Vitamin D Deficiency: How 1000 IU of Vitamin D Can Help?
The commonly recommended dosage for Vitamin D deficiency is 1000 IU. However, the dosage can differ depending on several conditions, like age, medical history, skin color, and geographical location.
Vitamin D, popularly known as the "Sunshine vitamin," packs numerous benefits for our body. From building immunity to strengthening bones, you can't get enough of the goodness that Vitamin D promises.
Reportedly, close to one billion people globally suffer from Vitamin D deficiency, with Asian countries leading the way. Also, 41% of the total population in the US shows acute Vitamin D deficiency, which is more prevalent in women than men. So, why do so many people worldwide suffer from Vitamin D? Is the recommended dosage of vitamin d3 1000 IU enough for most of us? How do you check for your Vitamin D levels?
This post answers all queries with valuable insights from research studies.
The Significance of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin and belongs to the same family as A, D, E, and K. All these vitamins are absorbed better with fats and stored across tissues and the liver.
As for Vitamin D, one can get two major forms from the diet, namely, Ergocalciferol (Vitamin D2) and cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3). The former is usually found in plant-based diets like mushrooms and the latter from food sources like egg yolks and salmon.
Nevertheless, the best form of Vitamin D3 is the sunshine, where the UV rays convert the cholesterol to Vitamin D3. Both cholecalciferol and Ergocalciferol make up Vitamin D in our bodies and have a significant role to play.
Vitamin D deficiency has often been linked to multiple disorders related to the heart, cancer, sclerosis, falls and fractures, and even death in extreme cases. While D2 and D3 are equally important, research studies have found the latter more effective in boosting Vitamin D levels. That’s why doctors often recommend vitamin d3 1000 iu dosage to most patients.
What's the Right Level of Vitamin D For Optimum Health?
The current medical guideline in the US recommends Vitamin D levels to be anywhere between 10-20 mcg or 400-800 IU. Thus, the standard vitamin d3 1000 iu dosage is ideal for almost 98% of healthy people. Nevertheless, some medical experts believe that the current dosage is too low and that our body might require more Vitamin D.
Several other studies have also concluded that an adult needs more than 1000 iu of Vitamin D3 for optimum functioning. Reportedly, a review of more than 17 studies showed how Vitamin D deficiencies were a precursor to developing symptoms of colorectal cancer.
Another supporting study concluded the recommended dosage of vitamin D3 1000 iu was effective in boosting overall Vitamin D levels in the blood within a normal BMI against people with a high BMI.
While the importance of Vitamin D supplementation can't be stressed enough, one must remember to stay within a dosage of 4,000 IU unless you're prescribed so.
Should You Consider Vitamin D Supplements?
Before you consider a Vitamin D supplement, it is essential to know your deficiency level. This can only be determined by a blood test with a Vitamin D marker called 25(OH)D.
The following are common values denoting the Vitamin D level in blood as sufficient, insufficient, high, and deficient.
- Anything between 20–50 ng/mL or 50–125 nmol/L is considered "Sufficient".
- Anything less than 12 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) or 30 nanomoles per liter (nmol/L) is considered "Deficient."
- Anything between 12–20 ng/mL or 30–50 nmol/L is considered "Insufficient."
- Anything over 50 ng/mL or 125 nmol/L is considered 'High."
While these blood parameters are standard, other studies might have different blood marker levels to determine Vitamin D deficiency. For instance, in some cases, a sufficient level of 25(OH)D is considered to be <30 ng/ml.
After determining your current 25(OH)D levels, your doctor might prescribe a supplement at a recommended vitamin d3 1000 iu dose. While supplements can help, one shouldn't depend on them alone to reverse Vitamin D deficiency.
Instead, getting enough sunshine, preferably early morning, can do wonders. On the diet part, there isn't any food source that can help replenish Vitamin D levels. Then again, here are some options that you can consider:
- Cooked Salmon
- Canned Tunas
- Cooked beef liver and
- Egg yolks
Who Are at Most Risk of Developing Vitamin D Deficiency?
There's no definite answer to the question. Anyone at any age can suffer from Vitamin D deficiency.
However, research studies indicate several cases where people with darker skin have shown a greater risk of developing Vitamin D deficiency. This is primarily due to melanin at work, which acts as a natural UV blocker. In dark-skinned people, the percentage of melanin is higher, thereby reducing the natural ability of the body to make Vitamin D3 when the sun touches the skin.
Besides, people who live farthest from the equator are equally deprived of sunshine. A 2007 study found a rising number of Vitamin B deficiency cases among Norwegians, especially during the winter months.
Also, older people who stay indoors most of the time or have difficulty moving outdoors can suffer from Vitamin D deficiency.
Undeniably, Vitamin D is indispensable for a healthy, functioning body. From poor bone health to decreased immunity, Vitamin D deficiency can often be the underlying reason.
If you've recently undergone a blood test and have found your 25(OH)D to be on the lower side, consider a Vitamin D3 1000 IU supplement. Nevertheless, sunshine remains the ultimate source of boosting Vitamin D levels in the blood. That's why it is important to get moving outdoors and spend at least thirty minutes under the sun every day.