The Value of Taking Vitamin D
Direct exposure to sunlight provides enough Vitamin D for the average person’s needs. Unfortunately, most people take insufficient advantage of the sun’s rays. Research cited in the Archives of Internal Medicine shows that three-quarters of individuals in the U.S. don’t get enough Vitamin D.
It takes as little as ten minutes in direct sunlight for your body to manufacture 10,000 internal units (IUs) of Vitamin D, well over the 600 IUs daily recommendation for adults up to 70 years old.
Even young, athletic people suffer from Vitamin D deprivation. A study showed that more than half of U.S. college athletes had low levels of Vitamin D. Athletes with higher levels of the vitamin had a lower risk of injury and had better muscle function.
The chances of getting enough sunshine/skin contact dwindle if you live in an area that’s cloudy and rainy year-round.
You can get a limited amount of Vitamin D3 from salmon and other fatty fish, beef liver, egg yolks, fortified milk and cereals, and cheese. Eating foods containing Vitamin D3 can only do so much; you still need to get out in the sun to get an adequate amount of the vitamin.
Getting out in the sun offers the best way to get more Vitamin D in your life, but Vitamin D3 supplements provide another source of the “Sunshine” vitamin.
How to Choose the Right Supplement for You
Vitamin D supplements come in two forms – Vitamin D2 and Vitamin D3, with Vitamin D3 being the most common. Vitamin D3 is the D vitamin naturally produced by the skin. Vegans may want the harder to find D2, which may be made with mushrooms or yeast.
Popular Vitamin D3 supplements come in soft gel capsules, white, chalky vitamin form or as fast-absorbing sublingual drops. Some supplements contain additional vitamins and nutrients, such as Vitamin K2. Choose soft gels or sublingual drops if you have trouble swallowing tablets.
The number of internal units (IUs) in Vitamin D supplements range from 1000 to 5000. Some brands offer 10,000 and 25,000 IU supplements. The higher IU supplements (over 5000) should only be taken on the advice of a doctor.
Look for a third-party certification to ensure that the product offers what it says it does. A GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) seal shows that the product has been developed and manufactured in a safe, inspected facility.
What are the Benefits of Vitamin D?
Vitamin D assists your body in the following functions:
- Ensures healthy bones and teeth
- Regulates insulin levels and helps manage diabetes
- Supports the brain, nervous and immune system
- Stabilizes lung and cardiovascular health
- Can prevent cancer
People with mood disorders, muscle weakness, osteoporosis, immune function problems and other severe health issues can take up to 100,000 IUs of Vitamin D a day, as directed by their doctor.
Do I Need a Vitamin D Supplement?
You probably need an oral D supplement if you have any of the following issues:
- Experience limited sun exposure due to illness, occupation, lifestyle or clothing choices
- Live in the northern latitudes
- Have difficulty absorbing fats due to a gastric bypass or other surgery or illness
- Have a dark skin tone, which acts as a built-in sunscreen
- Wear sunscreen with an SPF of 8 or above
- Are over 50 years old
- Are obese
- Follow a strict vegan diet
You must get the vitamin from supplements and food if you don’t get enough Vitamin D from sunlight. Without adequate Vitamin D, you may develop depression, cognitive impairment (in seniors), and increase your risk of cancer, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease.
What Attributes Differentiate One Brand of Vitamin D from Others?
Vitamin D2 comes from plants. Vitamin D3 is produced when human skin is exposed to sunlight. Foods may be fortified with either D2 or D3, both supplements Vitamin D2 and D3 are available in supplement form.
The most common form of Vitamin D deficiency occurs due to lack of exposure to sunlight. Vitamin D3 supplements, therefore, tend to be more popular.
What’s the Best Way to Use Vitamin D?
According to the Vitamin D Council, as long as you take a Vitamin D supplement (or get out in the sunshine), you’ll get enough of this vital nutrient.
Studies on the absorption rate of Vitamin D supplements show that taking the supplement with food or on an empty stomach offer the same result. If you maintain 50 -60 ng/ml (nanograms per milliliter) of Vitamin D in your blood, the method you use makes no difference.
Prerequisites and Warnings Regarding Use of Vitamin D
Vitamin D may be unsafe in large doses, especially during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Consult your doctor if you want to take a high dosage of a Vitamin D supplement.
Vitamin D may cause an increase in calcium levels and hardening or the arteries in people with kidney disease. Monitor your calcium level if you have kidney problems and take Vitamin D.
Learn more about the signs of Vitamin D deficiency from the video “What’s a Vitamin D Deficiency?” from the University of California Television YouTube Channel
Conclusion: Which Vitamin D Supplements Do You Recommend I Buy?
Based on our research, Thorne Research – Vitamin D-1000 – Vitamin D3 Supplement – 1,000 IU – 90 Capsules supplies the best value for your money.
This Vitamin D3 supplement provides just enough of the Vitamin to improve the D3 level in people with mild to moderate deficiencies. Vitamin D levels in people with a major deficiency, depression, diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis and many other conditions can take two or more pills a day as recommended by their doctor.
Made without preservatives, it comes in a small, easy-to-swallow pill – similar to both Zinc and Iron. Free of lactose, palmitic acid, magnesium, calcium, or vegetable stearates, Thorne Research D3 provides enough of the vitamin for most people without fear of allergic reaction.
The manufacturer, Thorne Research, has gained the trust of medical professionals, who recommend it for their patients. Thorne Vitamin D 1000 also has the distinction of being certified for use by athletes. The company also provides the same formula in other IU amounts, (5,000, 10,000, 25,000).
Although Thorne Research Vitamin D3 must be purchased online or at a vitamin store, the product offers high-quality D3 and receives praise from doctors and customers. Even though it costs more than chemist brands, it is still affordable.