Vitamin D

Vitamin D continues to be an active area of research, and many doctors are now including a check of vitamin D levels with a patient’s regular blood work.

Vitamin D, known for its ability to improve calcium absorption, may also reduce the risk of colon and breast cancer, depression, heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Its role as an anti-inflammatory is promising and may lead to even more benefits. In fact, there may be a link between insufficient vitamin D levels and an increased risk of dementia. While early research on vitamin D has yet to show conclusive evidence that taking a vitamin D supplement will prevent illness, both the safety of vitamin D and the easy access to the vitamin supplement lead most doctors to recommend regularly taking the supplement.

Before you start taking vitamin D (or increasing your dose), here’s what you should know.

  • Vitamin D – promotes calcium absorption, reduces inflammation and improves the immune system
  • It is found in fortified milk and juice, lean meat and fish and made in the body through exposure to sunlight.
  • Have your doctor test your level of vitamin D before starting any supplements.
  • Many calcium supplements also contain vitamin D, so be aware before taking additional amounts.
  • Dosage amounts range from 400-2000 mg per day, depending on your current level.
  • The upper limit (UL) of vitamin D is 4000 mg per day. This high dosage has not shown any added benefit in research studies.
  • Too much vitamin D, a fat soluble vitamin, can result in vitamin D toxicity, causing vomiting, fatigue, and, possibly, calcium stones. Do not exceed the upper limit recommended.

Your vitamin D levels may change from season to season, especially as sunlight is reduced. Talk with your doctor about your vitamin D levels and whether taking supplements is right for you.

Source: Completely Well Newsletter, August 2022

Vitamin D
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