How Much Vitamin D3 Should I Be Taking?

old message How Much Vitamin D3 Should I Be Taking? Darrell Miller 06/28/11

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Date: June 28, 2011 11:24 AM
Subject: How Much Vitamin D3 Should I Be Taking?

Vitamin D3 is one the organic compounds that exhibit vitamin D activity inside the human body. It is an immediate precursor to the prohormone calcidiol, which is in turn converted into the active form of the vitamin. It is responsible for the circulation of blood calcium, mineralization of bones, modulation of neurological function within the muscles, and regulation of immune responses tied to inflammation.

Cholecalciferol is the biochemical name of vitamin D3. It is the form of vitamin D produced in the skin when exposed to UVB in sunlight. It is also the most readily available in the human diet in that it is found in most animal-based food products. The recommended daily allowance for vitamin D3 is 200 IU or 5 micrograms for all individuals. The upper limit is 15,000 IU, and toxicity occurs in higher doses.

That being said, the daily value for vitamin D3 is still a matter of debate. The scientific community is convinced that 200 IU is safe for regular intake, and the upper limit of 15,000 IU is more of an estimate. There has not been any evidence of toxicity between 4000 and 10000 IU, the reason why the US has adopted the upper level intake of 15,000 IU. Safety of long term high intake remains controversial.

In most countries, nutrition labeling of food products require that the recommended daily amount for vitamin D is set to 200 IU. Since cholecalciferol is the most abundant form of vitamin D, it is not surprising that human populations around the world rely on vitamin D3. On the other hand, vitamin D2 is an alternative for individuals who prefer plant sources of the vitamin, such as vegetarians.

Dietary sources of vitamin D3 include whole eggs, beef liver, fish oil, and several species of fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, catfish, sardines, eel, and anchovies, among others. There is also a long list of processed foods that are fortified with calciferol, which refers to either vitamin D3 or vitamin D2. Healthy individuals who consume these sources are at no risk of developing vitamin D3 deficiency.

Calcidiol and calcifediol are biochemical names for 25-hydroxy vitamin D, which is the chemical precursor of the active form of vitamin D. It is also the form found in the systemic circulation, and as such it is used to measure vitamin D status in the blood. Individuals who avoid the sun or live too far from the equator have very low serum levels of calcidiol, progressing to deficiency if left untreated.

Involuntary muscle contractions, muscle pain, demineralization of the skeletal system, and increased fragility of the bones are among the symptoms linked to deficiency in vitamin D. The good news is that high consumptions of foods rich in vitamin D help combat deficiency. In addition, vitamin D3 supplements have been proven effective in reversing vitamin D deficiency fast.

The recommended average dose for northern states in the U.S. should be between 1000IU – 5000IU daily. Spending time outside in the sun when possible will help because our body manufactures vitamin D from sunlight exposure.

Grab a bottle today and get your needed daily dosage of vitamin D!

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