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Vitamin D Absorbed Better When Taken With Meal Containing Fat

Vitamin D is an essential vitamin that many people are deficient in, especially in the winter months when there is less sun. A recent study suggests that vitamin D supplements are absorbed better when taken with a meal containing fat.

Participants in the study included 50 healthy older men and women who took part in the one-day study. They were assigned to one of three groups: a fat free meal, a meal containing 30% of calories as fat with a 1:4 ratio of MUFAs to PUFAs, or a meal containing 30% of calories as fat with a 4:1 ratio of MUFAs to PUFAs.

The ratio difference was used to test whether different types of fat effect absorption differently. MUFAs are monounsaturated fats and PUFAs are polyunsaturated fats.

The researchers tested absorption of vitamin D after the meals and found that vitamin D3 plasma levels were 32% higher in the participants who ate the meals that contained fat when compared with the fat-free group. Additionally, absorption in the fat containing groups was at 40% at 10 hours after the meal and 25% at 14 hours after.

There was no difference, however, between the two fat-containing groups, meaning that the MUFA:PUFA ratio did not affect absorption.

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, so it makes sense that taking a supplement with a meal containing fat would increase absorption.

Researchers from Tufts University conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on November 17, 2014, in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Previous studies have associated vitamin D with reducing the risk of skin damage, reducing the risk of osteoporosis, combating diabetes, and improving age related macular degeneration.

Vitamin D can be found in milk, fortified cereals, fish, and eggs. Your body also processes vitamin D from the sun but it becomes harder for our bodies to process it as we age. A high quality vitamin D supplement is always a good option if you feel that you’re not getting enough through diet and sun.

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