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How to Increase Vitamin D Absorption

Before I get into today's nutritional study, here's a well-written, comical analysis of the Top 10 inappropriate candies for kids.

Ok now, we know that fat-soluble nutrients, like vitamin D, CoQ10, etc. require dietary fats to be absorbed (and why typically these are recommended to be administered with food, which would have an appreciable amount of fat present). However, what's unknown is the influence different types of dietary fats have on the absorption of these nutrients.

Therefore, researchers sought to determine whether intakes of different dietary fats -- monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA, like those in olive oil, nuts, avocados, etc.), polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA, like omega-3 fish oils, omega-6s like GLA, etc.), and saturated fatty acids (SFA) -- are associated with the increase in serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD, a measure of vitamin D status) after supplementation with vitamin D3.

Analysis was conducted in the active treatment arm of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of vitamin D and calcium supplementation to prevent bone loss and fracture. Subjects included 152 healthy men and women aged 65 and older who were assigned to 700 IU/d vitamin D3 and 500 mg/d calcium. Intakes of MUFA, PUFA and SFA were estimated by food frequency questionnaire.

The results found that the change in plasma 25OHD during vitamin D supplementation was positively associated with MUFA, but negatively associated with PUFA (an interesting finding that surprised me).

The researchers conclude, "the fat composition of the diet appeared to influence the 25OHD response to supplemental vitamin D3. Diets rich in MUFA may improve, and those rich in PUFA may reduce the effectiveness of vitamin D3 supplements in healthy older adults."

We'll have to wait until more studies confirm these results before we can really determine how much weight we should give this. Until then, continue to take your vitamin D supplements with any and all healthy fats.

Source: Type of Dietary Fat Is Associated with the 25-Hydroxyvitamin D3 Increment in Response to Vitamin D Supplementation

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  1. LOL I wonder who's the moron who gave the okay to manufacture those gummy dicks. Too funny.
    Gee, I wonder what flavours they have.

  2. I just wanted to share a thought I had regarding MUFA vs PUFA for vitamin D absorption. I was recently discussing the study I covered in September that showed omega-3 fatty acids helped activate vitamin D, from 25-hydroxyvitamin D (the inactive storage form of vitamin D) to 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (the active form of vitamin D, whose levels are tightly controlled by the body).

    Here's the URL to that study (you'll have to cut & paste as links are disabled in the comments section):

    Now, getting back to this study, perhaps (and we'll need more studies to investigate this) this study found that PUFA (like omega-3s) decreased 25-hydroxyvitamin D because the omega-3s were helping the body covert 25-hydroxyvitamin D to 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D.

    Naturally, if this happened, this means 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations would decrease. Unfortunately, we'd need to simultaneously also measure 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D to see if this increased, which the study didn't measure.

    Anyway, you can see we need more studies to sort this stuff out, but in the meantime a good balance of healthy MUFA's and PUFA's are likely your best option

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