WHAT IS VITAMIN D?
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is vital for bone and tooth health. Researches also show that it plays a role in immune function, mood regulation, and weight loss. Also called the “sunshine vitamin”, the human body can produce vitamin D with the help of UVB rays. If you live in an area with limited sunlight, getting a sufficient dose of this vitamin from certain foods or supplements is vital.
WHAT IS VITAMIN D GOOD FOR?
Vitamin D promotes intestinal absorption of calcium, which is vital for normal bone remineralisation. Therefore, it also helps prevent osteoporosis and fractures— particularly in the elderly. If you’re not getting enough sun exposure, it’s best to take calcium supplements with vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol).
The Journal of the Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons published a study that shows vitamin D's effect on muscle strength. Findings reveal that higher serum levels of this nutrient may reduce the risk of injuries and improve sports performance.
IS IT SAFE TO TAKE VITAMIN D SUPPLEMENTS LONG TERM?
In the past decade, numerous studies have pointed out the health risks of Vitamin D insufficiency. The findings have convinced the public to take supplements and undergo Vitamin D testing, which is recommended for a small population only.
Since the body consistently needs vitamin D, it’s unlikely to experience side effects with appropriate doses.
HOW MUCH VITAMIN D DO YOU NEED?
Most people would be fine with 10 micrograms of vitamin D per day. If you’re taking a supplement, never go above 100 micrograms (4000 IU), as it can lead to hypercalcemia. This dose applies to all adults (including those breastfeeding and pregnant women) and children between ages 11 and 17.
Children between 1 and 10 years old only need 50 micrograms (2,000 IU) daily. The dose for infants shouldn’t exceed 25 micrograms (1,000 IU) a day. Individuals with medical conditions should consult their doctor before taking a vitamin D supplement.