Where Do I Get Vitamin D From
The only 2 reliable sources of vitamin D are the sun and supplements. Sunlight exposure is the only reliable way for your body to generate vitamin D. Vitamin D is produced by your skin in response to exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun. In fact, this is such an efficient system that most of us make approx. 20,000 units of vitamin D after only 20 minutes of summer sun without suntan lotion That’s 100 times more than the government recommends per day! There must be a good reason why we make so much in so little time.
You do not generate vitamin D when sitting behind a glass window, whether in your car or at home because these UV rays cannot penetrate glass to generate vitamin D in your skin Also sunscreens, even weak ones, almost completely block your body’s ability to generate vitamin D.
The other reliable source is vitamin D3 supplements
Only about 10% of your vitamin D comes from diet, so it is nearly impossible to get adequate amounts of vitamin D from your food.
What You Can Do Now
If youre concerned about vitamin D deficiency, ask your doctor to check your vitamin D level, says Dr. Deal. If the level is low and your provider starts you on supplements, you need repeat testing in eight to 12 weeks to make sure the level is not too high or too low.
If testing shows your vitamin D level is normal, you need repeat testing every two to three years unless you have major changes in your overall health.
Different diseases need different doses of vitamin D. If you have chronic kidney disease or parathyroid disease, ask your kidney specialist or endocrinologist about the type and dose of vitamin D you need.
If youre pregnant or breastfeeding, Dr. Deal recommends you keep taking vitamin D supplements as long as your doctor prescribes them. The supplement is linked to healthy development for you and your baby.
For bone health, be sure to stay active and remember to eat a calcium-rich diet. Consult with your doctor frequently to make sure youre taking the right steps to current bone health.
Foods That Are Bad For Your Bones
Ideally, you never want to exceed 4,000 IU per day, Clifford says. Too much vitamin D can lead to anorexia, weight loss, irregular heartbeats, and excessive urination.
It gets more serious when you end up with excess calcium absorption, which puts your heart, kidneys, and blood vessels at risk.
Symptoms of vitamin D toxicity include:
- Loss of appetite
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How Much Vitamin D Do You Need
In healthy people, the amount of vitamin D needed per day varies by age. The chart below shows the often-cited recommendations of the Institute of Medicine, now the Health and Medicine Division of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. It is important to know that these are general recommendations. If your doctor is checking your blood levels, he or she might recommend higher or lower doses based on your individual needs.
If you have osteoporosis, your doctor might suggest a blood test of your vitamin D levels. The amount of vitamin D supplement can be customized for each person, based on the results. For many older patients, a vitamin D supplement containing anywhere between 800 to 2000 IUs daily, which can be obtained without a prescription, can be both safe and beneficial. It is important to speak with your doctor about your individual needs.
|People by age|
*refers to adequate intake vs recommended dietary allowance of the other age groups.
My Doctor Told Me To Avoid The Sun What Do You Think
There is an old Italian saying “Where the sun does not go the doctor does.“
For about the last 25 years, doctors have demonized sun exposure and repeatedly told us it is bad for you and causes cancer. But is that true? In the last few years, numerous studies have shown that modest exposure to sunlight may actually be good for you, helping the body produce the vitamin D it needs to keep bones healthy and protect against cancer, including skin cancer. Though repeated sunburns–in children and very fair-skinned people–have been linked to melanoma, there is no credible scientific evidence that moderate sun exposure causes it. Since it’s almost impossible to get adequate amounts of vitamin D from food alone , the sun is your best source. I’m not suggesting you go bake in the sun with your suntan oil or go to tanning salons. But getting some sun without getting sunburned makes healthy sense.
We evolved in the sun we were made to get some sun, not to live our lives indoors and slather on sunscreen every time we go outside. If the sun is shining where you are today, get out and enjoy it, talk about a free natural treatment! All you need is a little common sense when heading outdoors, do it gradually and always avoid sunburn.
Special Note: Remember to take antioxidants when you sit in the sun, as these can help prevent skin cells from sun damage.
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Can You Have Too Much Vitamin D
Yes, it is possible to overdo vitamin D. What makes vitamin D different from other common vitamin supplements is that its a fat-soluble vitamin. When you ingest too much of a water-soluble vitamin, such as vitamin C, your body will eliminate excess via urine, says Tan. But the same cant be said for vitamin D.
Its very hard to have vitamin D toxicity from sun exposure or diet, but when people start taking supplementswhether through vitamin D drops or a prescriptionit can get to very high levels, says Tan. Too much vitamin D can cause calcium buildup and lead to kidney stones and other problems.
In general, a toxic dose of vitamin D is more than 4,000 IU a daya level that may actually hinder bone health rather than help it, according to a 2019 study in JAMA. In fact, vitamin D toxicity can result in hypercalcemia, a condition marked by an above-average amount of calcium in the blood, which can lead to nausea, vomiting, muscle weakness, neuropsychiatric disturbances, pain, loss of appetite, dehydration, polyuria, excessive thirst and kidney stones.
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
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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.
Vitamin D And Your Health: Breaking Old Rules Raising New Hopes
Vitamin D was discovered in 1920, culminating the long search for a way to cure rickets, a painful childhood bone disease. Within a decade, the fortification of foods with vitamin D was under way, and rickets became rare in the United States. But solving the problem of rickets was only the beginning of research into vitamin D. Research results suggest that vitamin D may have a role in other aspects of human health.
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Why Should I Take Vitamin D3 With Vitamin K2
Vitamin D3 with Vitamin K2 is one of the top supplements I recommend, along with high-quality fish oil, and probiotics. In this article I explain why Vitamin D is so important, and why it should be taken together with Vitamin K2.
A common trait shared by the majority of overweight people is Vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D directly supports healthy thyroid function, metabolism, and insulin resistance.
In addition to weight loss and weight management, Vitamin D is also crucial for overall wellness. In fact, recent research puts Vitamin D more on the level of a hormone than a vitamin. This means Vitamin D impacts our entire body and our health, system-wide.
Why Shouldnt Everyone Just Take Vitamin D Supplements
Too much vitamin D can be harmful, including increasing fractures, falls, and kidney stones, and can be toxic by causing excessive levels of calcium. Although not proven, high vitamin D levels have been associated with prostate cancer, pancreatic cancer, and mortality. A recent study found that use of high-dose vitamin D supplements increased over a 15-year period.
So how much is too much? For adults, toxic effects increase above 4,000 IU per day. The recommended dietary dose of vitamin D is 600 IU each day for adults 70 and younger and 800 IU each day for adults over 70. To put this into perspective, 4 ounces of cooked salmon contains approximately 600 IU of vitamin D.
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Vitamin D3 Is More Effective At Improving Vitamin D Status
Vitamin D2 and D3 are not equal when it comes to raising your vitamin D status.
Both are effectively absorbed into the bloodstream. However, the liver metabolizes them differently.
The liver metabolizes vitamin D2 into 25-hydroxyvitamin D2 and vitamin D3 into 25-hydroxyvitamin D3. These two compounds are collectively known as calcifediol.
Calcifediol is the main circulating form of vitamin D, and its blood levels reflect your bodys stores of this nutrient.
For this reason, your health care provider can estimate your vitamin D status by measuring your levels of calcifediol .
However, vitamin D2 seems to yield less calcifediol than an equal amount of vitamin D3.
Most studies show that vitamin D3 is more effective than vitamin D2 at raising blood levels of calcifediol (
If you are taking vitamin D supplements, consider choosing vitamin D3.
Summary Vitamin D3 appears to be better than D2 at improving vitamin D status.
What Is Vitamin D 5000 Iu
Vitamin D is a nutrient essential for calcium level regulation, strong bones, and healthy immune function.
There are two ways people can get vitamin D: sun exposure and diet . You get most of your vitamin D from sun exposure. The rest comes from the diet. Most people need about 600 to 800 IU of vitamin D per day through their diet .
Vitamin D 5000 IU is a high-dose supplement that can help treat vitamin D deficiency, which occurs when people dont get enough vitamin D through the sun or their diet.
This happens quite frequently: people who live in northern climates or those who spend most of their time indoors often dont get enough exposure to sunlight. Whats more, very few foods naturally contain vitamin D .
The vitamin D 5000 IU supplements you see in your local drugstore typically contain vitamin D3, a form of vitamin D that is naturally found in fatty fish. Vitamin D2, the other form, is derived from plant sources. Youre more likely to see D3 in supplements, as research has shown that D3 is more effective than D2 in raising vitamin D levels .
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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.
What Other Drugs Will Affect Cholecalciferol
Certain medications can make it harder for your body to absorb vitamin D. If you take other medications, take them at least 2 hours before or 2 hours after you take cholecalciferol.
Other drugs may affect cholecalciferol, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.
One Study Estimates That Around 20% Of The Population In The Uk Has A Profound Vitamin D Deficiency
Few doubt the role that vitamin D plays in our bone health to regulate calcium and phosphate in the body, which is why those who have a vitamin D deficiency are particularly encouraged to address it. And that may be more people than you think: one study estimates that around 20% of the population in the UK has a profound vitamin D deficiency, for example.
A third of UK adults who supplement their diet with vitamins take vitamin D
But some experts say that people with healthy levels have no need of vitamin D supplements which would be most people. In other words, they argue that in healthy people, vitamin D is not, as some have hoped, a way to prevent disease.
So whats the reality?
Despite its name, vitamin D is not a vitamin. Instead, it is a hormone that promotes the absorption of calcium in the body. The challenge is that, aside from a few foods like oily fish, vitamin D is hard to find in the average diet. But in the presence of “ultraviolet B” rays, our skin can produce its own from a common cholesterol.
Vitamin D is found in only a few foods, like oily fish
There are two main types of D. The first is vitamin D3, which is found in animals including fish and is the kind the skin makes when exposed to sunlight. The second is vitamin D2, which comes from plant-based foods including mushrooms. Studies have found that D3 is more effective, and the conclusions of a 2012 meta-analysis argue that D3 is the preferred choice for supplementation.
What Is Cystic Fibrosis
Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease that causes sticky, thick mucus to build up in organs, including your lungs and pancreas.
If you dont have CF, the mucus that lines organs and body cavities, such as your lungs and nose, is slippery and watery. If you do have CF, thick mucus clogs the airways and makes it difficult to breathe.
Mucus also blocks the ducts in the pancreas, causing problems with digesting food. Babies and children who have CF might not be able to absorb enough nutrients from food. CF, which is chronic and progressive , also affects your liver, sinus, intestines and sex organs.
Theres also a form of disease called atypical cystic fibrosis. Its different from classic CF because its a milder form and may only affect one organ. The other atypical thing about it is that it usually comes on much later in life. Typical or classic CF generally shows up in the first few years of a childs life.
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Should I Take A Vitamin D Supplement
There are a number of vitamin D supplements available. And while its often important to get certain nutrients from food, this rationale doesnt apply to vitamin D, according to Tan. The way we get vitamin D naturally is from UV exposure, she says. This is controversial, because UV exposure has risks as well.
To know if you need a vitamin D supplement, you first need a blood test to determine your vitamin D level. How much you might need to supplement depends on this number, says Tan. Only take a vitamin D supplement if recommended by your doctor based on the outcome of this blood test, and take only the recommended amount.
People who could be at risk for vitamin D deficiency include:
- People who live in climates with less sunlight.
- People who dont naturally get much sun exposure.
- Older populations who require more vitamin D daily.
- People with darker skin, as they dont synthesize vitamin D from the sun as easily.
Getting Vitamin D From Sunlight
To make vitamin D, you need sunlight on your skin. From April until the end of September its possible to get enough vitamin D by spending time outside.
For most people, you only need to be outside for short periods of time, for example around 20-30 minutes. Although the exact time isnt known because its different for different people. If you have dark skin, for example if youre of south Asian, African or African Caribbean origin, you will need longer in the sun.
You need to have some skin exposed, for example, your forearms, hands and lower legs. But you can still make vitamin D even if you sit in the shade.
Sitting inside by a sunny window doesnt count because glass filters out the UVB rays the type of light that is needed to make vitamin D.
In the UK, we dont get enough vitamin D from sunlight between October and March, because the light doesnt contain enough UVB rays. During this time, we need to rely on getting enough vitamin D from food, and possibly supplements.
The guidelines in the UK are that everyone should consider taking a vitamin D supplement in the winter, especially if youre more like to have a deficiency.
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