation may be needed to achieve a desirable blood level. Conversely, blood levels of vitamin D rise when obese people lose weight.
- People who have undergone gastric bypass surgery, which typically removes the upper part of the small intestine where vitamin D is absorbed.
Conditions resulting from prolonged vitamin D deficiency:
- Irregular heart beat
- Hardening of blood vessels and tissues due to increased blood levels of calcium, potentially leading to damage of the heart and kidneys
Is Vitamin D Or D3 More Effective
Vitamin D2 and D3 are absorbed into the bloodstream where they are metabolized by the liver into 25-hydroxyvitamin D2 and 25-hydroxyvitamin D3, otherwise collectively known as 25D or calcifediol. Calcifediol is the vitamin D complex circulating in your blood, and its levels directly reflect your bodys stores of vitamin D. Calcifediol is commonly referred to as the active form of vitamin D. When your doctor orders lab tests to check your vitamin D levels, they are measuring your calcifediol levels. Calcifediol is the precursor to calcitriol, the ultimate active metabolite of vitamins D and D3.
There have been several studies comparing whether supplementation with vitamin D2 or D3 produces a higher blood level of calcifediol. A study published by the National Institutes of Health was conducted in elderly, post-menopausal women who had been identified as vitamin D deficient. It compared the effects of receiving a single high dose of vitamin D2 or vitamin D3 on calcifediol levels. The study concluded that vitamin D3 produced about twice the amount of circulating calcifediol in this patient population versus that of vitamin D2.
In a separate clinical trial comparing a 10-week regimen of twice weekly 50,000 IU dosing of both vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 in demographically matched groups, vitamin D3 was also found to be superior in producing higher levels of 25D, or calcifediol.
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Who Is Particularly At Risk Of Vitamin D Deficiency
Some people are at higher risk of vitamin D deficiency. If you are in one of these groups the NHS recommends you take a vitamin D supplement all year around.
Those at higher risk include:
- People with dark skin melanin reduces the skin’s ability to make vitamin D and people with dark skin have more melanin.
- People who cover their skin people who cover up when outside are unable to make enough vitamin D as their skin isn’t exposed to sunlight.
- People who stay indoors a lot people who are frail, housebound or live in a care home may not get enough exposure to sunlight.
Vitamin D2 Vs Vitamin D3 Supplements: How Much Is Enough
Both D2 and D3 are available as dietary supplements. The relative efficacy of D2 vs D3 in humans continues to be debated, although both appear to be effective for preventing or treating disease, provided that an adequate total 25D blood level is obtained. The variable efficacy of D2 vs D3 may relate primarily to differences in serum half-life and is clinically relevant for dosing and monitoring frequency. A single dose of 50,000 IU of D2 or D3 produces a similar increase in the total 25D concentration, but the apparent longer half-life of D3 suggests that less frequent dosing may be needed.19 A daily dosing study of 1000 IU of D2 vs D3 showed no difference in any resulting vitamin D level .20 However, a recent study comparing 1600 IU of D2 once daily vs 1600 IU of D3 once daily vs 50,000 IU of D2 once monthly vs 50,000 IU of D3 once monthly suggested that D3 is superior in that it showed slightly higher levels of 25D3 at the end of 1 year. An important caveat of this study was that the mean total 25D level at the beginning of the study was already in the reference range , and those with hypovitaminosis D may respond differently.21 We recommend the use of D3, particularly if dosing is infrequent . One situation in which D2 may be preferred is a vegetarian or vegan diet. It is recommended that both D2 and D3 be taken with a meal containing fat to ensure maximum absorption.
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How Much Is Too Much
Taking much vitamin D can have a chain reaction effect causing high levels of calcium and phosphorus in the blood because of vitamin Ds role in calcium absorption. Although the current upper limits are set at 4000 IUs, the evidence suggests that toxicity is rare unless much higher doses of 10,000 IUs or more are taken over a longer duration or while taking high doses of calcium at the same time.
Why Is Vitamin D So Important
Vitamin D is one of many vitamins your body needs to stay healthy. It plays a crucial role in maintaining the balance of calcium in your blood and bones and in building and maintaining bones.
More specifically, you need vitamin D so your body can use calcium and phosphorus to build bones and support healthy tissues.
With chronic and/or severe vitamin D deficiency, a decline in calcium and phosphorus absorption by your intestines leads to hypocalcemia . This leads to secondary hyperparathyroidism .
Both hypocalcemia and hyperparathyroidism, if severe, can cause symptoms, including muscle weakness and cramps, fatigue and depression.
To try to balance calcium levels in your blood , your body takes calcium from your bones, which leads to accelerated bone demineralization .
This can further result in osteomalacia in adults and rickets in children.
Osteomalacia and osteoporosis put you at an increased risk for bone fractures. Rickets is the same as osteomalacia, but it only affects children. Since a childs bones are still growing, demineralization causes bowed or bent bones.
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Best For Pregnancy And Fertility: Fullwell Prenatal Multivitamin
4000 IUs of vitamin D included in comprehensive prenatal
8 capsule serving
If you are trying to conceive or currently pregnant, youre likely aware of the importance of taking folic acid and a prenatal multivitamin, but vitamin D should also be on your radar.
I find that supplementation during preconception , pregnancy, and breastfeeding is one of the most beneficial times because this is when adequate vitamin D status influences fertility in a number of ways as well as babys long-term immune and skeletal health, Barmmer says.
Instead of having to buy separate vitamin bottles for each nutrient to piece together a supportive supplement regimen, FullWell has done the combining for you. It provides a comprehensive prenatal multivitamin with a focus on optimal vitamin D dosing for pregnancy and conception. At eight pills, it can feel cumbersome, but it provides a 4000 IU dose of vitamin D, which research shows is the optimal amount to support vitamin D levels during pregnancy.
Serving Size: 8 capsules | Servings Per Container: 30 | Vitamin D Dose: 4000 IUs | Other Ingredients: Prenatal vitamins and minerals
Best For Adding To Drinks: Designs For Health Hi
The company says this supplement is highly concentrated and bioavailable, meaning it is easy for the body to absorb. Each drop contains 50 mcg of vitamin D.
A person can add this product to drinks or put it on their tongue. However, it is essential not to take too much because of the high strength. A doctor can advise about the right amount to take.
All Designs for Health facilities have one or more certifications from organizations such as the Natural Products Association, which enforces strict quality standards for supplements.
Pros and cons
Some advantages of this product are:
- its high concentration and easy absorption
- its quick dispersal into drinks
- its certifications for quality
- it does not contain vitamin K, so is an option for those taking anticoagulant medications
However, a person needs to create an account as a practitioner, patient, or student to view the cost of Hi-Po Emulsi-D3 on the companys website.
Price: Although the brand does not list its prices to people without an account, a person can purchase it through other online retailers for $28.45.
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Is It Better To Take Vitamin D Every Day Or Once A Week
There are pros and cons to both approaches. Taking vitamin D every day ensures that you’re getting a consistent dose of the nutrient, which is important for maintaining adequate levels in your body.
However, taking it once a week may be more convenient and allow you to better absorb the nutrient. Ultimately, the best approach depends on your individual needs.
If you’re looking for a vitamin D supplement, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, consider what form of vitamin D you want. The two most common forms are vitamin D-25 and vitamin D-50 .
Vitamin D-25 is the more active form of the nutrient, meaning it’s more easily absorbed by your body. However, it’s also more expensive.
Vitamin D-50 is less active, but it’s still effective and may be a better option if you’re on a budget.
Second, think about what kind of delivery method you prefer. Supplements come in capsules, tablets, liquids, and powders.
Capsules and tablets are the most common, but liquids and powders may be easier to take if you have trouble swallowing pills.
Finally, consider your dosage needs. The recommended daily allowance for vitamin D is 600 IU for adults under 70 and 800 IU for adults over 70.
The Best Vitamin D Spray
- Maximum strength 4000IU vitamin D spray
- Scientifically formulated to deliver vitamin D directly into the bloodstream
- Natural peppermint flavour fresh breath + vitamin D!
What our customers think:
Moloney 2 Excellent! 5/5 starsThis is an excellent way to increase your vitamin D level – its easy to use, has a pleasant minty taste and gets vitamin D into you! Perfect for those of us who arent that keen on taking tablets but need to raise our vitamin D levels.
Trishb63 Easy to use support for my immune system 5/5 starsHappy with my Vit D. Love the ease of use. Even tastes good.
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What Are The Side Effects Of Taking Vitamin D Supplements
Most people can safely take vitamin D supplements without any side effects. However, taking too much vitamin D can lead to hypercalcemia or high levels of calcium in the blood. This can cause nausea, vomiting, constipation, and confusion. If you experience these symptoms, stop taking your supplement and consult a healthcare professional.
Vitamin D Drops For Kids
No swallowing necessary vitamin D drops are perhaps the sneakiest and most effective way to get your children and babies to take their vitamin D supplement.
Our Holland & Barrett Vitamin D3 Drops provide a perfect dose of vitamin D3 for children from 6 months to five years.
They are odour- and taste-free too, so you can mix them into your little ones drinks and food a completely incognito way of giving them their daily dose of vitamin D! Alternatively, just drop it onto their tongue easy.
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Other Ways To Get Vitamin D
If youre not ready to hop on the supplement train, youre able to get in vitamin D through food and sunshine . There arent many foods that naturally contain vitamin D, but the National Institute of Health stating fatty fish and fish oils are among the best sources. The top 3 food sources include:
- Cod liver oil, 1 tablespoon: 1360 IU
- Rainbow trout, 3 ounces: 645 IU
- Sockeye salmon, 3 ounces: 570 IU
Your skin also absorbs UV rays from the sun and coverts it into vitamin D. The amount you get is all dependent on time of day, cloud coverage, skin melanin, and sunscreen. Some researchers claim getting outdoors between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. for about 5 to 30 minutes twice per week will lead to sufficient vitamin D synthesis.
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Vitamin D And Covid: Does It Help
At the start of the pandemic there was a lot of buzz around whether vitamin D could be helpful for preventing or treating coronavirus.
But in a review of existing research, published in December 2020, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence , Public Health England and the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition concluded there was little evidence for using vitamin D supplements to prevent or treat Covid-19.
However, we do know that vitamin D is important for our bone, muscle and immune health and that its common for people to be deficient in the UK something likely to have been exacerbated by long periods of lockdown and limits on movement, so its still important to ensure you get enough.
Video Vitamin D and Covid: expert view
We spoke to Martin Hewison, Professor of Endocrinology at the University of Birmingham, and specialist in vitamin D research, to find out how vitamin D helps your immune system:
The best reusable face masks and coverings we reveal the masks that filter efficiently, are breathable and comfortable to wear
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What Are The Symptoms Of Too Much Vitamin D
The upper limit for daily intake is around 4,000 IU. Too much vitamin D may cause excess calcium build-up in the blood. Symptoms of calcium buildup include:
Over time, too much blood calcium, known as hypercalcemia, can lead to weakened bones, kidney stones, or high blood pressure.
Your needs may change seasonally. During the winter months your vitamin D needs are higher for a few reasons. First, the days are shorter so there is less sunshine. Also, when most people go outdoors in the winter they wear hats, coats, and gloves, which restrict sunlight from penetrating the skin.
To prevent vitamin D deficiency, the average person must spend about 20 minutes in the sunshine with 40% of the skin exposed each day.
How Much Vitamin D Is Optimal
You need a totally healthy lifestyle to stay fit. That includes good nutrition, plenty of sleep and adequate hydration. In fact, good nutrition is one key people often overlook. For instance, one of the lesser talked about vitamins until recently is vitamin D. The focus on vitamin D became apparent during the recent pandemic and how people who lacked it often became the sickest. So how much vitamin D is necessary for good health? The answer varies based on several factors.
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