Vitamin D is an extremely important vitamin, which is also a hormone. Thus, it is the only vitamin that man can produce himself, under certain conditions. However, sun exposure is often insufficient to synthesize sufficient amounts of vitamin D. On the other hand, the presence of this vitamin in food is obscure.
In addition, more about the most important tips on vitamin D supplementation – when it is best to take it and how to maximize its absorption (and consequently activity) in the body.
Many factors can affect the effectiveness of a supplement. In addition to the dosage, important about this supplement are the timing and the way it is taken.
Vitamin D supplementation is a necessity
Getting enough vitamin D is essential for our health. As more research suggests, its most important functions include adequate immunity, bone health, cancer prevention, and so on.
However, this vitamin is found in a small number of foods, so meeting the needs for it is a challenge. Especially if we do not have sufficient exposure to sunlight.
For obese, older people and people with darker skin tone, the risk of deficiency of this important vitamin is even higher. According to research in the United States, the country with the most meticulous statistics, as many as 42% of the adult population is deficient in vitamin D.
Supplementation is an easy and effective way to make up for a shortfall. Doses up to 1000IU should be safe for everyone (adults). However, it is best to consult your doctor before moving on to any supplementation, especially in the long term. In addition to dosing, problems can occur due to the potential interaction of the supplement with certain medications.
In particular, inadequate amounts of vitamin D can have a really negative effect on calcium metabolism.
How to better absorption?
Vitamin D belongs to the group of fat-soluble vitamins, which means that it does not dissolve in water and is best absorbed into the bloodstream when combined with fat.
For these reasons, it is recommended that you take the supplement immediately after eating, especially if you have solid amounts of healthy fats in your meal.
According to one study, taking vitamin D with the largest meal during the day increases its absorption, ie its levels in the blood by as much as 50%, after only 2-3 months.
In a study of people over the age of 50, taking vitamin D with a high-fat meal increased blood vitamin levels by 32% after 12 hours, compared with a fat-free meal.
Therefore, take your vitamin D immediately after lunch, especially after meals rich in healthy fats. Healthy, ie unsaturated fats are mainly present in nuts, seeds, and their products.
Do not take vitamin D in the evening
Available research links vitamin D to sleep quality.
Vitamin D receptors and enzymes that control their activation and degradation are expressed in several parts of the brain associated with sleep regulation. This vitamin is also involved in the metabolic pathways of melatonin. It is a key hormone associated with the regulation of human sleep and circadian rhythms. In addition, vitamin D can affect sleep indirectly through certain sleep-related disorders, such as restless legs syndrome and sleep apnea.
Several studies have linked low levels of vitamin D in the blood to an increased risk of sleep disorders, poor sleep quality, and reduced duration.
However, higher levels of the vitamin can adversely affect sleep. Thus, one study suggests that high levels of vitamin D in the blood are associated with low levels of melatonin – as we have already said, responsible for regulating the sleep cycle. Additionally, there are more empirical claims to sleep-related problems and vitamin D.
There is also evidence that higher levels of vitamin D in the blood can suppress the synthesis of melatonin, as we have said, an extremely important hormone for good sleep.
This does not mean that there is an interaction between melatonin and vitamin D3 supplements.
Although more research is needed on this topic, it is still best not to take the supplement just before bed, or at all after sunset. As we have seen above, it is most convenient to take with (immediately after) the biggest meal of the day – lunch.