The Best Vitamin D Dosage
Benefits of Best Vitamin D and its Dosage
This article will help you find how much vitamin D you need daily.
Significance of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin taking part in many essential body functions. These vitamins are absorbed with fat and are stored in the liver and fatty tissues. The two forms of vitamin D in the diet and supplements include:
Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol): is found in some mushrooms.
Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol): is found in egg yolks, fish liver oil, and oily fish.
Of the two types, Vitamin D3 is the more powerful as it raises vitamin D levels almost twice as much as D2. It can also be made in skin care when exposed to U.V. rays from sunlight. Any excess vitamin D is stored in body fat for later use. However, the best natural source of vitamin D3 is sunlight. The U.V. rays from sunlight convert cholesterol in your skin into vitamin D3.
The primary responsibility of vitamin D in the body is to manage blood calcium and phosphorus levels. These minerals Pharmacist Recommended Supplements are essential for healthy bones. Vitamin D plays a role in many of the body's functions. Nearly every cell in the body has a receptor for vitamin D. It's vital for several processes, including immune system function and bone health, and can help protect against cancer. Research also shows that vitamin D helps reduce the risk of heart disease.
Activation of Dietary Vitamin D
Before your body can utilize dietary Essential Vitamins & Minerals and vitamin D, it should be "activated". The liver transforms dietary vitamin D into the storage form of vitamin D, measured in blood tests. Afterwards, the kidneys convert the storage form to the active form of vitamin D used by the body.
How Much Is Vitamin D Needed for Optimal Health?
In the U.S., recent research suggests that intaking 400–800 IU (10–20 mcg) of vitamin D must meet the needs of 97–98% of all healthy people. However, many scientists believe that these amounts are far too low.
Your vitamin D needs to depend on a variety of factors. These include your age, skin colour, current blood vitamin D levels, location, sun exposure and more. Most studies have shown that you need to consume more vitamin D than the guidelines recommend to reach blood levels associated with better health outcomes. For instance, five studies analyzed the link between vitamin D blood levels and colorectal cancer.
The research found that those with the highest vitamin D blood levels, which is around 33 ng/ml or 82.4 nmol/l) had a 50% lower chance of colorectal cancer than people with the lowest levels of vitamin D. Another research comprising seventeen studies with over 300,000 people examined the association between intake of vitamin D and heart disease. Scientists found that taking 1,000 IU of vitamin D daily reduced the risk of heart disease by 10%.
Recent research concludes that taking 1,000–4,000 IU of vitamin D daily should be suitable for most people to reach healthy levels of vitamin D. However, it is not okay to intake more than 4,000 IU of vitamin D without a doctor's prescription as it exceeds the safe limits and is not linked to more health benefits.
Some People Need More Vitamin D
Getting sufficient vitamin D is vital for optimal health. It helps maintain strong bones, helps your immune system and may protect against many severe conditions.
Despite its significance, approximately 42% of people in the U.S. have a vitamin D deficiency. This number rises to 82.1% of black people and 69.2% of Hispanic people.
Certain groups of people need more dietary vitamin D than others because of their age, where they live and certain medical conditions. These groups include older people, people with darker skin, people who are located far from the equator and those with particular medical conditions.
There are several reasons why people need to intake more vitamin D with age, such as:
First, ageing affects the skin and makes it thinner. Due to this, it becomes difficult for the skin to make vitamin D3 when it is exposed to sunlight.
Second, older people usually spend most time indoors, which means they get less exposure to sunlight, which is the most significant natural source of vitamin D.
Third, bones become fragile as you age. Hence, it becomes crucial to maintain sufficient blood levels of vitamin D as it helps preserve bone mass and may prevent fractures.
Older people should maintain 30 ng/ml of vitamin D blood levels as it is better for optimal bone health. This level can be attained by consuming 1,000–2,000 IU (25–50 mcg) of vitamin D daily.
People With Darker Skin
People with darker skin tones are prone to develop vitamin D deficiency because they contain more melanin in their skin. Melanin prevents the skin from the sun's ultraviolet rays. However, it also reduces the body's capability to make vitamin D3 from the skin, making you prone to deficiency.
These people should consume 1,000–2,000 IU (25–50 mcg) of vitamin D daily, especially during winters.
People Located Farther Away From The Equator
Countries near the equator get enough sunlight all around the year. On the other hand, countries far away from the equator get much less sunlight around the year. Less sunlight can cause low blood vitamin D levels, particularly during winters because of even less sunlight.
For example, Norwegians don't produce much vitamin D3 from their skin during the winter months of October to March. If you are located in such regions, you should get more vitamin D from your diet and supplements. Most experts believe that people in these countries should intake at least 1,000 IU (25 mcg) daily.
People With Particular Medical Conditions
As vitamin D is fat-soluble, it depends on the gut's ability to absorb fat from the diet. So people with medical conditions that reduce fat absorption are at risk of vitamin D deficiencies. These conditions include inflammatory bowel syndrome (Crohn's disease and Ulcerative colitis), liver disease and also people who have had bariatric surgery. People with these conditions are often advised to take vitamin D supplements in an amount prescribed by their doctors.
How To Diagnose A Vitamin D Deficiency?
Despite the sun being the most significant source of vitamin D, its deficiency is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies all over the world. Around 42% of the American adult population has low vitamin D levels, which can cause health problems.
Low blood levels of vitamin D are associated with a greater risk of fractures and falls, multiple sclerosis, several cancers, heart disease and even death in severe cases.
A vitamin D deficiency could only be diagnosed through blood tests that measure levels of storage vitamin D, known as 25(O.H.)D.
According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), the following determine your vitamin D status:
Less than 12 ng/ml (30 nmol/l) means deficient levels.
Between 12–20 ng/ml (30–50 nmol/l) means insufficient levels.
Between 20–50 ng/ml (50–125 nmol/l) mean sufficient levels.
Greater than 50 ng/ml (125 nmol/l) mean high levels.
Sources of Vitamin D
The best source of vitamin D is getting plenty of sunlight. It is because your body makes dietary vitamin D3 from the cholesterol in the skin when it is exposed to the sun's U.V. rays.
But, people who live in areas where there is less exposure to the sun need to consume vitamin D through supplements and foods.
Very few foods are excellent sources of vitamin D, such as:
- Cod liver oil: 1 tablespoon contains 1,360 IU or 227% of the RDA.
- Cooked swordfish: 3 ounces (85 grams) of it contains 566 IU (14.2 mcg) or 94% of the RDA.
- Cooked salmon: 3 ounces of it contains 447 IU (11.2 mcg) or 74.5% of the RDA.
- Drained canned tuna: 3 ounces of it contain 154 IU (3.9 mcg) or 26% of the RDA.
- Cooked beef liver: 3 ounces of it contain 42 I.U. (1.1 mcg) or 7% of the RDA.
- Large egg yolks: 1 yolk contains 41 I.U. (1 mcg) or 7% of the RDA.
- Cooked mushrooms: 1 cup of it contains 32.8 IU (0.8 mcg) or 5.5% of the RDA.