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7 things to know before taking supplements

Known as “sunshine game” Because of its supposed ability to mimic the influence of sunshine on health, vitamin D supplements are a billion dollar industry.

People take vitamin D supplements for various reasons, mental and physical. Some take it if they feel sad, e.g. As a result of winter blues. Others take it because vitamin D allegedly plays a role in bone health.

But before you get to the pillbox, you need to know these seven facts about vitamin D supplements and how they work.

What is vitamin D and how does it affect health?

Vitamin D appears to enable the body to absorb calcium and phosphate ̵

1; both of which are important for bone health and muscle function. The vitamin affects cell metabolism and growth as well as the function of the overall immune system. Vitamin D is also associated with a healthy gut microbiome.

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that mothers who breastfeed their babies supplement their babies with vitamin D and that those who feed their babies’ infant formula also use a formula that contains vitamin D. This is because too little vitamin D is associated with rickets, a condition characterized by soft or weak bones.

In addition to bone health, there is evidence that vitamin D also plays a role in cancer. One study found that vitamin D supplementation reduces cancer mortality by 25 percent. The idea is that vitamin D can affect tumor biology, making them less aggressive and less likely to spread.

Vitamin D deficiency can be caused by various problems, such as insufficient sun exposure, digestive problems and kidney problems. Symptoms may include mood swings, bone loss, fatigue, and muscle, joint, and bone pain.

Does Vitamin D Affect Mental Health?

Different experts have different perspectives on this. As Ivise versa previously reported, Kathleen Holton, an associate professor at American University and a nutrition neuroscientist, says that low vitamin D can interfere with normal neurotransmission and in turn can lead to mental illness.

Others are more careful about drawing conclusions. Margherita Cantorna, medical microbiologist and immunologist at Pennsylvania State University, recounts Vise versa that human brain cells have vitamin D receptors, suggesting that vitamin D is important. But there have not been enough studies in humans to determine what exactly it means for mental health, she says.

Where does vitamin D occur naturally?

Vitamin D is found in certain foods, including fatty fish, mushrooms, eggs, and foods that have been artificially supplemented to contain vitamin D, such as milk. The body also produces its own vitamin D when exposed to sunlight.

This is how it works that when sunlight touches our skin, we produce vitamin D through the conversion of cholesterol into our skin cells, according to researchers at Yale University.

Getting out in the sunshine can increase your body’s natural vitamin D production.LukaTDB / E + / Getty Images

Do Vitamin D Supplements Work?

There is a lot of debate about vitamin D supplementation and about the role of vitamin D in human health.

Vitamin D is most famous for promoting bone health, but a recent scientific review published in 2018 concluded that vitamin D supplementation did nothing to increase bone mineral density or to reduce bone fractures in people who already had normal vitamin D levels.

But according to the National Institutes of Health, vitamin D supplements are an effective way to raise vitamin D content – if necessary.

“Whether vitamin D supplements ‘work’ depends on whether you are deficient, low or deficient in vitamin D,” says Paul Thomas, a nutritionist working for the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. Vise versa.

“If you get enough vitamin D from food and sun, vitamin D supplements should not be expected to provide additional benefits.”

Thomas says the recommended daily intake of vitamin D from all sources is 15 mcg (600 IU) for people aged 14-70 years.

“Sufficient [blood] levels vary from 50-125 nmol / L or 20-50 ng / ml, depending on how the results are reported, ”explains Thomas.

How can I raise my vitamin D levels?

People do not tend to get enough vitamin D from food alone. Rather, the main natural source of vitamin D comes from exposure to sunlight. But as people spend more time inside and use sunscreen to ward off skin cancer, vitamin D production catalyzed by the sun decreases. According to a 2017 study, this may mean that more people have vitamin D deficiency compared to earlier times in human history.

The shorter, colder winter days can also reduce our time in sunlight and thus reduce vitamin D production, prompting some experts and doctors to recommend supplements throughout the winter months.

The Cleveland Clinic says that 10-15 minutes of sunlight exposure on the face, legs, arms or back a few times a week can provide adequate vitamin D.

If you prefer to take one tablet every day, vitamin D supplements are often affordable and are generally considered safe, but the recommended doses vary widely depending on the brand. Whatever you think may be best, talk to your doctor before taking a pill.

Vitamin D supplementation is a billion dollar industry.athima tongloom / Moment / Getty Images

How long does it take for supplements to kick in?

The good news is that it is easy to quickly increase your levels of vitamin D to healthy levels.

“Your vitamin D levels in the blood must rise within a few days of increasing your intake of this nutrient, regardless of the source – supplements, food or [adequate] sun, ”says Thomas.

What effects should I notice?

Here’s the catch: Unless you have rickets or another extreme symptom of vitamin D deficiency, you probably won’t notice the difference at all.

If you are very deficient, Thomas says, “any bone pain and muscle spasms and spasms should subside.”

“For the vast majority of people, even those with low but not deficient levels, extra vitamin D does not take any short-term noticeable benefits such as feeling better, having more energy or improving mental focus.”

To get these kinds of benefits, you might want to look better beyond the pill box and to other health-promoting activities.

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