Vitamin D (Cholecalciferol) | Deficiencies, Excesses, and Recommendations

Vitamin D (Cholecalciferol)

Vitamin d is naturally present in only a few foods. Fortified foods provide most of the vitamin d in the American diet. Vitamin d is produced in the body while skin is exposed to direct sunlight, by using our body’s cholesterol.

Despite this readily available source of vitamin d, at least mild deficiency is a common problem in many populations, particularly in older adults.

Vitamin d is essential for bone mineralization and calcium regulation. It is also necessary for promoting a proper immune system and for healthy cellular function. More recently, this nutrient was determined to be important for brain function.

What Can Happen If I Don’t Get Enough Vitamin D?

  • Bone pain
  • Muscle weakness
  • Rickets (children)
  • Osteomalacia (adults)
  • Increased risk of cancer
  • Cognitive impairment in older adults
  • Increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease

Vitamin d deficiency may not be the result of an inadequate intake of vitamin d. There are other factors that may affect its absorption or utilization:

  • Dark skin
  • Gastric bypass surgery
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (malabsorption)
  • Age (skin loses its ability to create vitamin d from sunlight)
  • Breastfed infants from mothers with low levels of vitamin d may have a vitamin d deficiency.
  • Limited sun exposure (overuse of sun screening products can also be counter productive)

What Can Happen If I Get Too Much Vitamin D?

  • May increase risk of falls
  • Bone problems, including bone pain
  • Nausea, vomiting and poor appetite
  • Elevated blood calcium levels (dangerous)
  • Calcium stones in kidneys, or kidney failure
  • Stomach pain,poor appetite, nausea, vomiting, constipation or diarrhea

Vitamin d has been shown to be extremely toxic when taking 60,000 IU per day over several months. R

Although rare, because of its fat solubility, it is possible for this vitamin to build up and reach toxic levels in the body. Vitamin d blood levels should be tested along with your other routine blood work.

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Get 15 minutes of direct sunlight daily. Eat fatty fish such as salmon, tuna or mackerel. A little extra vitamin d can be obtained from beef, liver and egg yolks. The only plant source of vitamin d are mushrooms, and this is not a significant amount. Sunlight is truly the best natural source!

Little Change Recommended Brand

NOW Supplements, Vitamin D-3
NOW Supplements, Vitamin D-3
As more people avoid sun exposure, vitamin D supplementation becomes even more necessary to ensure that your body receives an adequate supply.
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Potential Life Enhancements

  • May reduce risk of diabetes
  • May reduce risk of depression R
  • May reduce risk of heart disease
  • May help reduce risk of hip fracture in older adults
  • May help reduce the risk of several types of cancer
  • May reduce risk of autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS), rheumatoid arthritis and lupus
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