Vitamin D supplements

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    Avatar of LEA

    Currently my husband has been diagnosed as being vitamin D deficient and has been prescribed supplements which he takes once a week. What is the optimum way for him to take them?

    Avatar of Melissa Marshall
    Melissa Marshall

    Vitamin D is such a beneficial vitamin that is vital to our overall health. It is involved in improving bone health, blood pressure, and immunity all while decreasing inflammation and reducing the risk of certain types of cancers, autoimmune and cardiovascular diseases (1,2). Vitamin D deficiency is now recognized as a very common deficiency, mainly due to lack of adequate sun exposure (1,3). The sun is the main source of vitamin D for our bodies, because there are very few foods that naturally provide sufficient amounts of bio-available vitamin D (1,3).

    A correlation has been found between decreased melatonin production while taking vitamin D supplements (4). Melatonin is a hormone that helps regulate our sleep cycles as well as helps us fall asleep (4). It may be recommended on the day your husband takes the supplement to be sure to take it in the morning as to not disrupt his nighttime melatonin production. It may also be best to take the supplement on the same day every week so his levels will remain consistent over time.

    Since vitamin d is the sunshine vitamin, be sure your husband is getting at least 15-20 minutes of sun during 10 am – 1 pm. This doesn’t mean tanning along the pool side, but just exposing the hands and face allows the body to produce sufficient vitamin d in that time frame (1,2,5).

    1. Holick M. Sunlight and vitamin D for bone health and prevention of autoimmune diseases, cancers and cardiovascular disease. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2004; 80(6):1678-1688.

    2. Kulie R, Groff A, Redmet J, Hounshell J, Schrager S. Vitamin D: An Evidence-Based Review. The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine. 2009; 22(6);698-706.

    3. Holick M, Chen T. Vitamin D deficiency: a worldwide problem with health consequences. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2008;87(4):1080-1086.

    4. Golan D. Staun-Ram E, Glass-Marmor L, Lavi I, Rozenberg O, et al. The influence of vitamin D supplementation on melatonin status in patients with multiple sclerosis. Brain, Behavior and Immunity. 2013;32:180-185.

    5. Moan J, Grigalavicius M, Dahlback A, Baturaite Z, Jezenieve A. Ultraviolet-radiation and health: optimal time for sun exposure. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology. 2014;810:423-8.

    Avatar of LEA

    Hi Melissa
    Thank you for your information. It will help tremendously especially the part about when he should take it. He already has trouble sleeping at night so thanks for the heads up.
    Vitamin D seems to be in the news a lot lately. I recently read an article that reported taking vitamin D supplements with a meal that contains fat enhances the absorption of the supplement. They conducted a study with 50 healthy men and women randomly assigned to one of three meal groups: one was fat free group, one was a meal with 30 % calories from fat with a 1 to 4 ratio of MUFA:PUFA group, and the last was with 30 % fat with the ratio of MUFA:PUFA was 4 TO 1 group. Those who had fat in their meal absorbed 32% greater Vitamin D compared to the fat free groups. Also they found that the difference ratios in MUFA and PUFA did not differ significantly. Good to know.
    Dawson-Dughes, B, Harris S, Lichtenstein A, Doinikowski G, et al. Dietary fat increases vitamin D-3 absorption. JAND Nov. 2014; 115 (2):225-230

    Avatar of Practice Better
    Practice Better

    Hello Melissa,

    I am really impressed with your thoughts that you have shared and yeah! Also agree with your statement. :)

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