A Guide to Vitamin D Supplements

A woman reading the label on a supplement bottle.

What is Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that your body can store for long periods of time. It plays a crucial role in various physiological functions within the body, and comes in two main forms: vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) and vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) Of the two main forms, D3 is more effective at raising vitamin D levels in your blood. 1 

 

Why is Vitamin D Important?

One of the primary functions of vitamin D is to regulate calcium and phosphorus absorption, which is essential for maintaining healthy bones and teeth. It aids in the formation and maintenance of a strong skeletal system. 2  Additionally, vitamin D is known to play a role in modulating the immune system. It helps the body fight off infections and may contribute to reducing the risk of chronic diseases.3 Some studies suggest a potential link between vitamin D levels and mood regulation. 4  Adequate vitamin D levels may have a positive impact on mental well-being. 

Vitamin D deficiency is extremely common, with over 41% of US residents being deficient. 5  While vitamin D2 is found in some food sources, however, vitamin D3 is primarily produced in the skin in response to sunlight. 6 7  Because of this, it can be difficult for many people to get adequate vitamin D, especially in the winter months when sun exposure is limited. Opting to take a supplement can be a convenient way to get sufficient vitamin D. Additionally, people with darker melanated skin may need higher levels of sun exposure to produce sufficient vitamin D levels. 8 9 

Foods That Contain Vitamin D

  • Mushrooms
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Herring
  • Cod Liver Oil
  • Egg yolk
  • Fortified orange juice
  • Fortified milk 10

 

How to Choose Vitamin D Supplements

It is crucial to choose the right product when shopping for vitamin D or any other supplements. For those new to dietary supplements, selecting a reliable and high-quality product can pose a challenge due to limited FDA regulations on these products. 11  Prioritize brands that undergo third-party testing for added assurance. If you are having trouble determining which brand to choose, consider consulting with a naturopathic doctor who can provide guidance towards trusted products with thorough testing.

 

What Dosage of Vitamin D Do I Need?

The daily recommended dietary intake (RDI) is as follows:

  • 400 IU (10 mcg) for infants 0 to 12 months old
  • 600 IU (15 mcg) for children and adults 1 to 70 years old
  • 800 IU (20 mcg) for adults over 70 years old
  • 800 IU (20 mcg) for those who are pregnant or breastfeeding 12

It is important to be aware that the RDI for vitamin D is a guideline, not a one-size-fits all rule. A naturopathic doctor will work with you to recommend an appropriate dosage for you based on your diet, lifestyle, and symptoms.

Please note, excess vitamin D can be toxic. Consult with your doctor or ND to test baseline levels and regularly assess your labs when on vitamin D therapy. 

 

The information presented on this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  Always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

 

 

Learn More About Becoming a Naturopathic Doctor

Receive information from the accredited schools of your choice located across North America!

Comments are closed.
Join the Naturopathic Community!

Never miss our latest news, resources, and event invites. Perfect for future students, current students, and professionals in the naturopathic field.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Upcoming Events

August 2024
September 2024
October 2024
No event found!