The vitamin D calculator shows you your recommended vitamin D intake according to the Endocrine Society's clinical practice guideline. It will allow you to find out how much vitamin D per day you should consume to stay healthy.
Read the article below to find out more about vitamin D, the difference between vitamin D vs. D3, the effects of its deficiency, and how to calculate vitamin D dosage.
What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a unique vitamin as it can be made in the skin from exposure to sunlight, and this mechanism is the major natural source of this vitamin for humans. Only few foods are good sources of vitamin D, mainly oil-rich fish (such as salmon, mackerel, and herring). Other foods such as milk, margarine, and breakfast cereals are be fortified with this compound in some countries.
Vitamin D vs D3
Vitamin D comes in two forms: D2 (ergocalciferol) and D3 (cholecalciferol). Vitamin D that comes from the skin or diet is biologically inactive and requires hydroxylation in the liver and then in the kidneys to form calcitriol - the biologically active form of vitamin D.
What is vitamin D good for?
Calcitriol circulates as a hormone in the blood, which has many different functions:
- It plays a major role in regulating the concentration of calcium and phosphate;
- It promotes the healthy growth and remodelling of the bone;
- It reduces inflammation;
- It stimulates insulin production;
- Moreover, it is estimated that vitamin D may be responsible for regulating up to 200 genes that may facilitate many of the pleiotropic health benefits.
What is vitamin D deficiency?
Two vitamin D metabolites (25-hydroxyvitamin D or 25(OH)D) are measured in serum to determine the patient's vitamin D status, where:
Vitamin D deficiency is defined as a 25(OH)D below 20 ng/ml (50 nmol/liter).
Vitamin D insufficiency as a 25(OH)D of 21–29 ng/ml (52.5 – 72.5 nmol/liter).
Following these definitions, it has been estimated that 20 –100% of U.S., Canadian, and European older adults and women are vitamin D deficient. Children and adults are at equally high risk for vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency worldwide. The major cause of vitamin D deficiency is inadequate exposure to sunlight. Moreover high BMI and administration of some medications (e.g. corticosteroids ) is also associated with higher risk of vitamin D deficiency.
Consequences of vitamin D deficiency:
- Abnormalities in calcium, phosphorus, and bone metabolism, e.g., rickets in children, osteopenia and osteoporosis in adults; and
- Muscle weakness.
How to calculate vitamin D dosage?
Various institutions have proposed different recommendations for the amount of daily intake of vitamin D. The recommended dose may vary according to:
- Pregnancy or lactation;
- Weight status;
- Skin colour (fairer skin synthesis vitamin D easier); and
- Serum vitamin D level.
In general, if you have fair skin, try to get at least 10 minutes of noon sunshine per day to meet your vitamin D needs. If you have darker skin, this amount changes to 30 minutes.
Vitamin D calculator for adults and children
Our vitamin D calculator for adults and children uses Endocrine Society Clinical Practice Guideline's recommended intakes of vitamin D. You can find two different recommendations:
- Recommended dietary intakes of vitamin D for patients at risk for vitamin D deficiency; and
- Recommended intakes of vitamin D for treatment of vitamin D deficiency.
↪️ You will be able to see the later only if you know your vitamin D serum level and when it turns out that you are vitamin D deficient based on your result.
The dose of at least 1500 – 2000 IU may be needed to raise the blood level of vit. D to consistently above 30 ng/ml.