While the benefits of vitamin D supplementation are quite extensive, this doesn't mean that we can consume the vitamin in excess. Experts suggest we adhere to recommended daily doses to maximize supplementation benefits while maintaining safety. So, let's find out what the recommended daily dosage of vitamin D is:
Recommended Daily Dose of Vitamin D Explained
Unlike other vitamins, which have a pretty straightforward recommended daily dose, vitamin D doses differ depending on several factors, one of the primary ones being the source of the vitamin D and the user's age.
One of the most common sources of vitamin D is the sun. Research suggests exposing the face, arms, hands, and legs to the sun daily for around 5–30 minutes between 10am and 4pm will help us get required amounts of vitamin D.
However, these times may differ depending on the season, skin tone, and age. The data shows that dark-skinned and older individuals require longer hours in the sun (the uppermost time frame) in general. In dull months like winter, everyone using the sun as a source of vitamin D would need longer exposure.
The exact amount of vitamin D gained in these time frames varies from study to study, so we are unsure of the exact milligram amount received here. However, experts pin it down to being a safe and effective dose.
If sun exposure isn't your ideal fit, you can get the recommended doses of vitamin D from supplements and foods. These sources typically have the amount of vitamin D they contain listed on the back of packages making dosing easy.
The NIH (National Institutes of Health) recommends the following daily levels of vitamin D:
MCG and IU are common units of measurement seen when discussing vitamin doses. As I mentioned earlier, these would be present at the back of vitamin D food and supplement sources. So, you can refer to this when aiming to fulfill your recommended daily dose.
When Would Recommended Daily Doses be Altered
While the NIH clearly outlines recommended daily doses according to different age groups, these numbers can be slightly altered depending on certain factors. Let's look at some of them below:
People living in regions with limited sunlight or minimal sun exposure may require higher vitamin D doses.
Body Weight and Body Fat
Those with higher body weight or body fat (overweight or obese) typically require higher daily doses of vitamin D.
Certain medical conditions (like malabsorption disorders, liver or kidney diseases, and gastrointestinal surgeries) can impact how the body absorbs and uses vitamin D. People with such conditions may require higher vitamin D doses or specific supplementation strategies (Vitamin D infused diet+supplements).
Individuals taking medications like anticonvulsants, glucocorticoids, and antifungal medications, may require higher vitamin D doses to compensate for the interference.
The Final Word
Adherence to recommended daily doses is a surefire way to get the best results from vitamin D supplementation. It's important to remember that excessive dosing does not equate to quick results. Instead, it triggers side effects that can be most uncomfortable and unbeneficial. We should stick to recommended doses unless certain factors warrant dosage alterations.