If you have ever taken a multivitamin, you have taken a vitamin D supplement. Vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins. It is an essential building block for our body. Unfortunately, many people in the United States suffer from vitamin D deficiency.
Vitamin D deficiency is a severe issue because low levels of Vitamin D profoundly impact your body. It can negatively impact your mood and decrease sleep quality, among other things.
The easiest way to get vitamin D is through exposure to the sun. However, that may not be an option, depending on where you live and your work schedule. Alternatively, you can take a vitamin D supplement to solve your vitamin D deficiency.
If you are taking a vitamin D supplement, the time of day and the dosage you take are crucial. This article will teach you everything you need to know about taking vitamin D supplements, so you get the maximum effect of this excellent vitamin.
What Is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a vitamin that helps the body absorb calcium. It is essential for strong bones and muscles. Vitamin D also helps to keep the immune system functioning correctly.
Two ways to get vitamin D are through sunlight exposure and diet. The best way to get vitamin D is by spending time in the sun. The sun’s ultraviolet B (UVB) rays actually work with a type of cholesterol in the skin, producing vitamin D3.
The body can also get vitamin D from food sources, such as fatty fish (such as salmon and tuna), eggs, and fortified dairy products and juices. However, getting the recommended amount of vitamin D from diet alone is difficult, so supplementation is often necessary.
Vitamin D3 is the form of vitamin D that is most effective in humans. Vitamin D2, another form of vitamin D, is not as well absorbed by the body. Therefore, it is vital to take a supplement that contains vitamin D3.
What Causes Vitamin D Deficiency?
There are several reasons why someone might have a vitamin D deficiency.
First, the body needs sunlight to produce vitamin D3. If you don’t spend enough time in the sun, your body can’t make enough vitamin D3. Other facts can impact how much vitamin D you absorb while outside. For example, the time of day, the type of sunscreen you use, and your clothes can all inhibit vitamin D absorption.
Second, as we age, our bodies become less efficient at converting sunlight into vitamin D3. As a result, older adults are more likely to be deficient in vitamin D.
Third, people with darker skin have less ability to produce vitamin D3 from sunlight. The pigment in darker skin shades blocks the ultraviolet B (UVB) rays needed to produce vitamin D3.
Fourth, certain health conditions can lead to vitamin D deficiency. These include obesity, Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, and cystic fibrosis.
Finally, certain medications can also lead to vitamin D deficiency. These include steroids, anticonvulsants, and cholesterol-lowering drugs.
Your diet can also cause vitamin D deficiency. Foods like eggs and fish are high in vitamin D. If you are a picky eater or vegan/vegetarian, you may have lower vitamin D levels due to your diet.
If you think you might have a vitamin D deficiency, it is vital to see a doctor. A simple blood test can determine whether you have a shortage.
What Happens to Your Body if You Do Not Get Enough Vitamin D?
Vitamin D deficiency is a severe issue. You can experience a wide range of symptoms that will increase in severity as the vitamin D deficiency worsens. If you don’t get enough vitamin D, you may experience the following symptoms:
- Joint and muscle pain
- Weak bones
- Frequent infections
- Impaired wound healing
Vitamin D deficiency is linked to various health problems like heart disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and cancer.
A vitamin D deficiency can also lead to depression. Vitamin D helps the body produce serotonin, which is a feel-good hormone. Therefore, low levels of vitamin D can lead to feelings of sadness and anxiety.
Vitamin D is also essential for pregnant women. A vitamin D deficiency can lead to preterm labor, low birth weight, and gestational diabetes.
How Much Vitamin D Should I Take?
The amount of vitamin D you need depends on several factors, such as your age, weight, skin color, and whether you have a health condition that affects your ability to absorb vitamin D.
It’s recommended that the following should be the daily vitamin D intake:
- Birth to 12 months: 400 IU (10 mcg)
- 1-70 years: 600 IU (15 mcg)
- 71 years and older: 800 IU (20 mcg)
- Pregnant women: 600 IU (15 mcg)
- Breastfeeding women: 600 IU (15 mcg)
These are the recommended daily allowances. However, depending on your situation, you may need more or less than the recommended amount.
If you have a vitamin D deficiency, your doctor may recommend a higher dose of vitamin D. The recommended dose for treating a deficiency is 50,000 IU (1,250 mcg) per week for eight weeks. After that, you should take a maintenance dose of 1,600-2,000 IU (40-50 mcg) per day.
Some people may be unable to tolerate such a high dose of vitamin D. In that case, your doctor may recommend a lower dose of vitamin D, such as 2,000 IU (50 mcg) per day.
Your doctor can order a blood test to check your vitamin D levels. If the test shows that you are deficient in vitamin D, your doctor will recommend a treatment plan that is right for you.
When Is the Best Time To Take Vitamin D?
The best time to take vitamin D is in the morning. It is best to take it in the morning because vitamin D levels naturally decline throughout the day. Taking vitamin D in the morning will help to keep your levels high throughout the day.
It is also essential to take vitamin D with a meal that contains fat. Fats will help your body absorb vitamin D more effectively.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means it is stored in the body’s fat cells. Therefore, taking vitamin D supplements with meals containing fat is best.
Taking vitamin D in the morning can be difficult if you are fasting. Instead of taking vitamin D later in the day, you can take it in the morning with a spoonful of olive oil or butter. The fat will help your body absorb vitamin D.
If you take vitamin D without fat, your body will not be able to absorb and use the vitamin D, and you will not reap the benefits of this critical vitamin.
Some people may need to take vitamin D supplements at night. Some people have to do this because they have a condition that affects their ability to absorb vitamin D from food or supplements. If this is the case, your doctor will let you know.
However, you should try and avoid taking vitamin D at night. Several studies suggest vitamin D can decrease the melatonin in your body. Melatonin is an essential compound for a good night’s sleep.
What Are the Benefits of Taking Vitamin D?
In addition to the adverse effects of vitamin deficiency, there are many positive benefits to taking vitamin D. The benefits of taking vitamin D include:
- Preventing osteoporosis by increasing bone density.
- Preventing falls and fractures in older adults.
- Improving muscle strength.
- Reducing the risk of developing heart disease.
- Reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
- Reducing the risk of developing cancer.
- Boosting your immune system.
- Increasing testosterone production in men.
One of the other significant benefits of taking vitamin D is improved sleep. Research has found that vitamin D deficiency is linked with poor sleep quality and low levels of total sleep time. The evidence suggests that vitamin D is essential for the parts of our brain that regulate sleep.
A vitamin D supplement could improve your sleep quality if you have difficulty sleeping. However, as mentioned earlier, it is best to take your vitamin D supplement in the morning so that it does not interfere with your sleep at night.
Vitamin D supplements can help to prevent many health problems, such as osteoporosis, falls, fractures, heart disease, and cancer. Vitamin D is a critical nutrient that plays a role in many aspects of health.
Best Time To Take Vitamin D, Wrap Up
If you are unsure if you are vitamin D deficiency or not, the best step is to speak to your doctor. You can take a simple blood test to check your body’s vitamin D levels and other essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
In conclusion, vitamin D is a vital nutrient that plays a role in many aspects of health. If you don’t get enough vitamin D, you may experience various health problems. If you don’t get enough vitamin D, you may experience a wide range of symptoms, such as fatigue, joint and muscle pain, and even depression.
The best way to ensure you are getting enough vitamin D is to take a supplement, preferably in the morning with a meal containing fat.
Vitamin D is a critical nutrient with many benefits. Taking vitamin D can help improve your overall health and well-being.