Health

This is How Much Vitamin D People Actually Need

It’s pretty hard to find an accurate answer on how much vitamin D your body needs. Strong and healthy bones are not easy goals to measure,… Trista - July 6, 2020

It’s pretty hard to find an accurate answer on how much vitamin D your body needs. Strong and healthy bones are not easy goals to measure, and therefore also difficult to improve. Doctors generally determine that you can measure an individual’s Vitamin D level by checking the serum 25-hydroxyVitamin D in their blood. However, this measurement has some problems historically, making it difficult to standardize. Even taking Vitamin D supplements has its own course of action. It depends on how well your body can absorb its benefits. If your body fails to absorb Vitamin D properly, you will need a higher dose of supplements.

But, Vitamin D is indeed essential for calcium absorption, which results in bone strength. It helps with optimal skeletal muscle functionality as well. Furthermore, this vitamin is necessary at every age. You can achieve bone strength at its peak level while reaching 20 to 25 years of age. Deficiency of Vitamin D and calcium will come back hard on you during old age, more likely from 50 to 90 years of age. However, if you ever get the chance to maximize bone strength, you should go for it. Vitamin D is excellent for that and many other things. Keep reading to learn more about how much Vitamin D people actually need — and how to get it.

Fatty fish, like salmon, are rich sources of Vitamin D. Freepik

Vitamin D From Food

There’s no need to rely on food only to get Vitamin D for your body. For example, to reach 2,000 IU daily, you need to drink 20 cups of vitamin D-based milk, which is not possible. It is tough to get all your Vitamin D from food exclusively. Indulging in wild salmon or any ocean-based fish might help your body get Vitamin D. Adding multi-vitamins to your diet can add around 400 IU to the list. So, adding a Vitamin D supplement is a smart choice to make. Furthermore, try relying on nature for a fair amount of Vitamin D.

Natural source of vitamin D in Salmon, eggs, mushroom, fortified milk, margarine, canned tuna and fish oil capsule. Freepik

Even though it is not clear-cut proof, people who are outside under the sun a lot will have higher 25-hydroxyVitamin D in their blood. It will add around 40ng/mL. Always try to aim for this target. If you are below this level, you are not in good shape. At this point, having a Vitamin D level of 40 instead of 15 is pretty good for muscles and bones. If you don’t know how fast your body can absorb Vitamin D, it is vital to take a reasonable amount of the supplement. Between 1000 to 2000 IU daily should suffice.

Vitamin D is an excellent resource for keeping your bones healthy. Pixabay.

Vitamin D Explained

Defined as a nutrient found in some select food items, Vitamin D is essential for growing strong bones. It doesn’t affect bones directly but will help your body to absorb calcium well from various foods and supplements. Calcium is one of the primary building blocks for stronger bones. People with a lower Vitamin D count might suffer from thin, soft, and brittle bones. This condition is called rickets in children, and for adults, it is called osteomalacia. This vitamin is essential for your body for so many reasons. It helps the body’s muscles and nerves to function correctly and carry information from the brain to every body part.

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Furthermore, your body’s immune system needs Vitamin D to fight off some viruses and invading bacteria. Now, the amount of Vitamin D that your body needs depends on your current age. On average, a newborn child will need 400 IU of Vitamin D until 12 months of age. Children within 1 to 3 years of age will need 600 IU; teens within 14 to 18 years will need the same amount of 600 IU along with adults aged 19 to 70 years. Adults over 71 years of age will need 800 IU. On the other hand, nursing or pregnant women will need 600 IU of Vitamin D.

One way to add more Vitamin D to your diet is to eat more mushrooms. Freepik

Ways To Get Vitamin D Naturally Like Eating More Mushrooms

Lower Vitamin D in an individual’s body is considered a significant health risk. Recent studies have indicated that it is a global issue that Vitamin D deficiency has affected around 13% of the world’s population. Suppose you are not quite into supplements and want your body to get this vitamin naturally. In that case, there are some proven ways to improve your Vitamin D intake, such as incorporating mushrooms into your diet. Mushrooms are the most excellent plant-based source that has a higher Vitamin D content. Here’s the science behind it: mushrooms will start making Vitamin D once exposed to sun rays. Humans get to produce Vitamin D as D3, where the fungus has D2 Vitamin D.

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Both of these options, D2 and D3, help increase the circulation of Vitamin D within your body. It’s important to note that some research might suggest that D3 (the type found in mushrooms) has a higher efficiency level than D2. It’s also important to note that the quantity of Vitamin D in mushrooms varies in its types. Wild Maitake Mushrooms, for example, will have as high as 2348 IU per 100gm. Due to maximum sun exposure, wild mushrooms can create more Vitamin D. Bottom line, if you need more Vitamin D, make sure you incorporate mushrooms in your diet.

Sunlight provides a lot of vitamin D, providing you wear sunblock to prevent from getting sunburn. Pixabay

Spend Time In The Sun

Maybe fish, mushrooms, and other naturally-occurring sources of Vitamin D aren’t at the top of your diet menu – luckily for you, there are ways to improve your Vitamin D intake naturally, not through nutritional means. If you need other Vitamin D sources, you can just go outside and absorb the sun’s rays. Even if it is chilly, even if it is a little overcast – the sun is still out. Often stated as the “sunshine vitamin,” Vitamin D comes from the sun, and it is one of its best sources – if not the best source – of this supplement. Here’s the science behind the link between Vitamin D and sun exposure: the skin consists of a cholesterol type, functioning as a precursor to this vital supplement – Vitamin D.

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When this precursor is exposed to UV-B rays, it turns into Vitamin D. Furthermore, recent studies showed that Vitamin D procured from the sun will circulate for a longer time than the Vitamin D absorbed through supplements or food. Before you step out into the sun, please note that the amount of Vitamin D your body can take depends on multiple variables like age and skin tone, clothing and sunscreen, geographical location, and season. Additionally, make sure always to wear sunscreen.

Adding a UV lamp in your home is a great way to get Vitamin D during the winter months. Wikimedia Commons.

Try Using A UV Lamp

Do you live in an area that is often overcast? Is it winter where you live? If you answered yes to any of these questions, but you are still looking for a way to get Vitamin D from the sun, make sure to purchase a UV lamp. These UV lamps provide you with a light that imitates the sun’s rays. Therefore, these lamps emitting UV rays will boost the Vitamin D content within your body. Here’s the science behind using your UV lamp at home: when your skin gets exposed to UV-B rays, your skin produces its own Vitamin D. These UV lamps will mimic the sun’s action and can help your skin to create its necessary Vitamin D.

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Furthermore, doctors widely use UV radiation for covering multiple skin diseases and has recently marked its way by improving Vitamin D levels. Please keep in mind that there are some risks to using these UV lamps. First, these lamps are relatively expensive. Secondly, even if you are using light, the risk of skin cancer is still potential, and too much exposure is enough to burn your skin. Make sure to expose your skin to these lamps for a maximum of 15 minutes at a stretch.

Include more seafood in your diet to increase your intake of Vitamin D. Pixabay.

Fatty Fish And Seafood

Are you looking for a way to get Vitamin D from foods – while staying out of the sun’s potentially-dangerous rays? If you are, make sure to keep your fridge stocked with plenty of seafood – the higher the fat content, the better. Seafood, especially fatty fish, have the most abundant Vitamin D content found in a food source. For example, a single serving of canned salmon – typically about 100 grams – can produce around 386 IU of this vital vitamin. This amount is about 50% of the average human being’s recommended daily intake of Vitamin D.

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How much seafood should you eat daily? It may depend on the seafood and vary based on the seafood species and type. Some other fish with higher Vitamin D will be mackerel, tuna, shrimp, oysters, anchovies, and sardines. It also depends on how the fish is caught – farmed salmon, for example, will have 25% of Vitamin D as that of wild salmon. However, fish can be expensive. If you are on a budget, you can even get canned versions of these items, as they are just as nutritionally-dense. As a bonus, some of these food items are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

Some foods have been fortified with Vitamin D, like yogurt and orange juice. Pixabay.

Fortified Food

If you are a vegetarian, if you simply do not like foods rich in Vitamin D like fish, seafood, or mushrooms, or if you simply want to stay out of the sun, or if you do not want to take a supplement, you can also get Vitamin D through fortified foods. What’s a fortified food, you may be asking yourself? Because few foods contain higher levels of Vitamin D needed in your diet, the nutrient gets added to staple goods through a method called fortification. Some significant fortified food items are plant-based alternatives of milk like almond, soy, and hemp milk; cow’s milk; cereal; orange juice; some selected yogurt types; and even tofu.

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As you can see, there are options for vegans and non-plant-based individuals alike. If you are looking for a fortified food option, keep in mind that the availability of such fortified food items will vary from one country to another. The amount of Vitamin D added to food will also vary based on the type and brand of food. When shopping for a fortified food option, make sure to keep an eye on the nutritional label, so you know how much Vitamin D you will be taking.

Egg yolks, although high in cholesterol, are a great source of Vitamin D. Shutterstock

Egg Yolks

Another example of a great, natural Vitamin D source – one that will work for vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike – would be to add delicious and fatty egg yolks into your diet plan. Please note that this would be an excellent option for vegetarians – not vegans – as egg yolks are derived from animal products. Do you want to ensure that you help your body strengthen its bones and muscles by maximizing your Vitamin D intake? Do your research – make sure you choose the correct type of eggs – the conventional chicken without much access to open outside spaces will produce eggs with only 2 to 5% of your recommended daily intake.

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However, the eggs from free-range chickens will have around 20% of your recommended daily intake. You can also find out what type of food the chickens producing the egg eats – the kind of feed can affect the content of Vitamin D in the eggs. So, grains enriched with Vitamin D can work best to produce yolk with more than 100% of a human’s recommended daily intake. That is a great way to ensure that you are reaching your recommended daily intake of Vitamin D and eliminating your Vitamin D deficiency chances.

Cod liver oil is a primary source of Vitamin D for those who can’t get it from other foods. Shutterstock

Alternative Vitamin D Sources like Cod Liver Oil

Of course, you do know that there are natural ways to get Vitamin D. To absorb it through the skin, you can lay out in the sun or purchase (and regularly use) a UV lamp. You can also ensure to add certain foods to your diet, including seafood, Vitamin D fortified foods, eggs (especially egg yolks), and more. But suppose that’s not enough, and you find that you are still lacking Vitamin D and are dangerously Vitamin D deficient. In that case, there are some alternative nutritional sources for improving your Vitamin D intake.

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One supplement that can help is cod liver oil. One tablespoon of cod liver oil comprises around 1300 IUs of Vitamin D. It is more than the recommended daily dose of Vitamin D for the average human being. However, consuming cod liver oil alone is not appetizing – at all – so it may be hard for you to take cod liver oil alone in liquid form. You can try flavoring it with citrus or mint additive products, or you can try out the cod liver oil capsules, which are widely available over the counter.

Supplements can be easily added to your daily regimen, but they must be used in the right dosages. Shutterstock

Vitamin D Supplements

To help you get your proper dose of Vitamin D, the supplements might work magically. And the best part is that taking these supplements is stress-free and straightforward. You don’t have to run into the fear of skin cancer, which can happen if you are exposed to the sun for too long. There’s no need to split up a Vitamin D dose with calcium as well. But remember that too much Vitamin D can prove to be toxic for your body. The upper limit is 4000 IUs for anyone nine years old and above. And this amount will include all the natural and artificial ways of getting Vitamin D into your body.

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If you are considering a supplement, experts suggest that you take around 400 to 800 IU of Vitamin D3 or cholecalciferol daily. Your body already stores enough Vitamin D3. So, having a D3 supplement will prove to be quite useful for your body. Moreover, trying to take Vitamin D with one healthy fat like sliced avocado is essential. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble option, which helps your body to absorb fat well. It becomes challenging to find the right Vitamin D supplements as the FDA does not oversee supplements. Even the potency of these drugs will vary significantly among brands.

There is such a thing as overdosing on vitamin D, which can lead to some detrimental side effects. Freepik

Taking The Proper Amount

Do you want to make sure that you are taking the proper amount of Vitamin D? It depends on the type of Vitamin D supplement or natural means you are working with. Each supplement has a particular level of Vitamin D within. On the other hand, your body’s absorption power will ensure if you are getting enough of it or not. For that, a blood test to determine serum 25-hydroxyVitamin D in your body is essential. This test shows if you have enough Vitamin D or lower than the targeted count and how much Vitamin D your body is getting from that particular supplement or natural food intake.

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There are primarily two forms of Vitamin D you can add to improve your diet plan’s Vitamin D intake. The first one is Vitamin D2 or ergocalciferol found in plants like mushrooms. The second one is Vitamin D3 or cholecalciferol, found mostly in animal food items like egg yolks, salmon, and cod. But, sunlight is known as the best natural source of Vitamin D3, which helps convert cholesterol in the skin into Vitamin D3. But, before your body can use dietary Vitamin D, it must be activated by following some necessary steps.

The liver is the primary organ that transforms vitamins into useful chemicals the body can use. Wikimedia Commons

What Happens to Your Body?

So, you are curious about what happens when you take Vitamin D. Whether or not you intake it from laying out in the sun, sitting in front of a UV lamp, or getting it from food, the process is the same. At first, the liver will work its way out to convert dietary Vitamin D into its storage form. It gets measured in blood tests. Later, the storage form gets converted by kidneys to active Vitamin D, used widely by your body. There are two common forms of Vitamin D, and it’s important to note that D3 is more effective than Vitamin D2 while raising blood sugar levels.

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So, what does Vitamin D do? The primary role of Vitamin D is to manage phosphorus and calcium’s blood levels. That is why you need this critical vitamin to maintain stronger bones. Furthermore, this vitamin helps aid the immune system and reduces the risk of heart disease and some cancers. If you have a deficiency in Vitamin D, you should be cautious of a few potential deadly side effects. Lower Vitamin D will often lead to higher chances of falls and fractures, multiple sclerosis, heart diseases, cancers, and even death.

There is such a thing as getting too much Vitamin D, but a sunburn is a symptom of lack of sunblock, not too much vitamin D. Shutterstock

How Much Vitamin D Is Too Much?

If you are suffering from Vitamin D toxicity, it means you have more than recommended vitamins in your body. It is enough to cause adverse effects. This situation is also referred to as hypervitaminosis D. Being a fat-soluble vitamin, it isn’t easy for your body to get rid of a higher level of Vitamin D. So, an excessive amount starts piling up. The exact working mechanism of Vitamin D toxicity is rather complicated and not fully understood at this point. But, its active form functions in the same way as any other steroid hormone. It will travel within cells.

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Most of the body’s natural Vitamin D is in store and bound to receptors or the carrier proteins. When the intake becomes too extreme, there won’t be any room left for carrier proteins or receptors. It will then increase the “free” Vitamin D within, which in turn travels inside cells with an overwhelmed signaling process. One primary signaling process is to increase the calcium absorption level from the digestive system. So, the main symptom of Vitamin D toxicity has to be hypercalcemia. It increases the calcium level within the blood. Higher calcium levels can bind tissues together and damage them, and that includes the kidneys as well.

Getting too much Vitamin D can actually lead to kidney failure, which is an excruciating process. Shutterstock

Vitamin D Toxicity

Very little is known about the functionality of Vitamin D toxicity. So, it is pretty hard to measure the amount of safe Vitamin D intake. As per the Institute of Medicine, around 4000 IU is a reliable mark of Vitamin D intake. But, even a dose of up to 10,000 IU is not considered toxic in some healthy individuals. Such toxicity takes place because of the higher amount of Vitamin D medicines, mostly supplements. The sun’s rays or your diet plan has nothing to do with it. Sometimes, the Vitamin D supplement manufacturers make the most significant mistakes by adding the wrong measurement.

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Even though Vitamin D toxicity is quite rare, some increase in the supplement business can lead to the worst results. With more people relying on supplements and not consulting a doctor before taking the right dose, Vitamin D toxicity increases among individuals. Daily intake of around 40,000 to 100,000 IU for many months can cause slow toxicity in humans. It is actually 10 to 25 times higher than the recommended limit. The ones suffering from Vitamin D toxicity will have higher blood levels above 375nmol/L.

Knowing the correct dosage will keep your body healthy and prevent adverse side effects. Shutterstock

How Much Vitamin D Do You Actually Need?

Are you looking to improve your bone health? One good starting point is by looking at the amount of Vitamin D you have. Whether or not you are Vitamin D deficient, you may be asking yourself, how much Vitamin D do you need? It’s important to know that it’s essential to get your recommended daily intake of vitamin D and how much calcium you intake daily. Starting with Vitamin D, the recommended amount for adults through 69 years of age will be 600 IU per day. Once you reach 70 years old, you may increase your Vitamin D count by 200 IU – to 800 IU per day.

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Why is that the case? As you get older, you will need more Vitamin D because your skin may fail to naturally produce the same and adequate amounts of Vitamin D as your age increases. Also, older adults tend to spend less time outside and confine themselves within the comfort of their homes. However, as mentioned earlier in this article, vitamin D is not the only nutrient you need to maintain good bone health. Make sure to take the right amount of calcium too. For recommendations on how to get more calcium, speak to your doctor.

A lack of Vitamin D can lead to sleepiness and overall fatigue. Shutterstock

Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency Include Tiredness And Fatigue

Right now, Vitamin D deficiency is pretty common among the masses. It has been estimated to have affected a staggering amount – about 1 billion people worldwide. Unfortunately, most people fail to realize that they have a Vitamin D deficiency as the symptoms are pretty subtle. It becomes hard for them to recognize its negativity on life’s quality. Do you want to know if you are suffering from Vitamin D deficiency? If so, certain signs might help you get a grip on it. There are multiple reasons for you to feel tired, with Vitamin D deficiency being one of them.

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But, in most cases, this deficiency is overlooked. Some studies indicate that lower blood levels can result in fatigue, with a severely adverse effect on your life. A person suffering from chronic daytime fatigue and frequent headaches is a sign of him suffering from lower Vitamin D count in the blood. Anything under 20ng/ml is marked deficient. During that time, taking a supplement helps in increasing blood pressure levels. Young women are the primary sufferers of Vitamin D deficiency, with most of them having 20ng/ml or 29ng/ml. There’s always a secure connection between Vitamin D deficiency and self-reported fatigue.

Vitamin D is a mood stabilizer, so a lack of it can lead to depression; this is the typical source of Seasonal Affective Disorder in most people. Freepik

Suffering From Depression

Another sign of a potential Vitamin D deficiency is a depressed mood. Researchers have already linked a lack of this particular vitamin to depression, mainly among older generations. These individuals are also more likely to have lower levels of Vitamin D, as they do not process vitamin D, and they did when they were younger, and they also tend to spend more time indoors. Around 65% of observational studies have found out a strong relationship between depression and lower blood levels. Some other controlled trials oppose this thought. Researchers who are analyzing these studies indicate that Vitamin D’s dosage within controlled studies is towards the lower scale.

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Unfortunately, some studies have not lasted long enough to focus on taking supplements to change the subject’s mood. However, recent research proves that taking a Vitamin D supplement will help improve depression. It can further work well for seasonal depression, which generally occurs in the colder months. Not just supplements, but a Vitamin D-rich diet can work wonderfully as well. Additionally, one can purchase a UV lamp to get more Vitamin D, as this lamp imitates the sun’s rays and may work well for those who live in more northern areas, where there are colder winters with fewer hours of sunlight.

Your immune system relies on Vitamin D, so you’ll likely get sicker during the winter months too. Freepik

Frequent Sickness

Along with helping in the absorption of calcium to help you maintain healthy bones, did you know that one of the significant roles played by Vitamin D is boosting up your immune system? This supplement helps you fight against bacteria and viruses that can cause illnesses. Vitamin D helps your immune system because this important supplement will directly interact with your body’s cells, making it responsible for fighting away infections. So, if you are suffering from the flu or a cold more often, it may mean that your body does not have the adequate levels of Vitamin D your body needs.

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A lower Vitamin D count will lower your immune system, making you more susceptible to disease – particularly respiratory disease. When a disease affects the respiratory system, it may lead to pneumonia. If you want to reduce respiratory tract infections, make sure your body has the daily recommended amount of 4000 IU of Vitamin D. Furthermore if you are suffering from chronic lung disorders like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, it means that your body is failing to have enough Vitamin D and that you are in a deficit. A high-dose supplement for one year will help your health get back on track.

Muscle aches can be unbearable to deal with on a regular basis. Shutterstock

Unbearable Muscle Pain

Muscle pain can be debilitating, and this frustration is made even more difficult because, with muscle pain, it may be tough to pinpoint a specific reason behind it. Luckily, there’s a solution that may help you. You know that Vitamin D works with calcium to aid in bone health, but did you know that it may help with muscle pain? Some evidence shows that Vitamin D deficiency can be one potential cause behind muscle pain in adults and children. One recent selected study shows that 71% of tested positive for debilitating muscle pain were also suffering from Vitamin D deficiency.

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So, why is that? Well, your body has a Vitamin D receptor located in the nerve cells that can sense your pain. A lack of Vitamin D will often lead to sensitivity and pain because of nociceptors’ stimulation in the muscles. An easy and quick fix to Higher doses of Vitamin D supplements can reduce various pains in people. Easy ways to get more Vitamin D is from the sun (or from artificial rays from a UV lamp), taking Vitamin D supplements, and adding more Vitamin D rich foods to your diet.

Because Vitamin D helps the immune system in repairing the body, a lack of it can cause wounds to heal more slowly. Shutterstock

Slow Wound Healing

If a wound is taking way too much time to heal, it is a sign that your body does not have enough Vitamin D. Some test-tube-based results state that Vitamin D helps increase the compounds designed to form new skin part of the entire wound healing process. Another study was placed on people with recent dental surgery. It shows that people with Vitamin D deficiency take more time to heal from the surgical procedure. Another research shows that Vitamin D plays a pivotal role in controlling inflammation and fights off infection.

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These two parts are significant sections of wound healing, which will worsen with lower Vitamin D in your blood. Some might even suffer from diabetic foot infections. It has been found out that people with Vitamin D deficiency have higher chances of inflammatory markers, which will jeopardize the entire healing process. Unfortunately, there are very few proven points available to show the effects of supplements on wound healing of those suffering from Vitamin D deficiency. Nevertheless, some studies show that leg ulcer patients got adequate relief after adding Vitamin D supplements to their diet plan.

This is different from balding that comes with age; this is severe hair loss called alopecia. Pixabay

Hair Loss

There are many causes of hair loss. Hair loss is a significant result of unwanted stress in your life. It can also be linked to genetics. But, when that hair loss turns out to be pretty severe, it is a sign of nutrient deficiency or any particular disease. Lower Vitamin D level results in hair loss among women. Alopecia areata is one such severe hair loss disease from the head and other parts of your body. It is primarily related to rickets. This disease turns the bones soft among children as a result of Vitamin D deficiency.

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Lower Vitamin D is always linked up with alopecia areata and can be a significant risk factor to develop rickets. One study indicates that a lower Vitamin D level is a significant cause behind severe hair loss. During such instances, applying topical cream of synthesized Vitamin D helps in treating hair loss among individuals, especially younger generations. Some nutrients and foods might also affect your hair’s health. So, if you are experiencing hair loss, be sure to work on getting more sun rays, taking Vitamin D supplements, and developing a diet plan that includes a fair amount of Vitamin D.

If you notice that your body is starting to ache more than usual and for more extended periods of time, you should definitely see a doctor. Pixabay

Back And Bone Pain

There are so many ways in which Vitamin D helps in maintaining bone health. It helps in improving your body’s calcium absorption power. So, if you are suffering from lower back pain or bone pain, these are signs that you have inadequate Vitamin D in your blood. Observational studies have found a strong relationship between chronic lower back pain and Vitamin D deficiency. Another study found out a good association between Vitamin D and back pain in over 9,000 older women. The ones with a higher level of Vitamin D deficiency will be the primary victims of severe back pain, which will forcibly limit their ability to work.

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They might further suffer from bone pain in their legs, joints, and ribs. It is exacerbated by the fact that both women and the elderly are more susceptible to Vitamin D deficiency due to osteoporosis risk and low Vitamin D absorption. To avoid this, ensure that you work on improving your Vitamin D levels in your body. Easy ways to get more Vitamin D is from the sun (or from artificial rays from a UV lamp), taking Vitamin D supplements, and adding more Vitamin D rich foods to your diet.

Vitamin D and calcium are linked together when it comes to the health of your bones, so a lack of vitamin D is going to lead to diseases like osteoporosis. Shutterstock

Loss Of Bone

Everyone knows that Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium better and helps in bone metabolism. Primarily, older people who have osteoporosis might have to take calcium supplements. What they don’t know is that Vitamin D deficiency can even lead to the same result. Also, if their bodies have enough calcium, it won’t work due to Vitamin D deficiency. Lower bone mineral density means your bones have lost not just calcium but other vital minerals as well. Because of this, older people, mainly women, have a higher risk of fractures. There are mixed reports based on this symptom.

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One observational study was done on more than 1,100 middle-aged women. The researchers found a strong connection between lower bone mineral density and Vitamin D deficiency. On the other hand, another controlled study proved that women on high-dose Vitamin D supplements showed no sign of bone mineral density improvements, even when their blood levels improved. No matter whatever the findings are, it is vital to maintain the right amount of Vitamin D. It helps maintain blood levels and creates a protective shield around the bone mass. So, it helps in reducing fracture risk.

Get some vitamin D whenever or however you can. Your body depends upon it. Shutterstock

Understand the Need for Proper Vitamin D

From the information mentioned above, it is clear that your body needs Vitamin D, much like it needs many other minerals and nutrients. Each mineral or nutrient has its own characteristics that help your body to function at its peak. Are you in one of the age groups that tend to be Vitamin D deficient? It is a growing epidemic. One of the most susceptible groups is the elderly, as they do not absorb Vitamin D and when they were younger. Also, they tend to spend more time indoors. If this sounds like you, make sure that you are taking the necessary steps to ensure that you are getting enough Vitamin D.

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Some ways to get more Vitamin D are through sun exposure (or fake it by using a UV lamp), taking a Vitamin D supplement, or including more Vitamin D rich foods in your diet. So, if you want your body to function correctly, you need to make sure you get enough Vitamin D. You can either go for the vitamin-enriched diet plan or just take in some supplements if you think you need some. However, no matter what the case is, consulting a doctor beforehand is a must.

Did you know that Vitamin D and calcium go hand in hand? If you need one, make sure you take the other, too. National Osteoporosis Foundation.

Do You Need Calcium? Make Sure You’re Getting Enough Vitamin D

Calcium is good for your bones. However, did you know that calcium reaches maximum effectiveness when combined with a healthy amount of Vitamin D? If you do not have enough Vitamin D in your system, you may not absorb the optimal calcium amount. These two nutrients work together to protect your bones – Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium, while calcium helps keep your bones healthy. Some foods that are high in calcium are milk, yogurt, and other dairy products like cheese; calcium-fortified foods like juice or cereal; even tofu!

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Since Vitamin D aids in calcium absorption, if you are deficient in Vitamin D, your efforts to build and maintain healthy bones by ensuring that you intake calcium sources may be going to waste. It is recommended that those 18 years or older consume 1,000 mg of calcium and supplement that intake with 400-800 mg of Vitamin D. Some easy ways to consume Vitamin D are by taking in the sun’s rays (or using a UV lamp to create your own sun rays), taking a Vitamin D supplement, and ensuring that you have Vitamin D in your diet by adding in a lot of Vitamin D rich foods.

If you are doing your best to lose weight, check your Vitamin D intake. Shutterstock

Are You Overweight? It Could Be Linked to Vitamin D

Are you struggling with your weight? Recent studies have linked obesity to a Vitamin D deficiency. The reason for this is still unknown. However, theories including lower consumption of Vitamin D-rich foods, less sun exposure, and Vitamin D levels may depend on body size, say otherwise. That means obese individuals may need more Vitamin D to reach optimum levels in the blood. In turn, individuals with a healthy body mass index may intake similar amounts of Vitamin D but will not be as deficient as those overweight.

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Findings further advance this theory that even losing a little weight may lead to a small increase in vitamin D levels in the blood. Other studies have also shown a link between vitamin D and obesity – by increasing Vitamin D blood levels, study participants reduced body fat, boosting weight loss. Luckily, if you would like to increase your vitamin D levels, the foods that are high in vitamin D are right for you. That includes egg yolks, seafood, mushrooms, and fortified foods. You can also get vitamin D without counting calories by spending time outside and getting some healthy sunlight on your skin (or faking it by using a UV lamp).

Vitamin D deficiency can throw a lot of things off within your body. Shutterstock

Do You Always Have an Upset Stomach? It Could Be Linked to Vitamin D

Vitamin D is essential for bone and immune system health. It is also most easily taken as a supplement or in food. However, there is an unfortunate side effect of taking Vitamin D orally. Vitamin D may cause an upset stomach in some – especially if you accidentally take too much. These symptoms include nausea, an upset gastrointestinal system, and even diarrhea. To avoid getting an upset stomach when taking your daily dose of Vitamin D, follow these steps. First, taking this supplement on an empty stomach increases your chance of discomfort. To decrease this discomfort, make sure to take your supplement with food.

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Second, make sure to take only the recommended dosage. Another option is to reduce the amount of Vitamin D supplement you take and focus instead on consuming foods rich in Vitamin D. Some foods like this would be fortified foods, egg yolks, mushrooms, and seafood – especially fatty options. Finally, if you must take a Vitamin D supplement, begin with a small amount and gradually increase Vitamin D amount. An easy way to do this would be by starting with a minimal amount and increasing your intake by 100 IU each week.

Discuss ways to enhance your Vitamin D intake if you have kidney disease. Good Times

Vitamin D and Kidney Disease

A Vitamin D deficiency is widespread – in fact, half of Americans have low levels of Vitamin D. This further number increases when you look at Vitamin D deficiency on a global scale. Recent studies have found that in addition to helping maintain healthy bones and assisting with the maintenance of your immune system, Vitamin D also helps to prevent heart disease – it may be correlated that people with low levels of this supplement have a 40% higher risk. But Vitamin D deficiency is also connected to kidney health.

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When ingested by either taking a Vitamin D supplement or eating foods rich in Vitamin D, kidneys have a crucial role in making Vitamin D useful to the body. However, injured kidneys are less able to convert Vitamin D to make it useful in the body. It is especially the case with those with kidney disease. That leads to some with kidney disease having very low to severely low kidney levels. Some groups have a higher risk for Vitamin D deficiency, including the elderly (because they cannot process Vitamin D and spend more time inside), people with darker skin color, and people with a higher body mass index (obesity).

COVID 19 took everyone by surprise, but how can Vitamin D help prevent it? CDC

A Surprising Way to Help Prevent COVID-19

You already know that Vitamin D has many benefits – from bone health to heart health, even kidney health. However, did you know that having a healthy dose of Vitamin D may help you stay healthy in this pandemic? Vitamin D deficiency has been seen as a risk factor for COVID-19. In fact, even famed United States immunologist Dr. Anthony Fauci has said he takes a Vitamin D supplement, as it has a tremendous impact on your susceptibility to infection. There is proven research that shows the link between decreasing risks for illness and disease and vitamin D. However, the association has yet to be established with COVID-19.

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However, it is known that lower Vitamin D levels will negatively impact your immune system, making you more prone to respiratory disease. COVID-19 is contracted through the respiratory system, creating another link between Vitamin D and preventing COVID-19. This claim is controversial, but it is for sure that Vitamin D helps keep you healthy. Some easy ways to get more Vitamin D are through sun exposure (either real or falsified with a UV lamp), taking a Vitamin D supplement, and ensuring that you have enough Vitamin D rich foods in your diet.

It is only natural that an assortment of healthy vitamins and minerals would boost your body’s performance. Entrepreneur

Another Supplement to Improve Your Athletic Performance

Many of us are deficient in Vitamin D – known problems with bone health, heart disease, and kidney failure. However, did you know that it can heavily and negatively impact your athletic performance as well? Early in the twentieth century, athletes thought that the sun’s rays had a positive impact on their performance. These claims have been routinely tested for years. Preliminary findings show that this assumption may be rooted in some fact. One indicator of this is a receptor found in muscles – this receptor is a Vitamin D receptor.

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That further shows the link between Vitamin D and muscle and bone structure and function. An even better link between Vitamin D and athletic execution is proof that trained athletes show better performance in summer months than winter – which is linked to the fact that they are getting more sun in summer. It is assumed that athletes get enough Vitamin D in their system because they spend so much training outdoors. However, this is not the case. It is highly recommended that all athletes take Vitamin D supplements when training – even if exercising outside, and especially more so during the winter months.

Make sure you are getting enough Vitamin D — a lack of it might lead to unwanted weight gain. Shutterstock

Are You Gaining Weight and You’re Not Sure Why? 

Are you gaining unwanted weight and unsure as to why? A good step in the right direction would be evaluating your Vitamin D intake – whether in a supplement or from the sun’s rays. A recent study showed that older women with low levels of Vitamin D were more prone to gain weight than those with healthy Vitamin D levels. Those with insufficient amounts of this supplement gained an average of two more pounds of weight throughout the study. However, this study has one pitfall – it doesn’t exactly show whether Vitamin D is the cause or an effect of the weight gain.

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That makes the study a bit inconclusive, but since the body needs vitamin D anyway, it doesn’t hurt to include it in your diet regardless. In any case, everyone must take in enough Vitamin D. Some easy ways to do this are by soaking in the sun’s rays either by going outside or taking in fake beams from UV lamps. More methods include taking Vitamin D supplements and increasing your Vitamin D intake by choosing the right food. These foods include seafood, egg yolks, fortified foods, and even mushrooms, which are exceptionally high in this vital supplement.

You might need to take Vitamin D supplements if you cannot get enough naturally. Shutterstock

The Different Vitamin D Supplements

So, you have a Vitamin D deficiency. Commonly, you’ll find that many supplements on the market will alleviate this deficiency ranging in price and methods of ingestion. The best Vitamin D supplement is the one that best fits your needs and lifestyle. Vitamin D is available in liquid drop form, chewable, or gummies. In high-dose capsules, they can have as much as 10,000 IU, which is the recommended amount for people who already have low vitamin D levels in their blood. Also, vitamin D can be found in prenatal cocktails available for pregnant women and in children’s vitamins to ensure that their minds stay rich and healthy.

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Before you choose which supplement would be best for you, it is recommended that you get a baseline idea of where your Vitamin D levels are currently. For instance, you may not need a high dose. After speaking with your doctor, make sure to include them in the conversation, as they would be able to help you choose which of the many types of supplements would be the best option for you. Additionally, keep an eye on the additives in these supplements – many packs in added sugars, which may not be ideal for you. 

Millions of people deal with nutrient deficiencies — you are not alone! WFXL

How Common is Vitamin D Deficiency, Really?

Vitamin D is a prevalent nutrient deficiency not only in the United States but also worldwide. It’s estimated that over 1 billion people have low levels of Vitamin D in their blood. In the United States, almost half of all adults are deficient in this crucial vitamin – over 41%. This number is higher in those with darker skin, with 69% of Hispanics and 82% of African Americans being deficient. The high numbers can be linked to skin color to a certain extent. Those with lighter skin tones may have lower Vitamin D levels because they avoid the sun, in fear that they will get a sunburn or otherwise damaged by the sun’s harmful rays.

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With darker skin tones, there are issues as well, as there is more melanin in the skin, making it more difficult for the body to absorb Vitamin D. Other risk factors are age because the elderly are more likely to be Vitamin D deficient. They do not absorb Vitamin D correctly, and they tend to spend more time indoors. Other issues include being overweight, not eating the right foods (fish and dairy), or not taking supplements. Even more problems might be not getting enough sun, using too much sunscreen, and staying indoors.

It’s important to get enough Vitamin D for your health. Talk to your doctor about foods you can eat, and other ways to get enough of the vitamin. Shutterstock

Vitamin D Deficiency: A Historical Approach

For a long time, until comparatively recently, human beings were nomadic people. Recent research has found that a driving factor behind human migration patterns over the last 500 years has been from high sunlight to low sunlight destination countries. Areas with higher sunlight were avoided for reasons that can be obvious – as we moved from a more agricultural economy to an industrial one, our dependence on the sun decreased. It can also be why the risk of Vitamin D has gone up substantially: people’s ability to use Vitamin D in the body goes down with darker skin.

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The melanin may make it more challenging to absorb Vitamin D from the sun, which is why it’s linked to a higher risk of mortality. Furthermore, this research has found a negative link between Vitamin D deficiency and life expectancy. That can be due to the awareness of the sun’s adverse effects on health, which people prevent by sunburn and staying indoors. However, Vitamin D deficiency harms your health as well. Some easy ways to improve your Vitamin D levels in your blood is by taking Vitamin D supplements and including more Vitamin D rich foods in your diet, including eggs, mushrooms, and fortified foods.

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