Do I Need A Vitamin D Test
Your doctor may recommend a vitamin D test if you are at a very high risk of vitamin D deficiency. A test is not always needed before your doctor prescribes a vitamin D supplement and is generally not needed for monitoring your levels if you are taking vitamin D. Read more: Do I need a vitamin test? Choosing Wisely, NZ
Why Do I Need Vitamin Supplements
Most people do not need to take vitamin supplements and can get all the vitamins and minerals they need by eating a healthy, balanced diet.
Vitamins and minerals, such as iron, calcium and vitamin C, are essential nutrients that your body needs in small amounts to work properly.
Many people choose to take supplements but taking too much or taking them for too long could be harmful. The Department of Health and Social Care recommends certain supplements for some groups of people who are at risk of deficiency.
Health Effects Of Low Vitamin D
Vitamin D deficiency does not always have obvious symptoms but without treatment there can be significant health effects. These can include bone and muscle pain, and softening of the bones such as rickets and osteomalacia .
Some people are at greater risk of vitamin D deficiency, including:
- people with naturally very dark skin this is because the pigment in dark skin doesnt absorb as much UV radiation
- people who avoid the sun due to previous skin cancers, immune suppression or sensitive skin and those people who have limited sun exposure, such as nightshift workers
- people who wear covering clothing or concealing clothing
- people who spend a long time indoors such as those who are housebound or institutionalised
- people who are obese
- people who have a disability or a disease that affects vitamin D metabolism, such as end stage liver disease, renal disease and fat malabsorption syndromes such as cystic fibrosis, coeliac disease and inflammatory bowel disease
- people who take medication that affects vitamin D metabolism
- breast-fed babies of vitamin D deficient mothers
If you think you may be at risk of vitamin D deficiency, talk to your GP for advice. Your GP may recommend taking a vitamin D supplement.
Overexposure to UV is never recommended, even for people who have vitamin D deficiency.
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Do I Need Vitamin D Supplements In The Summer
If you think you may have a vitamin D deficiency, the best thing to do is to get a blood test to figure out what your actual vitamin D levels are. If you have any symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency, you can also take vitamin D supplements. Ideally, youd want a vitamin D3 supplement to have at least 2,000 IU per dose and take it daily to make sure your body is keeping up.
The body itself can produce and store up to 10,000 IU of Vitamin D without any side effects. But we rarely meet this high amount of Vitamin D since our body uses the vitamin D it produces, which is why we always need to make sure we always have enough Vitamin D.
Final Thoughts On 20 Best Vitamin D Supplements
Vitamin D is an important nutrient that helps our bodies absorb calcium and supports our immune system. Many people take vitamin D supplements to ensure they are getting enough of this nutrient.
When choosing a supplement, it is important to consider factors such as dosage, price, and quality. By taking the time to find the right supplement, you can improve your overall health and wellbeing.
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Advice For Infants And Young Children
The Department of Health and Social Care recommends that babies from birth to 1 year of age should have a daily supplement containing 8.5 to 10 micrograms of vitamin D throughout the year if they are:
- formula-fed and are having less than 500ml of infant formula a day, as infant formula is already fortified with vitamin D
Children aged 1 to 4 years old should be given a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D throughout the year.
You can buy vitamin D supplements or vitamin drops containing vitamin D at most pharmacies and supermarkets.
Women and children who qualify for the Healthy Start scheme can get free supplements containing vitamin D.
See the Healthy Start website for more information.
Which Vitamin D Supplements Are Recommended For Pregnant Women
It is likely you will be taking various supplements during your pregnancy, so it is important that it contains at least 10µg of vitamin D or you take an individual vitamin D3 10µg tablet.
A good pregnancy support supplement duo is folic acid and vitamin D, as folic acid is also very important for pregnancy.
Taking supplements formulated specifically for pregnant women makes sure that you do not risk taking too much vitamin A, which is not recommended during pregnancy.
- Vitamin D is vital for pregnant women for their own health and the healthy development of their baby
- Pregnant women should take 10 micrograms of vitamin D each day
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Vegan Vitamin D Spray
If you want a vegan source of the faster-acting vitamin D3 or simply cannot stand taking tablets or capsules, a vitamin D spray could be for you.
Vitamin D sprays act incredibly fast as they bypass the digestive system and deliver vitamin D directly into the bloodstream.
Beware however, that not all vitamin D sprays are vegan, but BetterYou Dlux Vegan Vitamin D Spray is. Give it a go and see if it works for you.
Most Older Adults Take Some Kind Of Over
Over-the-counter dietary supplements are big business more than 90,000 products generate about $30 billion every year in the United States. Older adults make up a big part of these sales, too. A survey of almost 3,500 adults ages 60 and older published Oct. 1, 2017, in The Journal of Nutrition found that 70% use a daily supplement , 54% take one or two supplements, and 29% take four or more.
But are these pills good medicine, or a waste of money?
“Supplements are never a substitute for a balanced, healthful diet,” says Dr. JoAnn Manson, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and professor of epidemiology at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “And they can be a distraction from healthy lifestyle practices that confer much greater benefits.”
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What To Know About Vitamin D Toxicity Or Overdosing On Vitamin D
When it comes to vitamin D, more isnt always better. Since the vitamin is fat soluble, its stored inside the body and can be harmful if your levels get too high. Too much vitamin D can cause vitamin D toxicity, or hypervitaminosis D, Clifford says.
You dont have to worry about overdosing if you rely on your diet and sunlight to reach 600 IU a day. Its once supplements get added that it becomes a concern. Its more common with mega doses of supplements taken over a long period of time usually doses above 10,000 IU per day, Clifford says.
Can I Take Magnesium With Other Minerals And Vitamins
Yes. Vitamins and minerals all work in combination and rely on each other to be fully effective.
Taking magnesium supplements helps your body to absorb and use minerals such as calcium, phosphorus and potassium, and vitamins like vitamin D.
If you take vitamin D supplements, they wont work properly in strengthening your bones unless the concentrations of boron, magnesium and zinc, and vitamins K and A, are at the correct levels.
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Why Is Vitamin D Important
Vitamin D is essential for our bodies to function effectively. Its main function is to increase blood concentrations of calcium and phosphorus.
Maintaining adequate calcium levels in the blood helps ensure:
- optimal mineralisation of tissue, mainly bones, cartilage and teeth
- effective muscle contraction
Vitamin D is also involved in:
- hormonal regulation
- differentiation and activity of immune system cells
- differentiation of certain skin cells
Ddrops Vitamin D3 1000 Iu Drops
Image courtesy Ddrops
Vitamin D is produced in the skin when exposed to summer sunshine , and it may be found in certain foods. Vitamin D is important for optimal bone and muscular function.
A 25-Hydroxyvitamin D blood test might be used to discover vitamin D. According to the Institute of Medicine, a level above 20 ng/ml is ideal.
Vitamin D supplementation may be required to raise 25-hydroxyvitamin D to adequate levels.
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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.
Who Is At Risk Of Vitamin D Deficiency
Some people are at higher risk of vitamin D deficiency:
- Breastfed infants, because human milk is a poor source of vitamin D. If you are breastfeeding, give your infant a supplement of 400 IU of vitamin D every day.
- Older adults, because your skin doesn’t make vitamin D when exposed to sunlight as efficiently as when you were young, and your kidneys are less able to convert vitamin D to its active form.
- People with dark skin, which has less ability to produce vitamin D from the sun.
- People with disorders such as Crohn’s disease or celiac disease who don’t handle fat properly, because vitamin D needs fat to be absorbed.
- People who have obesity, because their body fat binds to some vitamin D and prevents it from getting into the blood.
- People with chronic kidney or liver disease.
- People with hyperparathyroidism
- People with sarcoidosis, tuberculosis, histoplasmosis, or other granulomatous disease
- People with some lymphomas, a type of cancer.
- People who take medicines that affect vitamin D metabolism, such as cholestyramine , anti-seizure drugs, glucocorticoids, antifungal drugs, and HIV/AIDS medicines.
Talk with your health care provider if you are at risk for vitamin D deficiency. There is a blood test which can measure how much vitamin D is in your body.
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What Problems Does Vitamin D Deficiency Cause
Severe vitamin D deficiency can also lead to other diseases. In children, it can cause rickets. Rickets is a rare disease that causes the bones to become soft and bend. African American infants and children are at higher risk of getting rickets. In adults, severe vitamin D deficiency leads to osteomalacia. Osteomalacia causes weak bones, bone pain, and muscle weakness.
Researchers are studying vitamin D for its possible connections to several medical conditions, including diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, and autoimmune conditions such as multiple sclerosis. They need to do more research before they can understand the effects of vitamin D on these conditions.
Can I Take Too Much Vitamin D
It is possible to take too much vitamin D. Taking large doses of vitamin D can lead to side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
If you are taking a supplement, it is important to follow the dosage instructions on the label. You should also speak with a doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions about taking vitamin D.
How Do I Get The Vitamin D I Need
Dont run out to the drug store to buy vitamin D pills just yet. Your body produces vitamin D when the skin is exposed to sun, and it is estimated that most people need 1,000 to 1,500 hours of sun exposure throughout the spring, summer, and fall to obtain the necessary amount of vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency is very common and on the rise. This is mostly due to vigilant sun protection, since sunscreen with SPF 30 reduces vitamin D production by 95%. Of course, as a dermatologist I am not advocating for prolonged sun exposure, but small amounts can go a long way, as the skin produces vitamin D that can last at least twice as long the vitamin D you take in through foods or supplements. Vitamin D can also be obtained through other sources, including fatty fish , foods fortified with vitamin D , beef liver, cheese, and egg yolks. Of course, vitamin D supplements are needed for people most at risk for deficiency, including breastfed infants, older adults, people with limited sun exposure, darker skinned individuals, and overweight individuals.
Q: Do Some People Naturally Have Lower Vitamin D Levels Than Others
A: People with darker skin pigmentation tend to have lower levels, as do people who use sunscreen, dont spend much time outdoors, or are overweight or obese. This is because vitamin D is fat soluble, so it gets trapped in fatty tissue and cant be used by the body as it should be. Gastrointestinal surgery, like gastric bypass, makes it difficult to absorb vitamin D. And as we age, we dont absorb vitamin D well, and we produce less.
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Signs Of Vitamin D Deficiency In Babies
Vitamin D deficiency isnt easy to spot in babies, partly because they cant tell you how theyre feeling. And fatigue and muscle pain, symptoms of vitamin D deficiency, are common symptoms of several other conditions. In addition, signs of vitamin D deficiency may not show up until months or years later.
But doctors may check your babys vitamin D levels if your baby has:
- Frequent illnesses or infections.
- Poor growth.
- Frequent bone fractures.
Dont wait to see if your baby has symptoms of vitamin D deficiency, Dr. Liermann says. Supplement Vitamin D regularly to prevent deficiency. And if you have any concerns about your babys health, talk to your pediatrician.
Can Stress Cause A Vitamin D Deficiency
Yes, stress can cause a vitamin D deficiency. This is because when you’re stressed, your body produces a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol can interfere with the absorption of vitamin D and other nutrients.
If you’re constantly stressed, it’s important to take steps to manage your stress so that it doesn’t impact your health. There are a number of ways to do this, such as yoga, meditation, and exercise. You can also talk to your doctor about ways to manage your stress.
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Do Babies Need Vitamin D
Yes, babies under the age of 1 need vitamin D too.
Babies up to 1 year of age who are being breastfed should be given a daily supplement that contains 8.5 10 µg every day to make sure they are reaching recommended levels.17
This still applies if the breastfeeding mother is taking a supplement herself.
However, babies fed infant formulas will not need a vitamin D supplement if they are having more than 500ml of formula a day, as it will already by fortified with vitamin D and other nutrients.
The easiest way to provide breastfed babies with vitamin D is with vitamin D drops.
We have a Vitamin D3 Drop formula that is specifically designed for babies to take daily from birth until they are 12 months old.
- Yes, babies who are being breastfed need 8.5-10µg vitamin D a day
- Babies drinking infant formula wont need to supplement as their milk will have been fortified with vitamin D already
When Can Babies Stop Getting Vitamin D Drops
Once your baby is drinking one liter of formula or fortified whole milk every day, they are getting enough vitamin D without drops. For formula-fed infants this could be within a few months of life but for infants who are exclusively breast fed this is not until they reach 1 year of age and are able to start drinking fortified whole milk. Ask your pediatrician when to stop giving your child vitamin D drops.
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Which Type Of Vitamin D Is Best For You
If you would like a little more of the sunshine vitamin in your life, but do not know which type of vitamin D is best for you, dont worry – were on the case!
Our nutritionists have created a handy guide outlining which type and form of vitamin D will help you thrive.
Whether you are looking for vitamin D for adults, vegans, children and babies or for when you are pregnant, there is a suitable type for everyone.
What To Know If You Take A Supplement
Its a good idea to talk with your doctor before starting any new supplement regimen.
For optimal bone health, you should also be sure to pair it with at least 1,000 milligrams of calcium per day, either through diet or a combination of diet and supplements, she says.
Keep in mind that if youre taking a daily multivitamin, any vitamin D in that supplement should be included in your daily dose.
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