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Vitamin D is a fat-soluble, essential micronutrient that plays a critical role in many bodily functions. Vitamin D is synthesized in our own bodies after sun exposure, but this is not a practical option for many people. And while Vitamin D is found in some foods, it is very difficult to maintain adequate levels from diet alone. Therefore, supplementation of Vitamin D is considered essential for many people, as it is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies.
Among Vitamin Ds many roles, one of the most important is enhancing intestinal absorption of calcium, and is particularly important for maintaining bone health.1https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/155857883https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10067-006-0348-5 Vitamin D has also been demonstrated to decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease8http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/185740929http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20031348, colorectal cancer10http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17296473, and overall mortality rate.11http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1857409212http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21735411[/f]. Additionally, Vitamin D supplementation has even been linked to higher testosterone levels in men13http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21154195
Most importantly, however, Vitamin D has been linked to the occurrence of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), especially in countries with low levels of sunlight.5https://europepmc.org/abstract/med/10888476 There are numerous studies which show a strong correlation between vitamin D deficiency and depression2https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry/article/vitamin-d-deficiency-and-depression-in-adults-systematic-review-and-metaanalysis/F4E7DFBE5A7B99C9E6430AF4722868603https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10067-006-0348-54https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1365-2796.2008.02008.x5https://europepmc.org/abstract/med/108884766https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/02698811103792877https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26609167, although the exact degree of causality between this correlation has yet to be determined.
Overall, Vitamin D appears to be quite important for general health, and almost everyone can benefit from it. And while it is not entirely clear how much of a causal role Vitamin D plays in reducing depression, there is significant evidence showing a correlation between the two.
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Vitamin D Dosage Information
The current recommended daily allowance (RDA) as set by the FDA is way too low at only 400IU. The reality is that the recommended daily dosage should be 10x that amount or higher.
It would appear the 4000UI a day is the optimal dosage for most people, but up to 10,000UI a day may be safely taken for long periods of time.
The most effective form of Vitamin D to take is Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol), which is the same form produced in our own bodies after sunlight exposure.