Vitamin D Supplementation: Get It Right
Vitamin D has been subjected to a lot of scientific research over the past couple of decades. The health benefits of this vitamin are wide ranging and many people have cottoned on to this trend and are keen to get the maximum benefit from supplementation. The fat soluble vitamin is not naturally present in many foods. The best source of vitamin D is the flesh of fatty fish (such as mackerel and salmon) and fish liver oils. There is also a small amount of the vitamin in cheese, egg yolks and beef liver. Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption in the gut and is also needed for bone growth. Being sufficient in vitamin D helps to prevent rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. Other roles of vitamin D include immune and neuromuscular function and inflammation reduction.
In a recent journal from the Journal of the American Medical Association, it was discovered that amongst 40,000 adults, daily vitamin D supplementation of 1000 International Units (IU) or more increased from 0.3% in 1999-2000 to 18.2% in 2013-2014.
On the flipside, the study’s findings also showed an intake of 4000 IU or more had increased by more than 3.2% in 2013-2014 when compared to 2005-2006.
The safe daily upper limit of vitamin D is currently set by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies at 4000 IU. Frequently supplementing above this limit is thought to carry a number of health risks including blood vessel calcification, which can lead to heart, liver and other organ damage. In the height of winter and with the lack of sunlight, it’s important to be aware of getting enough vitamin D through food and supplementation as deficiencies still remain widely reported, however overdosing is not the solution. For the majority of people, a routine daily supplementation of 1000 IU should suffice, but if you want a more precise figure you should consult a physician.