What is the recommended daily dosage of vitamin D3? What many people are asking is whether vitamin D3 is important for maintaining optimal health as research continues to emerge on the topic. Vitamin D deficiency is a problem that is getting worse over time, so it is important to make sure you are getting enough of this vital nutrient.
What is vitamin D3?
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is important for many of the body’s functions. Vitamin D is key for calcium to be absorbed by the body and maintain healthy bones. It also helps with immunity and cell growth.
We need sunlight to produce vitamin D, but many of us do not get enough sun exposure. Since vitamin D is essential for good health and many people are deficient in it, supplements are becoming more popular.
Vitamin D comes in two forms: D2 and D3. Vitamin D3 is more easily absorbed by the body than vitamin D2.
Vitamin D is having a moment in the sun. A recent increase in research has found a link between low vitamin D levels and an increased risk in heart disease, diabetes, cancer, mood disorders, and dementia. The results have not gone unnoticed. The popularity of vitamin D supplements and testing kits is increasing.
The increase in vitamin D isn’t all good news. Some consumers are taking too much vitamin D supplements. The number of people taking high doses of vitamin D has increased by 2.8%, according to a study of national survey data from 1999 to 2014.
The recommended amount of daily vitamin D3 intake is more than 4,000 international units, according to a study letter published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. In addition, the number of people taking 1,000 IU of vitamin D daily increased by 18% during this time period.
What Does Vitamin D Deficiency Look Like?
Having a poor diet and not being active outdoors can lead to not having enough vitamin D. But what are the most common symptoms?
A common side effect of vitamin D for children is rickets, a bone condition characterized by weak or soft bones. It can lead to stunted growth and bowed legs.
In both adolescents and adults, a lack of vitamin D can lead to a condition called osteomalacia, in which the bones become thin, weak, and deformed.
This is similar to rickets in some ways. Osteomalacia sufferers may experience vague pain in their bones and muscles as well as weakness.
There is no clear evidence linking vitamin D deficiency to other diseases and conditions. This is because the deficiency may be a condition that is happening at the same time. But further noted symptoms include:
- Dental abnormalities
- Muscle aches
- Twitching of the muscles
How Is Vitamin D Deficiency Checked?
There is no way to judge with certainty that someone is vitamin D deficient without a blood test.
The liver is responsible for converting D2 and D3 into other vitamin D forms. These new variants are collectively called 25(OH)D.
Testing for vitamin D levels typically involves measuring the amount of 25(OH)D in the blood serum. A concentration of 20 to 50 nanograms per milliliter is considered sufficient for most people.
Someone who has a vitamin D level lower than 12 ng/ml is considered deficient.
It is said that values of 25(OH)D between these two are insufficient.
If the reading is above 50 ng/ml, it indicates high levels of vitamin D.
Rarely, someone may have vitamin D intoxication. This is where the reading is above 150 ng/ml.
We hope so!
How can I make sure I’m getting enough vitamin D?
There are a few things you can do to make sure you’re getting enough vitamin D:
Get Regular Sun Exposure
You can get your daily dose of vitamin D by spending 15-20 minutes outside in direct sunlight. If you don’t get enough sun exposure, you might want to consider taking a vitamin D supplement.
Eat Vitamin D-Rich Foods
It is beneficial to consume foods such as eggs, salmon, mushrooms, and fortified dairy products as part of a healthy diet.
Here are 7 Factors That May Affect Your Vitamin D3 Needs
A common misconception is that everyone needs the same amount of vitamin D. Nuh-uh.
This approach is not effective because it does not consider the individual.
How much vitamin D per day you should consider taking will depend on factors like:
- Your age
- Your skin color
- The season
- Your location
- Your level of sun exposure
- Your diet
- If you’re pregnant or lactating
How Much Vitamin D Per Day for Children?
It is especially important for growing infants and teenagers to get enough vitamin D, as explained by the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital.
In the United Kingdom, it is recommended that newborns receive between 7.5 and 10 micrograms (300-400 IU) of vitamin D per day.
Children aged one month to 18 years can take up to 1,000 IU (25 mcg) of this medication.
There are separate guidelines for children who have a vitamin D deficiency.
In this case, doses are higher. For children aged 12-18 years, the recommended dosage is 6,000 to 10,000 IU for 4-8 weeks.
How Much Vitamin D Per Day for Adults?
To maintain bone and muscle health during winter months, the NHS recommends that adults in the UK take 10 mcg (400 IU) of vitamin D per day.
However, it is safe for adults to take up to 4,000 IU per day. If you lack the nutrient, you may be recommended to consume more of it.
If you are not sure how much vitamin D you need, a good way to find out is to get your levels tested. This will give you a starting point to see how much vitamin D you need.
How Much Vitamin D Per Day for Seniors?
Generally, elderly people in the UK are recommended to take the same amount of medication as adults. But in a study titled The Role of Vitamin D in the Aging Adult, various risk factors were identified that could lead to seniors being insufficient in the vital vitamin:
Some clinical trials have found that higher doses of vitamin D are helpful.
In other words, older adults are less likely to experience hip fractures when taking a vitamin D supplement of 800 IUs or more each day.
How Much Vitamin D Per Day When Pregnant?
Pregnant and lactating women should consume the same amount of iodine as other adults, which is 10 micrograms in the UK and 15 micrograms in the US.
The study found an association between nursing and health, which is worrying.
There is a greater chance of miscarrying in the first trimester for women who are deficient in vitamin D.
So how much vitamin D should you take daily?
Your vitamin D needs depend on various factors, including your age, health status, and how much time you spend in sunlight.
The best way to get enough vitamin D, according to the Mayo Clinic, is to spend time in the sun or take supplements.
There are a few ways. You can increase your vitamin D levels by spending time in the sun, eating certain foods, or taking supplements.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these:
The best way to get vitamin D is most likely through exposure to sunlight. You can improve your vitamin D levels just by spending some time outdoors in the sun.
But how much sunlight do you need?
Your skin tone, the time of day, and the season are all factors that affect how long you need to spend in the sun.
People with fairer skin generally need less sun exposure than those with darker skin.
The time of day also matters. The sun is most intense between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. And finally, the season matters. You may need to spend more time in the sun to get enough vitamin D during the winter months when the sun’s rays are weaker.
Eating foods that are rich in vitamin D can help to increase your overall vitamin D levels. Some great sources of vitamin D are fatty fish, egg yolks, and fortified dairy products.
If you’re not getting enough vitamin D from sunlight exposure and from food, you might have to take a supplement.
several factors, such as age, health, and exposure to sunlight, will affect how much vitamin D you need to supplement.
It is generally recommended to take between 400 and 800 IU (international units) of vitamin D per day.
However, the most effective way to get vitamin D is by spending time in the sun. So you should spend some time outdoors in the sun if you can. Make sure to eat foods rich in vitamin D or take a supplement if you are unable to get outside.
What Are Natural Food Sources of Vitamin D?
The best way to get Vitamin D3 is by getting direct sun exposure outdoors.
We say “outdoors” because glass windows block UV rays.
The light that passes through the glass and reaches your skin will not have the desired effect. You would not get as much pollen among the birds and the bees as you would expect.
There are not many natural sources of vitamin D, and most of them come from animal foods.
Vitamin D content decreases when food is cooked, so it’s worth bearing in mind.
D2 Food Sources
Fungi provide variable levels of this vitamin, with sun-dried and cooked mushrooms being some of the richest sources.
There are few sources of vitamin D that do not come from animals, which is a point of concern for vegetarians and vegans.
If you don’t eat meat, you may have to get your vitamin B12 from other sources.
D3 Food Sources
Some sources of vitamin D3 are fatty fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel, and sardines.
Fish liver oils, like cod liver oil, are trustworthy sources too.
You can get significant amounts of nutrients from beef liver and other forms of offal. The taste of offal is not everyone’s favorite.
And for those who eat dairy products, egg yolks and cheese also provide a decent amount of Vitamin D3.
What are the benefits of vitamin D?
Vitamin D plays an important role in bone health. Vitamin D3 aids the body in absorbing calcium and phosphorus, two minerals which are key to developing and sustaining bones. Vitamin D helps to prevent osteoporosis by making bones stronger and less likely to break.
Other than its benefits for bones, vitamin D is also linked with reducing the chances of some cancers, heart disease, and type II diabetes.
Can taking too much vitamin D3 hurt you?
Small doses of vitamin D can be fatal. Even though there may be no symptoms, vitamin D overdoses can be dangerous. The effects of vitamin D may not be immediately apparent and may not manifest for months or years.
What are the signs that I took too much vitamin D3?
If you experience any of the following symptoms, you may be taking too much vitamin D: nausea, vomiting, poor appetite, constipation, weakness, and weight loss. Call your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms after taking vitamin D supplements.
You may need to be treated with fluids and medications that are injected directly into your vein. While Vitamin D toxicity is not common, it can pose a serious threat if left unchecked.
If you think you accidentally took too much vitamin D, contact your doctor or poison control center as soon as possible. It may take several months for vitamin D toxicity symptoms to develop. It is important to treat health problems early to prevent them from getting worse.
Will I know right away if I took too much D3?
It can take a long time for symptoms of vitamin D toxicity to develop. If you experience any of the above-listed symptoms, discontinue the use of the supplement and contact your physician immediately.
If you are deficient in vitamin D, your doctor will likely order a blood test to check your levels. Other tests may be recommended to determine the cause of your symptoms.
Final Thoughts About Vitamin D3
Most people need between 600 and 800 IU of vitamin D a day to have healthy blood levels. Some people may require more or less dietary supplements than the recommended amount, so it is crucial to speak with a healthcare professional before starting any supplement plan.
It is important to have enough vitamin D for good health. If you’re not sure how much medication you need, speak to a healthcare professional to find out. The right dose for you can be determined with the help of a professional.