Getting accurate information on what vitamin D is and how it is used in the body is a precursor for answering the question “how much vitamin D should I take?“. Vitamin D is produced by the body when exposed to the sun. There are other ways of getting enough of this important vitamin if you live near the polar regions with limited sunlight. You can supplement with foods that contains vitamin D or even some dairy that is fortified with it.
The answer to the question about vitamin D will vary by individual and the only responsible answer may be to consult your health care professional. Anything in too high dose can be problematic as well, so finding a good balance by working with your doctor and running tests to find out where you are already is a step in the right direction.
When asking yourself “how much vitamin D should I take?”, one thing to evaluate is how much time you are spending outside and what type of foods or multi-vitamins do you already consume that contain vitamin D. If you are spending at least 15-20 minutes outside with good exposure to the sun during the day, you may not even need to supplement with diet or multi-vitamin. This may change in the wintertime depending on where you live.
Another question to ask yourself is or something you could evaluate would be whether or not you eat enough fish, various meat products and egg yolks that contain vitamin D. If your diet includes these items on a relatively regular basis, you may not need to worry about supplementation. Some dairy, including some milk products are “fortified” with vitamin D.
To really answer the question of “how much vitamin D should I take?“, you need to also evaluate whether or not you are experiencing any of the symptoms of low vitamin D. If you are experiencing any chronic fatigue, bone problems, such as pain or soreness, possibly overly sensitive bones or muscles, headaches, shortness of breath, a bone that breaks easily (fractures, etc) or anything that may be related to the calcium balance, such as teeth issues, you may be having a lack of vitamin D.
Working with your health care professional is the way to go for getting solid answers and real information specific to you and your situation. The general answer is that if you aren’t experiencing issues, you may not have a lack at all of vitamin D. If you are having some health problems, although a lack of vitamin D may not be the cause, it could be contributing. Check with your doctor and get real answers specific for you.
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