Vitamin D is crucial for us, but we seldom get enough of it. This fat-soluble hormone controls various important processes occurring in our body. These include gene regulation, boosting immunity, and absorbing calcium, and improving bone and spine health.
Even when you are sitting in the sun for long enough or taking your supplements regularly, it is still the point of concern whether your body is absorbing it or not. Lower body absorption and assimilation might make you more susceptible to vitamin D deficiency.
Here are the incredible ways to boost your Vitamin D absorption and efficiency!
5 Ways to Improve Vitamin D Absorption and Efficiency
More Exposure to the Sun
Sunlight is the most useful source to get Vitamin D. People with darker skin need more time in the sun than those with light skin tones. On average, the effective period to boost your vitamin uptake is 10-15 minutes in the sun. In areas with rare or no proper sunlight, UV lamps are used as a substitute for the sun. However, too much exposure to the sun can be harmful as it can trigger various skin allergies or even cancer, so always wear sunscreen.
Eating More Vitamin D-rich Foods
Finding vitamin D-rich foods can be hard at some times of the year. Seafood is the best choice to take maximum Vitamin D in short time. Raw fish has more vitamin D than cooked one, so you can always say yes to sushi and wasabi without thinking much. If you are looking for some vegan food for vitamin D, mushrooms are your only option. Besides this, fortified foods like milk, cereal, and juices also contain a considerable amount of this nutrient.
Maintaining Nutrient Count
Fats can enhance the absorption of this fat-soluble vitamin in your body. So, incorporating fatty foods like ghee, oil, nuts, and dairy products in your diet can help you a lot in this respect. Magnesium-rich foods like avocados, pumpkin seeds, and almonds also aid in vitamin D uptake. If you can maintain your nutrient count and add the nutrients in your diet which are directly or indirectly involved in vitamin D intake or retention, you will do yourself a big favour.
Vitamin D absorption mostly occurs in your intestine or gut region. When you are suffering from distress or anxiousness, your gut releases hormones that disturb your gut functioning and bowel movement. This distortion in gut health and processing will eventually affect vitamin D absorption and efficiency there. To avoid all such things, all you need to do is to keep yourself away from anything and everything that tends to upset you anyway.
Vitamin D exists in two biological forms, i.e., D2 (ergocalciferol) and D3 (cholecalciferol), originating from plants and animals respectively. Vitamin D3 reportedly elevates the vitamin D level of your body more effectively than D2. Studies show that oral and intramuscular incorporation of these supplements helps your body gain the required amount of this nutrient.
Factors Which Affect Vitamin D Absorption
The absorption capacity of vitamin D in your body varies from person to person. The most important factors which may decide the synthesis, absorption, and metabolism of this supplement in the body are:
- Gut ability to absorb fat
- Skin color
- Duration of daily sun exposure
- The geographical area in which you live
How Does Body Absorb Vitamin D?
After taking vitamin D (either from natural foods or supplements), your body stores it in fat cells in an inactive form. Through hydroxylation, your liver and kidney convert this inactive form to an active form called calcitriol. Then, this form is ready to be used by the body.
How to Take Vitamin D Supplements for Better Absorption?
Proper absorption of vitamin D is essential to enhance the assimilation of calcium in the muscles and bones, strengthen the immune system, and improve your body’s physical and mental health.
Usually, it is recommended to take vitamin D with your food to boost its absorption. However, there always has been a debate about the best time to take supplements for better results. Being fat-soluble, vitamin D maximizes its absorption with high-fat foods rather than water.
Therefore, the most likely fat-rich foods to enhance its absorption in the body are nuts, full-fat dairy, seeds, avocadoes, fatty fish, or other nutritious foods.
What is the Best Time to Take Vitamin D to Improve its Effectiveness
People prefer taking vitamin D or other supplements in the morning as it’s easy to keep an organized routine. Therefore, it may be a good practice to take Vit. D in the breakfast, lunch, or dinner combined with healthy fats. Keep your pillbox with you while taking breakfast, and have your pills after you finish your meal.
If you choose the night time for supplement intake, it can hamper your sleep and make your nights restless by reducing the duration of peaceful sleep.
Besides this, you can take it at any time of the day as long as it is not interfering with your sleep cycle. But, further research still needs to clarify the ideal time and way to take vitamin D dosage.
Why is My Body Not Absorbing Vitamin D?
Sometimes, your body doesn’t respond to Vitamin D supplements by not letting it absorb properly. There may be some reasons behind this phenomenon, including:
- Certain chronic diseases such as liver, kidney or celiac disease
- Autoimmune disorder
- Body Mass Index (BMI) higher than 30
- Radiation therapies, such as those used for cancer treatment
- Steroids and Diuretics
Maintaining a normal vitamin D level is crucial for ideal physical and mental health. In the case of vitamin D deficiency, only vitamin D-rich foods may not fulfil the body’s requirements. Rather you should take supplements along with healthy foods to restore the insufficiency.