ZocdocAnswersShould I take vitamin D / fish oil?

Question

Should I take vitamin D / fish oil?

Do you recommend taking vitamin d supplement during wintertime? i am 38 healthy male doing a lot of sports but i am not exposed to the sun much during wintertime. do you recommend taking it year round or just wintertime? what dosage? same for fish oil? what is the actual scientific know how about intake of vitamin d / fishoil? thank you

Answer

As you probably know, vitamin D is an essential nutrient which helps protect bone health. It is largely manufactured in the skin in response to exposure to sunlight. This is why, in areas where there is not much sun, there can sometimes be problems with vitamin D deficiency. In general, however, especially in men who are otherwise healthy, this is not a big problem if you eat fortified foods, such as milk. In people of certain ethnic backgrounds or who have very dark skin, fortified food products may not be enough and it may be necessary to take a vitamin D supplement. There turns out to be a blood test to look for vitamin D deficiency, so one potential approach would be to go see your primary care doctor about the issue, and they can determine whether or not supplementation is needed. Fish oil, on the other hand, is a different type of product which has been used to improve the levels of cholesterol in the body, with the theoretical benefit of promoting heart health. Once again, taking or not taking this depends on your personal cholesterol levels, and these will need to be checked out by your primary care doctor. Please see him or her soon. Good luck!

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