How Much Vitamin D Do You Need Per Day?
Vitamin D, our sunshine vitamin, might just be one of the most important vitamins to take as a supplement.
But why is that?
Well, a lot of people don’t get the recommended levels. It’s estimated that 1 in 6 adults and 20% of children have levels lower than the government's recommended amount (Gov.uk).
It’s not their fault.
We live in a country where there isn’t a lot of sunshine around in winter.
But it does beg the question, how much Vitamin D do you actually need?
We’re here to answer that question, as well as others you may have, like what it even is, its health benefits and what does too much and too little look like.
What Is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble nutrient we can eat, and our body produces it as a hormone.
While helping to regulate phosphorus and calcium, Vitamin D also contributes to cell growth and repair. Many studies have suggested Vitamin D is a key factor in preventing infections which implies it is more valuable to the overall health of our bodies than we might think.
The Health Benefits
We all know that feeling of doom when looking out of your window and seeing a grey or dull sky. Compare that to seeing those clear blue skies we see in summer.
Well, research has shown Vitamin D is capable of boosting our mood and reducing the risk of you developing depression. So make the most of those sunny days because that Vitamin D is basically free therapy!
Vitamin D can help to reduce the formation of fat cells in the body while also releasing serotonin and testosterone.
Serotonin helps to manage your appetite, while testosterone has been shown to influence weight loss. Often those with a higher body fat % are deficient in Vitamin D which makes it harder for them to produce these hormones and lose weight quickly.
How Much Vitamin D should you have?
The table below is an easy guide to how much Vitamin D you need. It is always recommended to consult a doctor if you feel you are deficient and you are having symptoms related to a lack of or too much Vitamin D.
|Group||Quantity per day|
|1-13 years old||15mcg|
|14-18 years old||15mcg|
|19-70 years old||15mcg|
How To Get More Vitamin D
The greatest source of Vitamin D comes from sunlight, but there are plenty of food groups which are proven sources of Vitamin D.
- Fatty fish (salmon, mackerel and trout)
- Egg yolks
So if you’re looking to up your Vitamin D levels naturally your only choice is to consume more of the food groups above or to move to Southern Europe.
The reality is that if you are trying to increase your intake, then it will need to be via supplements like our tasty dissolvable tablets.
What Does A Lack Of Vitamin D Look Like?
Symptoms can vary from person to person, but if you lack Vitamin D, you’ll typically see some of the following:
Vitamin D works with the cells that prevent infections.
If you find you are constantly getting ill with colds and flu, it could be because you are lacking Vitamin D, so your body finds it harder to fight off those cold and flu symptoms.
This is one symptom of Vitamin D deficiency which is often overlooked. Still, research has shown those who experience constant fatigue are usually lacking in Vitamin D.
One study, in particular, saw 89% of those involved were low in Vitamin D and had self-reported fatigue.
Aches & Pains
By facilitating calcium absorption in the body, a lack of Vitamin D can correspond with bone and joint pain.
This is especially true for those with arthritis because Vitamin D stops the bones from thinning.
So although it cannot cure it - consuming Vitamin D regularly can prevent and improve the symptoms of arthritis.
What Does Too Much Vitamin D Look Like?
Believe it or not, there is such a thing as too much Vitamin D, which can be serious. Too much and you could end up with one of the below conditions:
As it sounds – there is too much of one vitamin in your system.
Although it is rare, there’s been a number of hypervitaminosis cases, 3 in recent years caused by spending too much time on sunbeds. With very few caused by the foods you eat.
Hypervitaminosis can also be caused by specific medications (such as antacids), which, when taken for prolonged periods of time, can increase the levels of Vitamin D above the normal amount.
To prevent this, doctors often recommend reducing the amount of calcium in your diet while on medications.
This can affect up to 4% of the population and is usually the result of excessive calcium intake. Too much calcium in the blood can actually make bones more brittle.
With too much calcium in your body, you may notice symptoms such as nausea, fatigue and negative mood changes.
This is often treated with medication from your doctor. It is therefore, important to consult with your doctor if you notice these changes.
As discussed, too little Vitamin D leads to problems such as illness, fatigue and body pains. But with plenty of sunlight and foods such as fish, cheese and mushrooms, it is very easy to boost your intake when needed.
In contrast, too much Vitamin D has potentially higher risks as it can affect the functionality of your body.
Results of excessive Vitamin D overdose include Hypervitaminosis D and hypercalcemia. Both are rare and often treated with prescribed medicines to rebalance and re-regulate the vitamins and minerals in your blood.
Vitamin D is a hugely important element in every diet, with its great health benefits including cell growth, mood-boosting and weight loss. Vitamin D, when consumed correctly can help with a multitude of health problems.