Let’s break down the hows and whys of supplementing with Vitamin D, a vitamin that gets a lot of attention during the winter months because that tends to the time of year when most people come up short.
Vitamin D is a secosteroid responsible for intestinal absorption of calcium and phosphate. For this reason, the supplement calcium often comes coupled with Vitamin D for better absorption. While Vitamin D can be found in food, it is also made in the body. When you expose your arms and legs to the sunshine for about 20 minutes, you’ve just met your Vitamin D quota. During the winter (and potentially during the summer with copious sunscreen use), most folks Vitamin D levels tend to plummet. Having top-notch Vitamin D levels can lend protection from everything to Type II diabetes to certain types of cancers, not to mention giving you an edge when it comes to losing weight.
How Much Vitamin D Should You Take?
The Adequate Intake recommendation of this vitamin increases as you age, so pay special attention to your age group here:
Ages 19-50: 200 IU
Ages 51-70: 400 IU
Over age 70: 600 IU
IU stands for International Units. Please note that most experts agree that these recommendations are incredibly conservative. Not sure if you are deficient in this vitamin? Ask your doctor for a Vitamin D deficiency panel. The issues surrounding deficiencies in this vitamin are gaining awareness & he/she should be able to set you up pretty quick with a test to see where you’re at.
Now, until I nailed down the time of day to take for taking my Vitamin D supplement, I struggled. I was immediately constipated by the supplement, which I have also learned can be a sign of toxicity. Given, this was during late summer, early fall & I probably was taking on a little too much D. You can become constipated from Vitamin D because, since it increases the absorption of calcium, it will also move water away from the gut & make your stool much harder. Coupling Vitamin D with my Hair Skin & Nails vitamin (which contains a healthy dose of magnesium, a stool softener) I was able to bypass this frustrating side effect.
You can buy Vitamin D VERY cheaply. It costs next to nothing to get a reputable brand like Carlson’s.Unless you are a vegetarian, you should select a Vitamin D3, not a Vitamin D2. The D3 has a much higher absorption rate. You may also want to take your Vitamin D with a meal that contains some fat, to boost absorption of this fat-soluble vitamin even more.
Questions about Vitamin D? Leave them in the comments below or email me!
North Texas Fitness