Ddrops may not do it by diet alone! Canada's Food Guide has recognized that vitamin D is the only nutrient which adults over 50 cannot rely on diet alone to receive their recommended daily dose.
We shouldn't do it by sun alone! The Canadian Dermatology Association says "In order to lessen the health risks associated with skin cancer yet still reap the known and possible benefits of vitamin D, the CDA recommends people concerned about vitamin D levels take 1,000 units of vitamin D supplements a day. These are safe to use and equally effective as the sun in maintaining healthy levels of this vitamin in the body while avoiding the risk of getting skin cancer."
Ddrops are the sunshine vitamin in just one drop! Ddrops offers people an alternative to taking conventional pills or capsules. Two formats allow adults to get just the right amount of vitamin D Ddrops 1000 IU and Ddrops Booster 600IU.
Vitamin D, originally called antinachite A (a fat-soluble accessory food factor A), is truly a vitamin ! Vitamins are organic micronutrients whose lack in the diet may cause disease. Vitamin D is converted to an active form (a-25,dihyrdoxyvitamin D3 or 1,a(OH)2D3) within the body (specifically the liver and kidneys). When skin is exposed to sunlight (specifically UVB radiation), vitamin D3 is made within the body. Today, concerns over risk of skin cancer with direct sun exposure suggest it should be managed or avoided and many recommend that vitamin D be obtained with intake of vitamin D through diet and/or supplements (Sources of Vitamin D).
Types of Vitamin D
Vitamin D comes in 2 major forms, known as vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) and vitamin D3(cholecalciferol). Vitamin D3 is a form that is naturally produced in the skin after sunlight exposure or vitamin D is taken in dietary foods. Vitamin D3 is the preferred form for supplementation because it is more effective in raising serum 25(OH) D levels in humans. All Ddrops brand products contain naturally sourced vitamin D3. Vitamin D2 is sometimes used as a supplement, it is about half as active in humans and is produced from plant and/or fungal sources.
Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is naturally produced in the skin of animals and humans after sunlight exposure and also contained in supplements and fortified food supplements and fortified foods. Cholecalciferol is the raw material needed by the body to produce a hormone. This form is not yet active in the body, and must be transformed by the liver and kidneys to the active hormone.
Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) is the form that is produced from plant and/or fungal sources. It is sometimes used to fortify foods or used as a supplement. Vitamin D2 is about one half as potent in the human body as vitamin D3and still requires activation by the liver and kidneys.
25-hydroxyvitain D or 25(OH)D3(calcidiol) is produced form vitamin D automatically by the liver. It is the most abundant form of vitamin D in the blood and is the best measure of vitamin D status. Serum 25(OH) D3 is measured in blood tests to determine a person's vitamin D nutritional status vitamin D nutritional status. This form is actually not active in the body, but it is an intermediate metabolite.
1a-25,dihyrdoxyvitamin D3 or 1,a(OH)2D3 is an active form within the body made in the kidneys from circulating 25(OH)D3 in the blood. Blood levels of1,a(OH)2D3 are not good markers of vitamin D deficiency and tests are often difficult to interpret. When 1,a(OH)2D3 binds with the vitamin D receptor (VDR) it acts like a switch that turns on a number of genetic activities. Researchers have discovered over 200 target genes for 1,a(OH)2D3 . Most organs in the body contain VDRs and are responsive to 1,a(OH)2D3. Most organs in the body contain VDRs and are responsive to 1,a(OH)2D3.
Vitamin D Deficiency
Medical professionals determine whether somebody is vitamin D deficient or not by doing a simple blood test. Experts define vitamin D deficiency in terms of blood levels. They look for 25-hydroxyvitamin D or 25(OH)D3 or 25(OH)D (calcidiol) - the major metabolite of vitamin D3 found in the bloodstream. Some people lack vitamin D more than others, therefore experts have developed a 'vitamin D nutrition status' scale. Circulating levels of 25- hydroxyl-Vitamin D or 25(OH)D3 by vitamin D nutrition status1
Conversion Factor: ng/mL x 2.5075
Sources of Vitamin D
Sunlight and ArtificialUVB rays:
- A total of 15 minutes of summer noonday sun or artificial UVB rays (tanning beds)on both sides of the bare body will provide 10,000 IU of vitamin D in the bloodstream of most fair-skinned adults
- The Canadian Dermatology Association and Health Canada advise against direct exposure of sunlight, especially for infants
- The Canadian Cancer Society recommends to keep babies less than 1 year old out of direct sun
- The use of sunscreen with a sun protection factor of eight reduces the cutaneous production of vitamin D by 97.5% in adults
- Dark-skinned infants are particularly at risk for developing rickets as they require increased exposure to sunlight to produce the same amount of vitamin D compared to light-skinned infants.
- Sunburns are associated with skin cancer (malignant melanoma) and regular UV light exposure increases the risk of non-melanoma skin cancers and ages the skin
Too Much Vitamin D
Vitamin D can be harmful if taken in excess. Vitamin D intoxication is extremely rare but can be caused by accidental or intentional intake of high doses of vitamin D. The amount of vitamin D that causes vitamin D toxicity is more than 4 times the amount that adults get naturally through exposure to sunshine. Most reports of vitamin D toxicity have been as a result of mistakes in vitamin D manufacturing facilities, or errors in medically dosing with prescription vitamin D.
Symptoms and consequences of Vitamin D toxicity:
- High doses of vitamin D can lead to high levels of calcium in the bloodstream. This is known as hypercalcemia.
- Hypercalcemia is an elevated calcium level in the blood. (Normal range: 9-10.5 mg/dL or 2.2-2.6 mmol/L). It is usually an elevated laboratory finding with few symptoms. Therefore, people with hypercalcemia may not feel that anything is wrong and may only find out about their condition with a lab test which can be prescribed by a physician.
- Even though hypercalcemia may not have noticeable symptoms, there are important consequences that need to be considered. For example, high levels of calcium can result in anorexia, chills, constipation, confusion, depression, fever, fatigue, increased urination, nausea, pancreatitis, thirst, vomiting and weight loss.
- True vitamin D toxicity happens when high levels of calcium go undetected, and calcium begins to build up in organs, such as the kidneys, causing renal or bladders stones.
- In order to produce hypercalcemia, most adults would have to take more than 10,000 IU daily for many months or years. Cases of hypercalcemia while taking 10,000 daily for several months have not been reported in published literature.
- Most patients with vitamin D toxicity recover fully after discontinuing the vitamin D supplement and avoiding sun exposure for a certain amount of time.
How much is too much?
The following summarize the facts for adults:
- The current safety limit for vitamin D supplements in adults is 2,000 IU (50ug)
- Review of the literature shows the lowest dose of vitamin D proven to cause toxicity in adults is 40,000 IU/day for many months
- Farmers and lifeguards, who are exposed to long periods of sunlight would manufacture 10,000 IU of vitamin D in their skin daily without the use of sunscreen.
- Some experts believe that the official safety limit is very conservative and not based on current evidence
The following summarizes the facts for infants:
"The Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) for vitamin D for infants up to one year of age is set at 25ug (1,000 IU) per day which is based on studies examining the highest intake at which no adverse affects were observed on linear growth." Note that the UL is defined as the highest continuing daily intake of a nutrient that is likely to pose no health risks for almost all individuals.
Overall, it is best to seek individual advice from an informed healthcare profession who is familiar with vitamin D and your health status. Also, follow the directions on the label of products and notify your healthcare provider if you have concerns.
How much vitamin D should you be taking? There is no easy answer because nobody really knows how much vitamin D humans really require. Making sure that you and your family members have enough vitamin D is often an individualized approach and depends on a number of factors, including the time spent outdoors in summer sunshine, the types of food in the diet, and other factors. However, based on scientific data, various medical associations have provided some guidelines.
This website cannot make or endorse any recommendations. The best advice and answers come from your physician or other healthcare professional. Your physician may require a blood test to review your current blood levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D or 25(OH)D3 (calcidiol) - the major metabolite of vitamin D3 to determine your vitamin D nutritional status. The recommendations are summarized below.
Certain people are more at risk of vitamin D deficiency than others. Oftentimes, there is no way to change the factors that are putting these people at greater risk.
The National Institute of Health (NIH) identifies the following groups at risk of vitamin D deficiency:
- Breastfed Infants. Human breast milk contains is considered the most perfect nutrition for infants. However, it contains only trace amounts of vitamin D. This is reason for the long-standing recommendations for breastfed infants to receive a vitamin D supplement.
- Adults over 50 yrs of age. Research shows that older individuals have a greater risk of hip fractures and this is often associated with low blood levels of 25(OH)D.
- Many people spend the majority of the day indoors at work, school or other activities, limiting their time in direct sunshine. This also includes people who live in northern climates, and climates that do not receive sunshine. This also includes individuals who may wear robes and coverings for religious reasons.
- People with dark skin. Darker skin pigmentation means that it takes longer (sometimes 4 times longer depending on the level of skin color) for these individuals to make vitamin D in the skin.
- People who have difficult digesting fat. Impaired fat absorption is associated with a variety of medical conditions including some forms of liver disease, cystic fibrosis, and Crohn's disease. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, and dietary sources of vitamin D may be difficult to absorb for people with these conditions.
- Obesity and people who have undergone gastric bypass surgery. Experts suspect that the relationship between obesity and lower vitamin D levels may be due to storage of vitamin D in excess body fat.