All You Need to Know About Vitamin D

All You Need to Know About Vitamin D

All You Need to Know About Vitamin D

Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption and maintains serum levels sufficient to support bone health. It also prevents rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. Clinical trials suggest that long-term supplementation with vitamin D might slightly reduce cancer risk and improve overall survival.

Most people get enough vitamin D through a combination of sun exposure and well-chosen foods. However, some groups need dietary supplements.

What is vitamin D?

Nicknamed the “sunshine vitamin” because it is made by the sun, vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium and phosphorous. Which are important for bone health. It also supports the immune system and plays a role in mood regulation. It is so essential that a deficiency can lead to bone deformities such as rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. Which results in bone pain.

Unlike most vitamins. Which act like hormones to help regulate the body’s metabolism and have specific functions, vitamin D behaves less like a hormone and more like a nutrient, according to Robin Foroutan, RDN, an integrative dietitian in New York City. As a result, it can influence everything from our body weight to how our cells and organs function.

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Most people get vitamin D from dietary sources. Fatty fish (like salmon, tuna, and sardines), milk, and orange juice are rich in them, as are fortified foods such as cereals and bread. Egg yolks and beef liver also contain it. But the best source is sunlight, which produces vitamin D in your skin when it’s exposed to it. However, clouds, smog, age, and dark skin all reduce the amount of vitamin D your body makes from sunlight.

It’s hard to reach the recommended daily allowance of vitamin D through diet alone. Which is why some experts recommend taking a supplement. You should always talk to your doctor before deciding whether a vitamin D supplement is right for you.

You can overdose on vitamin D if you take too much through supplements, & long-term intake of high levels can increase your risk of toxicity. Too much can affect your kidney function & cause a buildup of calcium in your bloodstream, leading to calcification of your kidneys. Which can cause pain, itching, urinating often and thirst, and weight loss. Too much can also cause nausea, vomiting, and fatigue. In addition, too much can increase your risk of heart disease. For this reason, it’s a good idea to get your blood level tested regularly.

How do I get vitamin D?

From about late March/early April to the end of September, most people should be able to make all the vitamin D they need from sunlight on their skin. This is because the body creates vitamin D in response to direct sunlight hitting the skin & triggering a natural chemical reaction. Vitamin D is also found in a small number of foods and is available as a dietary supplement. The recommended daily allowances (RDA) and adequate intakes (AI) of vitamin D have been established by Food & Nutrition Board (FNB) committees to indicate the amount of vitamin D.

The best dietary sources of vitamin D are fish and dairy products. Fortified foods, such as breakfast cereals and milk, are also good sources. It is important to note that the fat content of some foods can affect the absorption of vitamin D. People with medical conditions that impair the gut’s ability to absorb fats—including certain forms of liver disease, cystic fibrosis, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis—are at greater risk of vitamin D deficiency because they are less likely to eat foods that are rich in vitamin D, such as oily fish and fortified foods.

Another important role of vitamin D is its bone-building capacity. It promotes the absorption of calcium in the gut, which helps maintain normal bone density and strength.

It’s important to get a balanced diet and sufficient amounts of sunshine to meet the RDA/AI for vitamin D. However, many people are unable to do this and may need to consider taking a vitamin D supplement. Ideally, you should talk to your doctor before starting any vitamin D supplements.

Both are available as dietary supplements, but it’s best to stick with D3 because research shows that it raises levels more effectively. It is also important to remember that excessive vitamin D toxicity is extremely rare and typically the result of inappropriate supplement dosing or prescription errors.

What are the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency?

The most common symptoms of vitamin D deficiency are weakness, fatigue, depression, and anxiety. Your doctor may order a blood test called 25-hydroxy vitamin D to measure your levels and determine how severely deficient you are. Levels of 50 nmol/L (20 ng/mL) and higher are considered adequate for bone health. Levels below this can lead to brittle bones and poor muscle function.

The best way to get enough vitamin D is by getting regular sun exposure without sunscreen. However, you should be careful not to overdo it because too much sunlight can cause skin damage and increase your risk of skin cancer. Taking a daily vitamin D supplement is also an option, but you should talk to your doctor before starting any supplements. They can recommend the right dose based on your age, weight, and any other medical conditions you have.

Vitamin D deficiency can lead to a condition called osteomalacia, which causes weak bones. This can result in bone pain, tingling of the fingers and toes, and a feeling of weakness. If left untreated, severe vitamin D deficiency can lead to rickets in children and osteoporosis in adults.

People at risk of developing vitamin D deficiency include those who live far from the equator where it is harder to get natural sun exposure, people with darker skin that can’t make as much vitamin D from the sun, and those who follow a restricted diet that limits intake of foods that contain vitamin D. Certain digestive conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease and cystic fibrosis, can also prevent the body from absorbing vitamin D. Also, some medications can affect your vitamin D levels, such as cholesterol-lowering drugs and anti-seizure and steroid medications.

Vitamin D comes in two forms, D2 and D3. You can buy D3 over the counter, and your body absorbs it more effectively than D2. Work with your doctor to find the right amount of vitamin D for you.

What are the best vitamin D supplements?

Getting vitamin D from your diet is best, but if you aren’t eating enough D-rich foods or spending enough time outdoors to get adequate sunlight, supplements may help. The best vitamin D supplements come in capsule, tablet, gummy, or liquid form and should contain either vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) or D3 (cholecalciferol). If you have a severe deficiency, your healthcare professional may recommend high doses of the vitamin for a short period followed by a maintenance dosage.

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It’s hard to eat enough of the vitamin through food, but many foods are fortified with it. Fatty fish (such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, and trout), egg yolks, cheese, milk, orange juice, and breakfast cereals are all good sources of vitamin D.

If you choose to supplement, it’s best to take vitamin D in the D3 form, as it is more effective at raising vitamin D levels.

Your healthcare professional can order a blood test to determine whether you have a vitamin D deficiency and, if so, how severe it is. The best way to ensure you are taking the right dose is to work with a healthcare professional, who can also check your blood levels after giving you a high-dose supplement or injection to see if it works for you.

Several medications can reduce the amount of vitamin D your body absorbs, including the weight loss drugs Orlistat (Xenical) and Alli (r), some steroid medicines such as methylprednisolone and prednisone, and the over-the-counter antacid Prilosec. CL tested and approved all of our top vitamin D picks, selecting them based on quality, dosage, and price, and many are available in multiple forms to suit your needs.

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