Normal Vitamin D Levels: A typical blood level of vitamin D for the majority of adults is 20 nanograms per milliliter or above. Age determines how much vitamin D a person needs daily. The body needs vitamin D for a number of functions, but bone health is one of its primary applications.
In this piece, we examine:
- Why vitamin D is necessary
- And what normal levels of vitamin D are by age
- Increasing vitamin D without going overboard: how to do it
Normal vitamin D levels
The minimal daily requirements for vitamin D are as follows, according to the Office of Dietary SupplementsTrusted Source:
|0–12 months||10 micrograms (mcg) or 400 international units (IU)|
|1–70 years||15 mcg or 600 IU|
|71+ years||20 mcg or 800 IU|
Additionally, those who are expecting or nursing need 15 mcg (or 600 IU) of vitamin D daily.
Blood tests are used by doctors to evaluate a patient’s vitamin D levels. One of two methods—nanomoles per liter (nmol/l) or nanograms per milliliter (ng/ml)—is used to test vitamin D levels.
Rough ranges are provided in the following table.
Low, normal, and high vitamin D levels for the typical adult are provided by a reliable source in nmol/ml and ng/ml.
|Level||Blood test result|
|Low||30 nmol/l or 12 ng/ml or below|
|Adequate||50 nmol/l or 20 ng/ml or above|
|High||125 nmol/l or 50 ng/ml or above|
A person might speak with their doctor to learn more about the significance of their blood test findings.
Why vitamin D is important
The U.S. Department of Agriculture claims that vitamin D aids in the body’s absorption of calcium and phosphorus, two essential minerals for the development of healthy bones.
Without enough vitamin D, a person’s bones could become brittle, weak, or mushy. This may result in illnesses like rickets in youngsters or osteomalacia and osteoporosis in adults, according to a Trusted Source.
The immune system, muscles, nerves, and brain are all benefited from vitamin D. There is evidence that vitamin D may help prevent several diseases, including some types of cancer.
Scientists are still investigating the potential effects of vitamin D on various illnesses. Its potential to affect conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and multiple sclerosis is still being studied.
Vitamin D can be acquired by food or, to a lesser extent, sunshine exposure. Someone may become deficient in vitamin D if they do not obtain enough of it from these sources.
Although the signs of a vitamin D shortage can be subtle, the most common ones are muscle weakness and bone pain.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services claims that some persons are more susceptible than others to acquiring vitamin D insufficiency. This comprises:
- babies who are breastfed, as human milk has less vitamin D
- People with darker skin receive less vitamin D from sunshine.
- People with darker skin also absorb less vitamin D.
- People spend a lot of time indoors. People are obese because fat cells bind to vitamin D and prevent it from entering the bloodstream.
It may also be more challenging for someone to absorb vitamin D if they have certain medical problems or use certain medications, such as:
- kidney disease
- liver disease
- some types of cancer
- Crohn’s disease
- celiac disease
- chronic inflammatory diseases
- antiseizure medications
- medications for HIV/AIDS
- gastric bypass surgery
How to increase vitamin D levels
Sunlight exposure can provide people with at least some of the vitamin D they need each day. However, a person might not be able to get all the vitamin D they require from sunlight because light levels vary based on location and the time of year.
A 2019 Swiss study indicated that during the spring and summer, just 10-15 minutes per day of sun exposure was sufficient to produce 1,000 IU of vitamin D. But to acquire this much in the fall and winter would require someone to spend more than six hours a day outside.
This implies that vitamin D supplementation may be advantageous for those who reside in colder areas or spend the majority of their time indoors.
Before taking vitamin D, a person should consult their doctor because it may interfere with several drugs.
When outdoors, sunscreen must be worn because sunlight can also result in skin damage and sunburn.
Applying sunscreen allowed participants to spend more time outside, which ultimately resulted in higher amounts of vitamin D overall, according to a study on Australian office employees.
Additionally, some vitamin D can be obtained from the diet. The following foods contain vitamin D, according to the Office of Dietary SupplementsTrusted Source:
- Trout, tuna, and other fatty fish
- Beef liver
- Portobello mushrooms
- chicken thighs
- cereals enriched with milk
According to a study conducted on Australian office workers, eating fish, in particular, had a positive impact on vitamin D levels during the winter.