We all know how important Vitamin D is for our health. Countless studies have shown how Vitamin D regulates many key functions in the body like cell growth, immune function, and even calcium absorption, just to name a few. We also know many people find out they are deficient in Vitamin D when tested. Taking a Vitamin D supplement is the easiest and fastest way to increase those Vitamin D blood levels. However, even with supplementation, some still might not see blood levels rise enough. So how can you increase Vit D absorption?
VIT D Absorption.
Vitamin D is fat soluble. This means Vit D dissolves, mixes, and is best absorbed in fat. Taking Vitamin D with a high fat content meal will increase Vit D absorption dramatically. A study in 2015 showed that the presence of fat in a meal increased Vitamin D levels by 32% vs fat-free meals. Taking Vitamin D with the right type of meal can have a very large impact on your Vit D absorption.
This can get a little confusing when many believe most vitamins and supplements should be taken on an empty stomach for best absorption. This can be true for some nutrients but this recommendation is clearly not a one size fits all. Fat soluble and water soluble vitamins are structured differently and should be treated as such. In simplified terms, take water soluble vitamins with water and fat soluble vitamins with fat. Differentiating your vitamin types will allow you to consume them correctly and more efficiently.
Your dosage size can also effect your Vit D absorption. If you seem to be doing everything right but you still find your Vitamin D blood levels too low, you might want to consider increasing your dosage level or frequency. Before you double your dose, you want to make sure you are being as efficient as possible. Last thing you want to do is flush money down the toilet. Take Vit D with a meal that has the highest fat content to maximize absorption first. Then and only then, if levels are still too low, consider increasing dose size or frequency.
Just remember, Vitamin D can be stored in your fat tissue. So the initial dosage needed to reach desired levels might not be the same as your maintenance dose. Check your Vit D levels periodically so that you are still within your desired range.
Optimal Vitamin D levels are anywhere from 30 ng/ml to 100 ng/ml. Anything under 30 ng/ml is usually considered deficient. It is extremely hard to over dose on Vitamin D. However, there are some risks you should know about. Levels higher then 100 ng/ml showed increased risk for atrial fibrillation, an irregular heart beat. Also, levels this high for long periods of time can raise calcium blood levels to the extreme and create calcification. That is why it is important to periodically check Vitamin D levels with a simple blood test to see if you are within range. The vast benefits from Vit D greatly outweigh any rare side effects caused by excess levels. So no need to worry, just keep an eye on those levels.
To increase Vit D absorption, take with largest fat meal of the day. This will have the largest effect on your Vit D absorption and blood levels. Everything after that is pretty much common sense. Take blood tests periodically to monitor your progress and increase or decrease dosages based on blood result levels. Doing these simple things will enable you to manage optimal blood levels all year round and get the maximum health benefits from your Vit D.