VITAMIN D GUIDE
What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a vital nutrient that your body requires for the building and maintenance of healthy bones. It assists in the absorption of calcium, the primary component of bone, in your body. However, vitamin D's role extends beyond just bone health. It also regulates many other cellular functions. Its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and neuroprotective properties contribute to overall immune health, muscle functionality, and brain cell activity.
In addition to being produced by the body when exposed to sunlight, Vitamin D can be obtained through specific foods, including fatty fish like salmon and mackerel, fish liver oils, and egg yolks. Certain mushrooms also provide vitamin D, and many dairy products and cereals are fortified with it. Furthermore, it can be taken as a dietary supplement.
What is Vitamin D good for?
Research indicates that vitamin D has a variety of health benefits:
Bone Health: Vitamin D plays a crucial role in calcium absorption and bone metabolism. It's essential for the prevention of conditions like osteoporosis and osteomalacia, conditions characterized by softening of the bones.
Immune Health: One of the primary roles of vitamin D is supporting immune health. It helps the body ward off viruses and bacteria that cause illness, and it directly interacts with the cells responsible for fighting infections. Deficiencies in vitamin D have been linked with an increased susceptibility to infections, such as respiratory tract infections.
Reduced Fatigue: If you're feeling frequently tired, vitamin D deficiency might be a contributing factor. Observational studies have linked low vitamin D levels with fatigue and poor sleep quality.
Cancer Prevention: Studies have indicated mixed findings on vitamin D's role in cancer prevention. Some suggest that adequate vitamin D levels might be associated with a lower risk of certain types of cancers.
Cognitive Health: Research suggests that vitamin D might play a role in cognitive health, with lower levels being associated with cognitive decline.
Inherited Disorders: Vitamin D supplements are often used to treat certain inherited disorders resulting from an inability to absorb or process this nutrient.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS): Some research indicates that long-term vitamin D supplementation might reduce the risk of developing MS.
Psoriasis: Topical application of preparations containing vitamin D, or compounds similar to it, can sometimes alleviate the symptoms of plaque-type psoriasis.
Is Vitamin D safe?
Vitamin D is safe when taken in recommended amounts, as too much can be harmful. Please consult your healthcare provider. before starting a new supplement regimen.
Can pregnant women take Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is essential for pregnant women, as it helps form the skin, eyes, and nervous system of the fetus. Although it’s very important pregnant women consult their doctors about the appropriate dose.
Is Vitamin D Safe for Children?
Yes, Vitamin D is important for growing children, especially in bone development. However, consuming Vitamin D beyond the recommended dosage can be harmful. Always consult a pediatrician before starting any new supplement regimen for your child.
Is Vitamin D Vegan?
For those following a vegan diet, it's crucial to note that not all forms of Vitamin D are vegan-friendly when choosing a supplement. Vitamin D2 is typically suitable for vegans, but vitamin D3 can be derived from either an animal source, such as sheep’s wool, or from lichen, a vegan-friendly source.
How much Vitamin D do you need?
Due to varying medical guidelines concerning dosage, it is highly advised to consume Vitamin D as per the instructions given by your healthcare provider. Individual needs can vary based on a multitude of factors. But here are some guidelines:
RDA: The Recommended Dietary Allowance for adults 19 years and older is 600 IU (15 mcg) daily for men and women, and for adults >70 years it is 800 IU (20 mcg) daily.
UL: The Tolerable Upper Intake Level is the maximum daily intake unlikely to cause harmful effects on health. The UL for vitamin D for adults and children ages 9+ is 4,000 IU (100 mcg).
When should I take my Vitamin D?
It's typically recommended to take vitamin D supplements with a meal to enhance absorption.
How to store my Vitamin D?
Vitamin D should be stored in a cool, dry place, out of reach of children. Always follow the instructions on the supplement bottle.
Labdoor is not a medical source. Don’t take supplements before talking to your physician.
The Vegan Society.&quot; Vitamin D - The Vegan Society. Accessed 2023.
Mayo Clinic. &quot;Vitamin D.&quot; Accessed 2023.
Megan Ware, RDN, L.D. &quot;Vitamin D: Benefits, deficiency, sources, and dosage.&quot; Healthline. Published November 12, 2020.
“The Nutrition Source: Vitamin D” Accessed 2023.