Vitamin D is something most healthy people can get from food, but many are interested in taking a supplement if they’re curious about how much more their body is getting. Although Vitamin D deficiencies are rare for the average person, some cases of vitamin D toxicity have been recorded – even death! Let’s try to figure out how important this vitamin really is by talking about its properties and potential health effects.
The Role of Vitamin D
The role of vitamin D in human health is becoming increasingly recognised. The vitamin is mainly sourced from sunshine and has been linked to a variety of health benefits, including a lower risk of chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease, better mental health, and stronger bones.
A recent study even suggested that children who are deficient in vitamin D are up to three times more likely to develop a type of schizophrenia. This suggests that getting enough vitamin D may have important implications for mental health.
Despite this evidence, many people still don’t get the recommended amount of vitamin D. A recent global study found that only 47% of people aged between 18 and 64 had sufficient levels of the vitamin. This means that half the population doesn’t have enough to maintain good health, regardless of age or sex.
How to Get Enough Vitamin D
If you are not getting enough vitamin D, you may be putting your health at risk. “Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption and many other bodily functions,” says Korotkin. “The body naturally makes vitamin D when you expose skin to sunlight.” Unfortunately increasing numbers of people are spending less time outdoors and are relying on sunscreens to protect them from the sun. Sunscreen blocks both the sun’s UV rays and vitamin D production.
While supplements are an option for those who cannot get their daily recommended amount of sunshine, Korotkin recommends getting at least 20 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercise each day. “Physical activity helps the body produce its own natural vitamin D,” he notes. “Plus, simply being active can help reduce stress levels, which also triggers unhealthy cortisol secretion.”
Adequate Intake for Vitamin D
In order to prevent chronic diseases, many people are taking supplements of vitamin D. But just what level is adequate? According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), levels of 25 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) are needed for protection against chronic diseases. However, only about 10% of Americans have levels this high.
The IOM also says that for many people, especially those who are darker skinned, achieving levels above 20 ng/mL can be beneficial. Levels below 15 ng/mL are associated with an increased risk of chronic diseases, including cancer and heart disease.
Both the IOM and The Endocrine Society say that increasing your vitamin D intake through diet or supplementation is the best way to achieve adequate levels. foods that are high in vitamin D include fatty fish, eggs, fortified milk and cereal products, and orange juice. You can also get vitamin D from sun exposure during the summer months. Areas that receive more UV radiation have higher rates of vitamin D deficiency.
What Are the Side Effects of Taking Too Much or Too Little?
There are a few potential health risks associated with taking too much or too little vitamin D. If you’re not getting enough sun exposure, supplementing with vitamin D3 may be necessary. And if you have a chronic health condition, such as autoimmune disease, your doctor may recommend a lower dose of vitamin D3 to prevent additional health complications.
Vitamin D is one of the compounds that helps the body absorb calcium and other minerals. It’s also important for immune function, blood sugar control, muscle function, and many more crucial things. So it would make sense that getting enough vitamin D in your diet is essential to overall health. However, like many things in life, there are good and bad aspects to getting too much of a good thing. So how much vitamin D should you be aiming for? This article will give you an idea as to how much Vitamin D is needed on a daily basis to stay healthy.