In search of more health and wellness, many people rely on vitamin supplements to ensure they get enough of a specific vitamin to meet their needs and enhance their overall wellbeing. One vitamin that is often touted as having many health benefits is Vitamin D.
What Are the Health Benefits of Taking Vitamin D?
The most important benefit of taking Vitamin D is avoiding the problems associated with a deficiency of this vitamin. A lack of vitamin D hampers calcium and phosphorus absorption. Both minerals are essential for bone health. A lack of them may lead to weakened bones. Children with diets low in Vitamin D may develop Rickets. The symptoms of Rickets include stunted bone growth and a softening and weakening of the bones.
There is also evidence that higher levels of Vitamin D support heart health and may help to prevent certain cancers. More studies must be done to understand why Vitamin D aids in these areas.
Am I At Risk for Being Vitamin D Deficient?
For many adults, a healthy and varied diet, especially one that includes the consumption of milk that has had Vitamin D added to it and exposure to the sun's rays, provides them with enough Vitamin D to ensure healthy levels. Still, it is estimated that 41% of Americans don't get enough Vitamin D.
Talk to your doctor if you are concerned about your Vitamin D levels. A simple blood test will determine whether you should consider adding a Vitamin D supplement to your diet.
How much Vitamin D Should I Be Taking a Day?
When deciding how much Vitamin D, or any nutritional supplement, you should be taking a day, it is important to remember that it is possible to have too much of a good thing. Taking too much Vitamin D can lead to adverse side effects that may undo any benefits you were hoping to achieve by taking it in the first place.
Consuming too much Vitamin D can lead to a buildup of calcium in your blood, known as hypercalcemia. This can cause symptoms such as frequent urination, muscle weakness and nausea, and vomiting. It may also lead to the development of kidney or bladder stones which can be painful and, if left untreated, do significant damage to the kidneys, the bladder, or other areas of the urinary tract.
To avoid taking too much Vitamin D, follow the recommended daily allowances.
'Birth to 12 months' 10 mcg (400 IU)
'One year to 70 years' 15 mcg (600 IU)
'Over the Age of 70' 20 mcg (800 IU)