Vitamin D3: Benefits, Dosage Information, and Warnings | 1MD Nutrition™

Enjoy free shipping today! Enter code SHIP1MD at checkout.

Vitamin D3: Benefits, Dosage Information, and Warnings

Vitamin D3 provides a range of health benefits, from bone health to immunity support. Learn more about its benefits, dosage information, and warnings.

7 minute read

Last Updated May 20, 2022

Vitamin D3: Benefits, Dosage Information, and Warnings

Vitamin D3 is an essential vitamin that your skin produces in response to sunlight exposure. It can also be consumed through a variety of animal and plant-sourced foods. Vitamin D3 is known to support bone health, but it also supports the immune system to protect you from environmental and seasonal threats.

With increased concerns over sun exposure, there has been an increase in vitamin D3 deficiency, which can affect immune function. Taking supplements of vitamin D3 helps you maintain healthy levels to support immune function, bone health, and overall health.

graphical user interface, application

Benefits of Taking Vitamin D3

The body needs to store a healthy amount of vitamin D3 in order to maintain normal levels that are beneficial for overall health. In fact, vitamin D3 serves many purposes in the body, from supporting bone density to maintaining healthy immune responses.

Support Immunity With Vitamin D3

Vitamin D3 is much more than the sunshine vitamin. It also plays an important role in supporting immune function. Through specific mechanisms, vitamin D3 activates key peptides in the immune system that help defend against environmental threats. This peptide activity influences immune cell activity, to promote strong immune responses. 

Reduced levels of vitamin D3, can affect your immune cells’ ability to protect against occasional environmental threats. In order for immune cells such as T cells to function efficiently, they must first encounter a seasonal or environmental threat. At this time, the T cells extend a special receptor that looks for vitamin D3. If the T cell cannot find the vitamin, it cannot be activated, nor can it become mobilized to protect you. 

There is also a role for vitamin D3 involving overstimulation of the immune system. This is critical in helping to reduce occasional unnecessary immune responses. The knowledge of vitamin D3’s activating role in the immune response can help researchers learn more about reducing these unwanted immune responses. 

Your innate immunity also benefits from maintaining vitamin D3 levels. The sunshine vitamin encourages the purifying properties of immune cells known as macrophages. These specialized cells not only activate T cells, but they identify and protect against specific environmental threats. They also activate cleansing peptides, which are agents designed to break down occasional toxins, so they can be easily removed from the body.

GET THE DOCTOR'S FREE EBOOK

Strong Bones

One of the most commonly known benefits of vitamin D3 is its important role in supporting bone health. This vitamin is vital for proper calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus absorption. Without vitamin D3, your bones may not get the essential nutrients needed for optimal density and strength. Vitamin D3 additionally helps the body recycle calcium that would normally be excreted from the kidneys, to maintain healthy bones and teeth.

Healthy Heart

Vitamin D3 helps promote normal cholesterol levels which supports optimal blood flow and arterial health. When combined with vitamin K2, proper D3 levels can also support arterial health. While D3 helps properly maintain serum calcium concentrations, K2 encourages the body to properly utilize calcium so that it is used to build healthy bone tissue instead of collecting in the arteries. By maintaining D3 supplementation you can promote long-term healthy heart function.

Happier Mood

Vitamin D3 can also support cognitive health. D3 is the vitamin naturally produced when the skin is espoused to the sun, but modern indoor life limits this exposure. Serotonin, a hormone related to a healthy mood, increases when you are exposed to sunlight. In the same way, regular D3 supplementation can promote serotonin production and year-round mood support.

Common Uses of Vitamin D3

Vitamin D3 helps support immune health as well as various other important functions in the body. As part of your daily health routine, regular D3 supplementation can help protect you against seasonal and environmental threats. Additionally, by helping support immune cell function and promoting healthy immune responses, D3 can help reduce common oxidative stress. 

The role that vitamin D3 plays in supporting bone strength allows it to be an important addition to a daily routine for those looking to maintain strong, healthy bones. As part of a healthy lifestyle, D3 can help achieve optimal peak bone mass to support a healthy musculoskeletal structure at any age. 

Finally, vitamin D3 can be used to support heart health. A lack of vitamin D3 in the diet can be associated with high cholesterol, so with regular supplementation, you can promote healthy cholesterol levels to support heart and arterial health.

a close-up of a red heart with white hearts

Sources of Vitamin D3

In addition to daily walks outside in the sun, you can increase vitamin D3 levels through the consumption of certain foods. The top food sources for vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) are:

♦ Fresh fish including herring, salmon, halibut, and mackerel
♦ Cod liver oil 
♦ Egg yolks
♦ Sardines
♦ Lichen
♦ Fortified cereals
♦ Cheese
♦ Mushrooms

If you are not getting the recommended daily amount of vitamin D3 from the sun or your diet, you can discuss with your doctor the possibility of adding a D3 supplement to your routine. With a clinically-studied supplement, you can get all the vitamin D3 you need each day in one single dose. Take it along with your favorite meal of the day, and your bones, immune system, and heart will thank you.

How Should I Take Vitamin D3

Modern indoor living can limit sun exposure to the skin and vitamin D3 is present in very few food sources, so deficiency can develop. According to NIH, almost 35% of the adult population in the United states are vitamin D3 deficient, with some populations having even higher levels of deficiency. 

The recommended daily limit of vitamin D3 for adults is 4,000 IU, but for individuals that may not get vitamin D3 through food, it is important to increase vitamin D3 consumption through supplemental avenues. Vitamin D3 supplements, with daily recommended doses up to 5,000 IU are safe for long term use to maintain healthy vitamin D3 levels in the body. 

Vitamin D3 can be taken with food, but this is not a requirement. You should follow the advice of your doctor and supplement directions for taking your D3 supplement with food. You also want to store your vitamin D3 properly, keeping it away from moisture, light, and heat, and always at room temperature.

What Are The Side Effects of Vitamin D3?

Vitamin D3 supplements are considered safe for adults, but always speak to your healthcare provider before taking any new supplements. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience any reactions to taking vitamin D3 such as difficulty breathing or swelling of the mouth, lips, throat, or face. Stop taking this supplement and speak with your doctor right away if you experience:

  • Chest pain or shortness of breath
  • Early warning signs of vitamin D3 toxicity such as diarrhea or constipation, dry mouth, unintentional weight loss, vomiting, or a metallic taste in your mouth. 
  • Loss of appetite

There is an upper limit for vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) as advised by healthcare professionals because there is a risk for toxicity with excessive consumption. Excessive consumption of vitamin D3 can lead to calcification of bones and the hardening of blood vessels and organ tissues. 

A balance between D3 and calcium is important for bone health, and too much vitamin D can lead to much calcium, which can collect in the arteries.  You can easily exceed the recommended dosage for vitamin D3 if you get this nutrient from natural sources. Consult with your doctor to determine the right dosage for you based on your health, underlying conditions, and diet.

The Bottom Line

Your body can produce vitamin D3 when your skin is exposed to the sun, but modern indoor life can affect this. A scientifically-formulated supplement can help you maintain healthy levels of vitamin D3 for optimal health. Your bones will have the nutrients needed for proper strength and your immune system can stand up to everyday seasonal and environmental threats.