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Bobby Brown
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The Real Deal on Supplements

Published on 8/5/2018
For additional information  Click Here

The Real Deal on Supplements

So how can you get all that vitamin D? One way is by spending extra time outdoors. Get about 20 to 30 minutes without sunscreen when the sun is high in the sky (UVB doesn’t break through the atmosphere when the sun is low on the horizon), says Cannell, as your skin uses energy from the sun’s rays to produce vitamin D in your body. But here’s the catch: People with dark skin need up to six times that amount of time (that’s up to three hours!), and heading outdoors without wearing sunscreen for any period of time may raise your risk of sun damage and skin cancer.

Plus, as Harvard researchers report, if you live south of the line between San Francisco, California, and Richmond, New York (what scientists call the 37th parallel), your skin can only make enough vitamin D during the summer — and even then production may be affected by clouds or other factors.

The next approach may be through your diet, but vitamin D is naturally present in very few foods, and in small amounts. If you’re shooting for up to 2,000 IU per day, you’ll have to chew on more than 13 ounces of salmon, or (gulp!) 80 eggs every day to meet your needs.

So what’s an active gal to do? Speaking with your doctor about taking a vitamin D supplement is a good place to start. You will find that supplements are available in two types: Either D2, an egrocalciferol format (made from plants or yeast), or D3, which is cholecalciferol, made from animal products such as sheep’s wool. Most experts recommend D3 because it has been shown to metabolize better in the body and be more effective in raising blood levels of vitamin D. As for choosing a liquid (drops) or solid (tablets) format, “all forms are absorbed by your GI tract, so choose the form that suits you best,” says Wagner. Since many multivitamins contain about 400 IU, you may need to take D3 on its own in addition to the multivitamin.

A study in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research also found that taking vitamin D supplements with the largest meal of the day doubled the subjects’ blood levels. Translation? If you’re eating the most calories in the mornings, take your supplement at the same time as breakfast. In addition, make sure that your meal includes a source of healthy fat, which will help the vitamin D properly absorb in your body.

While the safety margin on vitamin D supplements is wide, “Intake greater than 10,000 IU per day has not been proven safe for extended periods of time unless directed by your doctor,” says Wagner, so don’t assume that more is better and let your physician know how much you’re taking.

Healthy Muscles Matter

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