The importance of proper vitamin D intake is pretty well established these days, given the prevalence of our understanding of its ability to help boost our immune systems and even help prevent some serious diseases.
But getting enough vitamin D is a more complicated endeavor than just about any other vitamin given that its source is not actually in food, but rather the sun.
So how do we figure how much to supplement in our diets a vitamin that we normally do not get from our diets?
This is a question that may be leaving many people “underweight” in terms of how much vitamin D they actually have in their bodies and, consequently, may be leaving them vulnerable to the very illnesses they believe they are combating.
To that end, researchers from Creighton University set out to determine, in healthy men, how much vitamin D supplementation was needed simply to maintain serum levels of vitamin D in the winter months, when sunlight exposure is not prevalent.
After determining how much vitamin D the body used per day, then accounting for the amount used from body stores in the healthy men they studies, they determined that 500 IU was necessary for these men to simply to maintain the serum vitamin D levels reached during the summer and autumn months.
However, it is important to note that they studied a group of healthy men, so this is far short of a cross-section of the population. Therefore, it may be more important to note that these men required 3800 IU of vitamin D per day. This group of study subjects happened to get most of that from their body stores and food, leaving only a small gap that needed to be filled by supplementation.
That may not be the case for many people though.
So what can we take from this?
Well, for one, it appears that the better condition your body is in and the higher its stores of vitamin D, the lower the required amount of supplementation. In the case of these men, it was just 500 IU.
Now what if you are not a healthy person currently? Perhaps you are battling an illness, or you spent much of the summer months indoors, or both! How will you meet your body’s daily needs, if they are in fact upwards of 3800 IU per day, or perhaps even more?
In that case, you may need much more than 500 IU and the daily recommended intake may not be doing you any good.
But that all depends on your current status, which can not be determined by reading this article. That can only be properly determined by blood tests and consultations with your licensed health care practitioner.
So think about talking to your licensed health care practitioner today and see how you are doing in terms of your vitamin D needs. The benefits are immense so the last thing you want to do is waste your opportunity to get them.
By properly determining your vitamin D needs, you can make sure that you are getting all the benefits of vitamin D that you are looking for and, conversely, not taking more than you need either.
There are a lot of helpful supplements out there, so it’s probably a good idea that we get our money’s worth.
For more information on vitamin D, just click here.
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