Welcome to ReviewBox Brasil! Today we are going to talk about a vital substance for our health: vitamin D. Although it is synthesised in the body through exposure to the sun and, to a lesser extent, through the ingestion of certain foods, it is not uncommon to need vitamin D supplementation. But, amidst so many options, we will show you in this article what you should check before buying the ideal vitamin D.
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 Summary
- 3 The best Vitamin D: Our Picks
- 4 Buying Guide
- 4.1 What is vitamin D?
- 4.2 How to obtain vitamin D?
- 4.3 Are foods rich in Vitamin D sufficient as supplementation?
- 4.4 What can Vitamin D deficiency cause?
- 4.5 Who should use Vitamin D supplements?
- 4.6 What is the importance of Vitamin D in the elderly?
- 4.7 What are the side effects of Vitamin D?
- 4.8 What is the recommended dosage of Vitamin D supplementation?
- 4.9 What is the best time to consume the Vitamin D supplement?
- 4.10 What are the advantages and disadvantages of Vitamin D?
- 4.11 How much does it cost?
- 4.12 Where to buy it?
- 5 Purchase criteria: Factors to consider before buying Vitamin D
- Essential for bone health, the immune system and for preventing or treating various diseases, vitamin D is vital for human beings.
- In excess, however, this vitamin can be very harmful to the body.
- Therefore, we will show you how, when and how much vitamin D you should take and how to choose the best supplement.
The best Vitamin D: Our Picks
Those looking for vitamin D need the right dosage and proven quality. Knowing this, manufacturers are increasingly investing in customised options. Therefore, below we will present to you the best Vitamin D options available on the market today.
It may seem like a simple task to purchase Vitamin D. However, you need to consider many variables before you even start supplementing this substance. That is why we have created this Buying Guide with all the information you will need to make the best decision when buying Vitamin D.
What is vitamin D?
In general terms, vitamin D is necessary for the maintenance of the bone tissue and the immune system.
But the fact is that this vitamin controls 270 genes, including cells of the cardiovascular system. Vitamin D is even used to treat autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. Acquired mainly through exposure to sunlight, the fact is that between 60 and 80 per cent of Brazilians have Vitamin D insufficiency or deficiency. This is because, over the decades, people's habits have changed. Because of the high rates of skin cancer, the population has increased the use of sunscreens, besides staying longer in closed places. But because it is essential for the human body, the absence of vitamin D in the body can cause a series of complications and diseases. Therefore, in many cases, laboratory-produced supplementation is necessary for the prevention and treatment of a series of diseases.
How to obtain vitamin D?
To actually absorb vitamin D, you should sunbathe between 10am and 4.30pm. To ensure protection from the damaging effects of this period, experts warn that you just need to avoid prolonged sun exposure between 12pm and 3pm. You also need to keep your body free of clothes and sunscreen, since the amount of vitamin D that will be absorbed is proportional to the amount of skin that is exposed.
So to suppress your vitamin D needs while protecting your skin from the damaging effects of the sun, you should only use sunscreen for the recommended period of time to get the vitamin. It is also worth noting that even windows hinder the absorption of vitamin D. This is because ultraviolet rays of type B (UVB), which are able to activate the synthesis of vitamin D, cannot pass through glass. In general, exposure to the sun will guarantee good quantities of the substance. But this is not the rule. That's why it is important to be monitored by a doctor to check if supplementation is necessary. It is also worth remembering that vitamin D derived from sunlight is only effective in spring and summer. Therefore, during the rest of the year, especially in winter, vitamin D supplementation is recommended.
Are foods rich in Vitamin D sufficient as supplementation?
|Amount of vitamin D (IU)||Percent Daily Value of vitamin D|
|Cheddar cheese (50g)||12||0.12%|
What can Vitamin D deficiency cause?
- Depression: Low levels of vitamin D can be associated with cardiovascular and neurological diseases, including depression.
- Bone problems: Deficiency of this nutrient can cause rickets in childhood and osteoporosis in adulthood.
- Heart disease: Those who are deficient in this nutrient are twice as likely to suffer a heart attack.
- Diabetes: The lack of this substance favours the disease.
- Loss of muscle strength: The absence of the vitamin leads to loss of strength and increases the risk of falls and fractures.
- Autoimmune diseases: Vitamin D can contribute to the onset of some diseases and is already being used to treat autoimmune diseases.
- Cancer: A lack of vitamin D can lead to several types of cancer, including breast cancer, prostate cancer and melanoma.
- Autism: As vitamin D is important for brain development, it helps prevent autism during pregnancy.
- Respiratory problems and colds: Children with vitamin D deficiency are more likely to developrespiratory infections. Adults contract more colds.
It is important to emphasize that any type of treatment with vitamin D supplements should only be carried out by doctors. This is because, as we will see below, excess consumption can cause health problems.
Who should use Vitamin D supplements?
|Less than 10 ng/mL||Vitamin deficiency|
|Between 10 and 20 ng/mL||Vitamin insufficiency|
|Greater than 20 ng/mL||It is desirable for healthy population|
|Between 30 and 60 ng/mL||It is recommended for risk groups such as elderly, pregnant women, patients with osteomalacia, rickets, osteoporosis, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases|
What is the importance of Vitamin D in the elderly?
What are the side effects of Vitamin D?
Excess vitamin D can cause serious damage to health, especially to the kidneys. The excess only occurs with inadequate use of supplementation.
The sun and food do not cause an excess of vitamin D in the body. This is because, as we have seen, foods do not contain large amounts of the substance, and obtaining it through the sun's rays is regulated by the skin. That is, our skin stops the production of vitamin D when it reaches the necessary values. However, taking too much vitamin D through supplements without medical advice can be very dangerous. There is a risk of an increase in the concentration of calcium in the blood and this can affect the kidneys, which can even lose their function.
What is the recommended dosage of Vitamin D supplementation?
But as these values vary according to the profile of the person and the context of their health condition, overweight people, for example, can take up to 3,000 IU daily. On the other hand, people over the age of 70 may be recommended supplements of up to 3,500 IU per day.
What is the best time to consume the Vitamin D supplement?
Experts recommend that the best time to take the vitamin D supplement is during lunch. In addition, the meal should contain some type of fat, whether it is of vegetable or animal origin.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of Vitamin D?
In addition, Vitamin D prevents high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and strokes. Vitamin D is also a potent inhibitor of cancer cell growth, being able to even reduce metastasis. The only disadvantage of vitamin D is that, if consumed in excess (which can only occur through supplementation), it can cause serious damage to health, especially to the kidneys. Below you will find the main advantages and disadvantages of vitamin D:
How much does it cost?
Where to buy it?
Purchase criteria: Factors to consider before buying Vitamin D
As we have seen, the first step you should take before including vitamin D supplementation in your routine is to get your blood tested and have it monitored by your doctor. After that, you need to understand what differentiates one product from another among the many vitamin D options available in the market today. For this reason, we have selected the main factors that should be taken into account before buying vitamin D:
Below, we will explain each of these factors in detail for you to make the best decision and invest in the vitamin D that will actually meet your needs.
The first factor you should take into account before buying Vitamin D is the type of the substance used as an active ingredient. There are several types of vitamin D, but the two most important forms are vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) and vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). Vitamin D3 is of animal origin. It is synthesised in the skin from cholesterol after exposure to a reasonable amount of sunlight. Vitamin D2, on the other hand, is of plant origin and is only available from food. The fact is that vitamin D3 is much more effective than vitamin D2 when it comes to increasing blood levels of this vitamin in the body. In addition, vitamin D3 is stored in adipose tissue much more effectively than vitamin D2.
You can find vitamin D supplements made with both the active ingredient of D3 and D2. The latter is generally more relevant for those with dietary restrictions, such as vegetarians and vegans. Still, the most common is that you will find D3, since this type is considered more complete and effective. Below, you can see the main differences between vitamin D3 and vitamin D2:
|Vitamin D3||Vitamin D2|
|Recommendation||People without dietary restriction||Vegans and vegetarians|
Another factor that is important for you to check is the form in which vitamin D is presented. Vitamin D supplements are generally available in liquid or capsule form. The fact is that the right choice of this factor may or may not make it easier to take and absorb the vitamin. In general, children and the elderly benefit much more from the drop form because it is easier to digest. But it is also possible to find vitamin D injections, although more rarely. This form is used in cases where a person needs to replace the deficiency quickly.
Next, we recommend that you take into account the concentration of vitamin D in each dose of the supplement. This value (measured in IU, international unit) varies enormously depending on the brand manufacturer. Ideally, together with your doctor, you should define the recommended daily dose you need to consume. On the market, you can opt for products containing between 200 IU and 500 IU of vitamin D in each capsule. But if you opt for the liquid version of the supplement, this concentration is usually 200 IU of vitamin D in each drop.
It is also essential that you take into consideration the quantity of capsules or the total in millilitres of Vitamin D in each bottle. This choice will mainly reflect on the practicality of use and the final price of the product. But this will also depend on your doctor's prescription. To give you an idea, you can opt for Vitamin D packs that contain between 30 and 300 tablets. For vitamin D in liquid form, you can choose from bottles containing between 20 ml and 150 ml. (Source of the highlighted image: puhhha /123RF)