Q: Is it true that I need to eat fat with vitamin D for it to be best absorbed?
A: Not necessarily. Vitamin D is classified as a “fat soluble” vitamin; it is absorbed out of the digestive tract packaged with fat. However, we don’t yet know exactly how much fat we need to get the maximum absorption of vitamin D. Overall, studies seem to show that as long as we consume some fat at meals and snacks throughout the day, vitamin D from food and supplements will be absorbed and increase vitamin D blood levels regardless of when we consume it that day. People likely differ from one another in how consuming vitamin D affects how much the body absorbs. There are people who have trouble absorbing vitamin D. One small study showed that people who did not absorb it well, had the highest blood levels of vitamin D when they took it with their largest meal of the day. And if you take weight loss medications that block fat absorption, that medication will decrease absorption of vitamin D. For most people, however, it appears that vitamin D consumed with food and meals that don’t contain fat will be absorbed and increase blood levels.