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Determining the optimal time to take your daily supplements is crucial. After all, investing in vitamins and minerals won’t yield much benefit if they aren’t effectively absorbed or end up being excreted. This raises the question of when is the best time to take probiotics and vitamins, especially vitamin D, a nutrient that the majority of people in the United States do not consume enough of, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Interestingly, this doesn’t necessarily mean many Americans are genuinely deficient, as only 5% were at risk of deficiency based on blood level tests in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). This could be attributed to added vitamin D from sun exposure, as the body produces its vitamin D when exposed to sunlight.

However, relying solely on sun exposure is not sufficient, and dietary intake may also fall short. Hence, it’s considered “very reasonable” to take a supplement for assurance, according to JoAnn Manson, M.D., MPH, DrPH, a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and chief of the Division of Preventive Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

Dr. Manson, a director of the ongoing VITAL study, which investigates the impact of vitamin D3 and omega-3 fatty acid supplements on various major conditions, suggests that most individuals do not need a vitamin D supplement to prevent deficiency. However, it is deemed safe to take 1000-2000 IU daily as a form of insurance. She notes that many multivitamins include vitamin D, providing an alternative method to ensure sufficient intake.

Vitamin D plays a crucial role in calcium absorption, contributing to the development and maintenance of robust bones. It also aids in protecting against osteoporosis, a condition that weakens the skeletal structure. Carol Haggans, MS, RD, a spokesperson for the NIH Office of Dietary Supplements, emphasizes that muscles and nerves also rely on vitamin D for proper functioning. Additionally, vitamin D is essential for a robust immune system, enhancing the body’s ability to combat bacteria and viruses.

For healthy adults aged 19 to 70, the recommended daily intake of vitamin D is 600-800 IUs, with different amounts recommended for those who are older or younger.

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