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Calcium and Vitamin Supplements - Vitamin D

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Vitamin D

Vitamin D is necessary for the intestines to absorb dietary calcium. Vitamin D comes from food and is also produced by the skin upon exposure to sunlight. Active children and young adults living in sunny regions can produce most of the vitamin D they need from their skin. In areas with insufficient sunlight, or in colder areas in winter, adequate vitamin D cannot be produced by the skin. Vitamin D deficiency is common among the elderly.

Vitamin D

Dietary sources

Vitamin D is not present in foods of plant origin except some plants of solanum family. Foods rich in the vitamin include fish liver oils, fortified milk, herring, salmon, fatty fish, milk, eggs, butter, cheese and full fat milk powder

Deficiency aftermath

Children with prolonged vitamin D deficiency can develop rickets. Children with rickets will develop bowing of the extremities due to weak bones. In adults, vitamin D deficiency can lead to osteoporosis and osteomalacia (both conditions of weakened bones).


Tips for supplementation

Vitamin D deficiency is common among the elderly living in the colder regions. Therefore, it is recommended that the elderly take a multivitamin daily, eat vitamin D rich foods, and have regular exposure to the sun several times a week with sunscreen during spring, summer and fall.

For established osteoporosis patients, the recommended dose of vitamin D is 400 IU twice a day. For example, they can take combination pill that contains calcium 500mg and vitamin D 400IU twice a day.

Excessive vitamin D leads to higher blood calcium levels, leading to significant toxicity. Symptoms of vitamin D toxicity include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, thirst, excessive urination, muscular weakness, and in severe cases, coma. Consequently, Vitamin D intake should not exceed 1000 IU daily.

Vitamin D: Vomiting

While adequate calcium intake and vitamin D levels are important to maintain bone strength, they are not always sufficient to fully protect against the rapid bone loss that can occur around the time of menopause. Estrogen replacement therapy, and medications that strengthen bone may also be necessary, especially among postmenopausal women.

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What is the ideal timing for getting exposed to sun for vitamin D benefit and how far long exposure especially for those with Osteoporosis ?


I'm not a doctor. I'd say long enough to maintain a healthy full-body tan. Skin tone is a mechanism that the body uses to prevent excess D production. Now it's likely that nobody is going to do this [I won't], which means we all need some degree of supplement in or with our diets. For osteoporosis? Remember that D pulls calcium into the blood, but it also pulls it out of the bone. You want both D and something to put that calcium where you want it (vit K2?).


I have had kidney stones since I was 14 years old. Now the doctor tells me that my body is making to much calcium and that is the reason I am getting kidney stones. Is there a doctor who I can see that can fix this problem? I am wanting someone who can treat the calcium problem not my kidney stone problem.

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