While our daily diet can provide us with essential vitamins like A, B, and C, there’s one exception to this dietary rule—vitamin D. Unlike other vitamins, your diet alone cannot meet your vitamin D needs.
Now, vitamin D deficiency has become a global concern, affecting people of all ages. According to a study by the National Institute of Health (NIH) in 2013, vitamin D deficiency is a global public health problem.
To prevent the deficiency symptoms, you started vitamin D supplementation. But do you know the timing of your supplementation can significantly impact its effectiveness? That’s why taking vitamin D at the right time is as important as your supplementation.
Throughout this article, we’ll delve into the science behind vitamin D absorption. And consider the benefits of morning vs. night supplementation. This will help you make an informed decision with some practical tips.
1. Types of Vitamin D
In our body, vitamin D occurs in two forms: vitamin D2 and vitamin D3. Vitamin D2 is found in some mushrooms. While vitamin D3 is present in egg yolks, olive oil, fatty fish, etc.
Our body also produces vitamin D, but only in response to sun exposure. In addition, there are not many vitamin-D-enriched foods available, as discussed above. One of the major reasons why it is essential to consume supplements.
We cannot forget to consider the role of vitamin D in our bodies. It plays a vital role in the absorption of calcium and phosphorus. Because of calcium absorption, it is the most important for your bone health. Additionally, vitamin D also facilitates immune system function.
2. Signs of Vitamin D Deficiency
It is important to keep the level of vitamin D blood levels in check. Especially if you are unable to get enough sun exposure, as most of us live in urban areas these days. Make sure you are getting vitamin D in essential amounts.
Our body shows various signs and symptoms when have vitamin D deficiency. You should not ignore these signs and symptoms to avoid any major health problems. Some of the common symptoms are mentioned below.
2.1. Frequent Illnesses
Vitamin D supports the immune system of our body. So, it supports the body’s ability to fight various bacterial and viral infections. Vitamin D deficiency can lead to weakened immune function, which makes bacterial and viral encounters more frequent.
2.2. Bone And Muscle Pain
Vitamin D is crucial for bone and muscle health. It supports the absorption of calcium in our body. Optimum levels of vitamin D result in healthy bones and proper muscle movement. Whereas vitamin D deficiency causes pain in joints and muscles.
2.3. Slow Wound Healing
Vitamin D helps in wound healing and controlling inflammation after any kind of injury or surgery. In short, slow and impaired wound healing is one of the deficiencies of vitamin D.
2.4. Depression And Anxiety
In many people, depression and anxiety may also be a result of vitamin D deficiency, which eventually affects mental health.
Fatigue and feeling tired in many people are often caused by low blood levels of vitamin D. Therefore, it is important to take enough vitamin D, either through a diet or dietary supplements.
Consuming enough vitamin D can enhance sleep quality and the sleep cycle. It can also help avoid sleep disturbances. Vitamin D deficiency in the early stages can cause sleep disorders and poorer sleep quality.
3. Choosing the Right Vitamin D Supplements
When it comes to choosing the right vitamin D supplement, you should consult a doctor first. Consult with a professional healthcare provider; they can recommend vitamin D supplements suitable for your health conditions. In addition, for accurate results, take a blood test to identify your serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) levels.
Following the test results, take supplementation depending on the deficiency level. Afterward, choose the right form of vitamin D. As it comes in 2 forms- vitamin D3 and D2. Among them, vitamin D3 is found to be more effective for us. But you can choose as per your needs and health conditions.
Most importantly, choose the right dosage according to your deficiency symptoms and your doctor’s consultation. While choosing, go for high-quality supplements, especially if you have any allergies or dietary restrictions. And don’t forget to check the labels carefully before buying.
In addition, choose the most convenient form of supplement, according to you. Vitamin D supplements come in various forms in the market, such as tablets, capsules, gummies, and even drops.
4. The Benefits of Supplementing With Vitamin D
By keeping your vitamin D status in check regularly you can enjoy many health benefits. You may achieve health benefits by having optimum vitamin D blood levels. And some of the major benefits are mentioned below:
4.1. Immune System
Optimum vitamin D levels can support your body’s immune function. Maintaining adequate levels of vitamin D can be a key strategy in reducing the risk of inflammation and fortifying the body’s defences against infections.
4.2. Bone Health
An adequate vitamin D supplement can help to avoid the risk of osteoporosis by enhancing vitamin D absorption. That’s why vitamin D is beneficial for the bone health of patients with osteoporosis. And it is highly helpful for elderly people.
4.3. Cancer Prevention
Even though it has not been proven yet that vitamin D prevents cancer. But comparatively, it can reduce the risk of certain types of cancers explained in a report by the National Institute of Health (NIH) in 2006.
5. Quantity of Vitamin D That You Should Consume Everyday
Vitamin D consumption per day depends on your age. Due to the different body requirements of different aged people. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH) following are the daily levels of vitamins recommended:
5.1. For 0-12 Months
10 micrograms (mcg) (400IU) for both male and female.
5.2. For 1-70 Years
15 mcg (600IU) for both male and female.
5.3. Above 70 Years
20 mcg (800IU) for both male and female.
6. With Whom To Take Vitamin D Supplement
Vitamin D gets better absorbed with food, which promotes enhanced absorption of vitamin D. Especially with high-fat foods. Because vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is insoluble in water, So, you can take vitamin D supplements with high-fat meals for better health results.
7. Taking Vitamin D In The Morning
The time we take supplements affects their absorption and functioning. So, a supplement routine is crucial to add to your day-to-day life. Also consuming vitamin D supplements in the morning can be more convenient to remember than taking them later.
You can just take your vitamin supplement with your morning coffee. But make sure to have a dietary fat-rich meal with it. Meals or snacks with healthy fats can have maximum effectiveness through better absorption. But always avoid vitamin D supplementation on an empty stomach.
8. Taking Vitamin D At Night
It has been found by NIH that taking a vitamin D supplement at night can affect your sleep quality. Taking it at night can interfere with melatonin production.
Melatonin is the hormone that regulates the sleep cycle. Which is often related to vitamin D in multiple sclerosis patients. Moreover, it will be advisable to take vitamin D supplements at night, only if it is not affecting your sleep.
9. Should You Take Vitamin D At The Same Time As Other Vitamins?
Some medications and supplements affect the absorption and metabolism of vitamin D. One of them is calcium. Calcium supplements can interfere with the absorption and functioning of vitamin D. So, one should avoid taking them together.
Many people experience gastrointestinal discomfort when taking multiple supplements together. So, you should always consider your comfort.
Consult with a clinical practitioner when taking multiple vitamin medications with vitamin D to be on a safer side.
10. What’s The Best Way To Regularly Monitor Vitamin D Levels?
You can regularly monitor your vitamin D blood levels by the 25-hydroxyvitamin D test, also called the “25(OH)D” test. This is the most accurate test to measure vitamin D blood level.
Maintain a health journal to track your vitamin D levels regularly. And take vitamin D doses as per your requirement. This way you can keep a check on your deficiency level.
In conclusion, it is found that it is always more effective when taken with some meal day or night. There is no restriction on time to take vitamin D daily dose; taking it with food is the most important.
You can take your supplement at night if it’s not affecting your sleep quality at all. Otherwise, taking it in the morning is always the best choice. Many people prefer to take the supplement in the morning. Just to remember, when they take multiple supplements throughout the day.