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How much Vitamin D do you need per day, and how much is too much?

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Vitamin D is having a great time in the sun. Research has shown that low levels have been linked with a higher risk of heart disease and dementia. These findings have not been overlooked. Vitamin D and screening tests are gaining popularity.

Vitamin D screening is one the most sought-after Medicare lab tests. This is quite surprising, considering the fact that this test is only recommended to a very small number of people.

Unfortunately, vitamin D trends aren’t always all good news. Some people are taking too many vitamin D supplements. Researchers analyzed national survey data, which was collected between 1999 to 2014, and found a 2.8% increase of potentially dangerous levels of vitaminD. That’s more than 4,000 units (IU) per day, according to a research note published in the June 20 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association. During the same time period, nearly 18% increased in the number of people who take 1,000 IU (or more) of vitamin D daily. This is significantly higher than the 600-800 IU recommended for most people.

 

 

Vitamin D is critical for good overall health.

It is sometimes called the “sunshine-vitality” because it is found within your skin when exposed to sunlight.

Despite that, vitamin D is still a common nutrient deficiency.

Up to 42% of the American adult population has low vitamin D levels, which can cause health problems (1, 2, 3, 4, 5).

Vitamin D is essential for bone health.

Vitamin D: What is it?

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays a vital role in many of the body’s essential functions.

There are two forms of vitamin D available in supplements and diet.

  • Vitamin D2(ergocalciferol): found with some mushrooms.
  • Vitamin D3(cholecalciferol) is found in oily seafood, fish liver oil and egg yolks.

D3 is stronger than either of the types and raises vitamin D levels nearly twice the amount as D2(6, 7).

Sunlight can also cause the skin to produce significant amounts of vitamin D. Any vitamin D excess is stored in your fat cells for later use.

Almost every cell in your body has a receptor for vitamin D. It’s essential to many processes, including bone health, immune system function, and can help protect against cancer (8, 9, 10, 11).

How much vitamin D should I take daily?

According to Yale Medicine, an average person with no vitamin D deficiency should take at most 600 international units (IU) of the vitamin. The amount of vitamin D a person should be taking depends on how old they are, their medical history, and their response to taking the vitamin.

Women over 70 and women in their 40s may need 600 IU. Supplementation is required for people over 70.

Persons with certain medical conditions that affect vitamin D absorption, such as celiac and cystic fibrosis, need to get a higher daily intake of more than 600IU. Vitamin D is available at all times of the day. Vitamin D can still be taken any time of the day. However, it might be more beneficial to combine it with dietary fats like nuts and seeds.

Many doctors, as well as health professionals, recommend decreasing vitamin D intake over time to get levels back up. For adults, this could mean an increase in vitamin D intake from 1,500 to 2000 IUs. People with osteoporosis or similar conditions may require higher amounts of vitamin D, such as 10,000 IU. However, vitamin D toxicity (e.g. 40,000 IU) can be caused by taking higher vitamin D doses. It is important that you talk to your doctor about the proper dose.

How can I find out if my vitamin D levels are low?

The body may not be getting enough vitamin D, which could cause problems. A deficiency in vitamin D could affect up to 40% of Americans.

Vitamin D deficiency is caused by many things.

  • Not enough sun exposure
  • Vitamin-deficient diets
  • Certain conditions
  • Certain medications
  • Darker skin
  • Overuse of sunscreen

You may be at greater risk of developing other health conditions if you have low vitamin D. Here are some symptoms that may be associated with low vitamin D.

  • Anxiety
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Depression
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Inflammation and swelling
  • Broken bones or weakness
  • Weakness

A blood test can be ordered by your doctor to confirm if your vitamin D levels are low. Blood tests are used to determine the amount of vitamin A in your blood.

Good sources of vitamin-D

Most people will be able to get the required vitamin D from sunlight around the middle of April or early April.

Vitamin D can be created when the skin is exposed to sunlight.

We don’t make enough vitamin D from sunlight between October and March. More information about sunlight.

Vitamin D is also present in a small number of foods.

Sources of information include:

  • Oily fish: Salmon, herrings, mackerel, and herring are all examples of oily fish
  • red meat
  • Liver
  • egg yolks
  • Fortified foods: These include certain fat spreads and breakfast grains

Supplements can also provide vitamin D.

Is it possible to get enough vitamin D just from the sun?

However, summer sun exposure is the best method to get enough vitamin D. Also, there are different levels of sunlight.

People with darker skin and older people are more likely to produce less vitamin D in their skin (4, 5).

Because vitamin D production in locations further from the Equator is affected, both season and geography are important ( 3, 6).

It doesn’t take much sun exposure to produce vitamin D. Therefore, and it is best to limit sun exposure to between 10 and 15 minutes.

The Skin Cancer Organization recommends only doing this twice to three times a week. You should then apply sunscreen. After that period, your body will get rid of any excess vitamin D, and you’d be introducing sun damage without any added benefit (7).

The same process that makes vitamin D can also cause sunburn, other genetic mutations and damage to your DNA. This can cause wrinkles to develop and increase your risk for skin cancer (8).

But, it is possible to choose to consume vitamin D supplements and foods.

How much is too much?

While vitamin D toxicity can occur in very rare instances, excessive intake can prove to be fatal. It could lead you to:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • Muscle weakness
  • Confused
  • Inattentiveness and loss
  • Dehydration
  • Kidney stones

Extremely high levels can lead to:

  • Kidney failure
  • An irregular heartbeat
  • Death

This is often only found in people who have taken extremely high vitamin D doses intentionally or accidentally for long periods ( 1, 2, 3).

For people aged 9 and older, the NIH recommends a daily intake of 4,000 IU.

An analysis of 17,000 people receiving varying amounts of vitamin-D, up to 20000 IU/day, was done to assess the relationship between weight and vitamin-D needs. There were no signs of toxicities.

Their blood levels were still below that of the upper normal range of 100 ng/ml or 250 nmol/l (2)

Before you consume more than your recommended daily allowance, consult with your healthcare provider.

What kind of vitamin-D supplement should I take?

There are two kinds of vitamin D. Vitamin D2 is the most common. It comes mainly from plant-based foods (UV grown mushrooms) or fortified and dietary supplements. Vitamin d3 (cholecalciferol), is obtained from animals as well as supplements, and D3 can be obtained from fish oil (butter, liver, and yolks).

Vitamin D can also be purchased as a supplement in the form of either a liquid, tablet or capsule. Some doctors even provide vitamin D injections. D2 is usually only available with a prescription. While D3 can be bought over the counter, it does not require a prescription. D2 is sometimes stronger than D3, so it is vital to seek medical advice.

D3 is the best form for vitamin D. However, D2 can be used as a supplement. D3 is less susceptible to errors in blood tests. However, high doses can raise levels even better. The formulations of liquids, as well as pills, are acceptable. We have, however, found some products which don’t offer the quantities listed on the labels. Liquid drops are preferred because it is easy to adjust the dosage. You can add it to food or drink. But, remember, vitamin D is fat-soluble, so you should take it with fats.

Advice for young children and infants

The Department of Health and Social Care recommends infants from birth to one year of age take a daily supplement containing between 8.5 and 10 micrograms of Vitamin D.

  • Breastfed
  • Formula-fed babies are not required to consume more than 500ml of infant formula (or about a pint) per day. This is because infant formula already has vitamin D fortification.

Children aged 1-4 years old should receive a daily vitamin D supplement containing 10 micrograms throughout the year.

Vitamin D drops or supplements (for children under 5 years) can be purchased in most pharmacies and supermarkets.

Healthy Start is open to both children and adults who are eligible.

When to see the doctor

Vitamin D deficiency might be caused or result in severe health conditions. Vitamin D aids the body in absorbing calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, which is vital for maintaining healthy bones. An insufficient calcium intake can lead, among other things, to osteoporosis, osteopenia and rickets in young children.

Rickets may be dangerous for children’s bones because it can lead to soft bones or skeletal deformities. Osteomalacia (also known as osteomalacia) is a condition that affects adults, and it can cause broken bones and falls, and can sometimes lead to fatalities. Osteoporosis is a condition that causes bone loss.

Sometimes, vitamin D deficiency doesn’t simply result from not getting enough sunlight. Certain health conditions can have an impact on how the body absorbs vitamin D. There are certain health conditions that can reduce the amount of an enzyme needed to use vitamins.

Signs that you need to see a doctor include bone pain and muscle weakness. Vitamin D deficiency can also lead to symptoms like depression or fatigue, as well as asthma and erectile dysfunction. Consulting a doctor for professional medical advice is the best way to determine if you need supplementation. SingleCare allows you to save money if your doctor recommends that you take vitamin D2 or 3.

 

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