How Vitamin D Works

Vitamin D Supplements
Everyone needs Vitamin D -- but how much? And if you're not getting it in your daily diet, how do you know where to go to get more Vitamin D? You can overdo Vitamin D, so caution is needed.

Vitamin D is actually the most toxic of all the vitamins. As little as ten times required amounts -- 50 mcg -- can be toxic to children. Symptoms of overdose include diarrhea, nausea, and headache. The most serious complication is the elevated blood calcium levels that too much vitamin D can cause. This condition can lead to calcium deposits in the kidneys, heart, and other tissues, causing irreversible damage. Find the best prices on vitamin D supplements.

Vitamin D supplements should not be taken in excess.
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Vitamin D supplements are often
recommended for babies being
breast fed and vegans.

Breast-fed babies routinely receive vitamin D supplements. Formula-fed infants, on the other hand, receive the recommended amount of vitamin D in commercial infant formula and do not require additional supplementation. Vegetarians who do not eat dairy or egg products or get enough sunlight should consider taking vitamin D supplements.

The standard treatment for rickets is a fairly high dose of vitamin D given under a doctor's supervision. Doctors give the active form when the conversion of vitamin D to the active dihydroxy form is inadequate, possibly due to liver or kidney disease.

Approximately 400 mcg daily is an appropriate amount for osteoporosis prevention.

Vitamin D is a crucial element of any healthy diet -- whether received by sun, or via food such as milk, which is now fortified with vitamin D or supplements, making sure you get enough is important. However, you can also take too much, which is dangerous. It's key to pay attention to where you are receiving Vitamin D from and how much you are getting and to watch for symptoms over vitamin D overdose, which include diarrhea, nausea, and headache.

In addition to Vitamin D, other supplements can be taken to improve diet. Some of these are listed below.
  • Vitamin E is an antioxidant in the cells and tissues of the body, combining with oxygen and destroying free radicals. Find out more about Vitamin E in How Vitamin E Works.
  • Vitamin B3 helps turn protein, carbohydrate and fat into energy. Learn more in How Vitamin B3 Works.
  • Vitamin K mostly affects the body's blood supply and the rate at which blood clots. How Vitamin K Works can tell you more about how this vitamin helps blood regulation in the body.
  • Folate functions as a coenzyme during many reactions in the body and has an important role in making new cells. Learn about this important element in How Folate Works.
  • Discovered only about 60 years ago, Biotin assists in several metabolic reactions. Learn more about it in How Biotin Works.

  • To learn about the many vitamins in our diet, how much you should be eating, and where to find them, go to our general Vitamins page.
  • Find the best prices on vitamin D supplements.
Jennifer Brett, N.D. is director of the Acupuncture Institute for the University of Bridgeport, where she also serves on the faculty for the College of Naturopathic Medicine. A recognized leader in her field with an extensive background in treating a wide variety of disorders utilizing nutritional and botanical remedies, Dr. Brett has appeared on WABC TV (NYC) and on Good Morning America to discuss utilizing herbs for health.

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.

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