Vitamin D is essential for good health. It is commonly referred to as the “sunshine vitamin” and is produced in the skin when exposed to sunlight. Nevertheless, vitamin D deficiency is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies in the world. % Of the US adult population has low vitamin D levels, which can cause health problems. Vitamin D is essential for bone health and immune system function. How Much Vitamin D Should You Take For Optimal Health?
What is vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin involved in many basic functions of the body.
There are two forms of vitamin D in the diet and supplements:
- Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol): found in some mushrooms.
- Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol): found in oily fish, cod liver oil, and egg yolks.
D3 is the more powerful of these two types. It increases vitamin D levels almost twice as much as D2. When the skin is exposed to ultraviolet rays from the sun, a large amount of vitamin D is also produced in the skin.
Any excess vitamin D will be stored in body fat for later use. Almost every cell in the body has vitamin D receptors. It is essential for many processes, including bone health, immune system function, and can help prevent cancer.
How common is vitamin D deficiency?
Vitamin D deficiency is a problem worldwide. However, it is common among young women, babies, the elderly, and dark-skinned people. Approximately 42% of the U.S. population is vitamin D deficient. However, this rate has risen to 82% among blacks and 70% among Hispanics.
Their systemic problems may affect whether you have the opportunity to receive strong sunlight throughout the year, and occasional exposure to the sun may be sufficient to satisfy your vitamin D’s needs. However, if you live far north or south of the equator, your vitamin D levels may fluctuate with the seasons.
Due to a lack of sufficient sunlight, the levels in the winter months will drop. In this case, you may need to rely on diet (or supplements) to obtain vitamin D, as well as vitamin D stored in body fat.
Vitamin D deficiency can cause muscle weakness
- Increase bone loss
- Increase fracture risk In children
Severe vitamin D deficiency can cause growth retardation and rickets, a condition in which bones become soft. In addition, vitamin D deficiency is associated with various cancers, type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, high blood pressure, and thyroid problems.
How much vitamin D should you take?
The amount of vitamin D you needcomes from different foods.
- Sun exposure
This is just a partial list of factors that help determine how much vitamin D a person needs. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends that average every we need to intake 400-800 IU or 10-20 micrograms.
However, some studies have found that if you are not in the sun or have darker skin, your daily intake should be higher. Depending on the person you are asking, a blood concentration higher than 20 ng/ml or 30 ng/ml is considered “sufficient”.
A study involving healthy adults showed that maintaining adequate blood requires daily intake of 1,120-1,680 IU. In the same study, people with vitamin D deficiency needed 5,000 IU to reach blood levels above 30 ng/ml.
A study of postmenopausal women with vitamin D levels below 20 ng/ml found that intake of 800-2,000 IU can raise blood levels above 20 ng/ml. However, a higher dose is required to reach 30 ng/ml. People who are overweight or obese may eventually need higher amounts of vitamin D. D
aily intake of 1,000 to 4,000 IU or 25 to 100 micrograms of vitamin D is sufficient to ensure optimal blood levels for most people. According to the National Institutes of Health, the upper limit of safety is 4,000 IU. Without consulting a healthcare professional, make sure you don’t take more.
What is the optimal blood level of vitamin D?
The blood level of vitamin D is tested by measuring 25 (OH) D in the blood, which is the storage form of vitamin D in the body. However, there is some controversy regarding the definition of optimal blood levels.
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the Nordic Nutrition Council make recommendations based on the following blood levels:
- Adequate: 25 (OH) D greater than 20 ng / ml (50 nmol / l)
- Insufficient: 25 (OH) D less than 20 ng/ ml (50 nmol/l)
- Poor: 25 (OH) D below 12 ng/ml (25 nmol/l)
These organizations claim blood levels above 20 ng/ml meet the vitamin D requirement for 97.5% of the population. The IOM committee did not find that higher blood levels are associated with any additional health benefits, but other experts including the Endocrine Society recommend that higher blood levels be targeted, which is close to 30 ng / ml (75 nmol / l)
vitamins The main source of D?
You can get vitamin D in the following ways:
- Sun exposure
- Foods that contain vitamin D
Vitamin D intake is usually low because few foods contain large amounts of vitamin D. Foods that contain vitamin D include fatty fish, such as salmon, and cod liver oil. Egg yolks also contain a small amount. In some countries, milk and cereals contain vitamin D. However, supplements are also widely available and safe and effective.
Can we get enough vitamin D from sunlight alone?
Sun exposure in summer is the most effective way to get enough vitamin D, but it is not without risks. In addition, the minimum amount of sunlight required at various time.
Older people and dark-skinned people tend to produce less vitamin D in their skin. In addition, geographical location and seasons are also relatively important, because the production of vitamin D is affected in more remote places on the planet. Get more sun to make vitamin D.
It is best to limit your time in the sun to 10-15 minutes, exposing your arms, legs, abdomen and back. The skin cancer organization recommends that you only do it 2 to 3 times a week, and then use sunscreen. After that time, your body will clear any excess vitamin D on its own, and you will introduce sun damage without any additional benefits.
Please note that the process that helps the body synthesize vitamin D can cause DNA damage, sunburn, and genetic diseases. mutation. This can cause wrinkles and increase the risk of skin cancer, but you can choose to take supplements or foods that contain vitamin D.
How much is too much?
Although the incidence of vitamin D poisoning is rare, excessive intake may be harmful. It can cause:
- Muscle weakness
- Loss of appetite
High levels of kidney stones can cause:
- Kidney failure
This is usually only seen when accidentally or deliberately taking large amounts of drugs Human long-term high-dose vitamin D According to the NIH, the upper limit is 4,000 IU per day for people 9 years and older.
A study of 17,000 people taking different doses of vitamin D (up to 20,000 IU/day) to analyze the relationship between weight and vitamin D Yes, they did not show any signs of toxicity. His blood level is still below the upper limit of normal, which is 100 ng / ml or 250 nmol / l. Consult your healthcare provider before consuming more than the recommended daily amount.