All about vitamin D

Spending time under the sun helps us relax, feel great and produce vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin. Our body produces vitamin D naturally when directly exposed to sunlight, but we can also get it through foods and supplements.

Vitamin D supports our entire body, from strong bones and muscle function to immunity. That is why getting a sufficient amount of vitamin D is extremely important for your overall health.

Unfortunately, most of the population is vitamin D deficient. Especially those who live in inner cities, wear clothing that covers most of the skin or live in northern climates. In addition, due to COVID and social isolation measures, we are spending most of our day inside our homes, which might mean we’re not getting enough vital vitamin D.

This article will find out all vitamin D benefits, functions, and how to ensure optimal levels.

Let’s get started!

What is vitamin D?

Vitamin D is both a nutrient we eat and a hormone our bodies make. In addition, it is a fat-soluble vitamin, meaning that it is stored in the body for long periods of time.

There are two types of vitamin D. The first is vitamin D3, which is found in animals, such as fish; the second is vitamin D2, which comes from plant-based foods mushrooms. When it comes to vitamin D supplements, D3 is the best option because it’s the form your body naturally makes.

Benefits of vitamin D

Strong bones and teeth

This is perhaps one of the most well-known functions of vitamin D. Without this vitamin, and our bodies cannot effectively absorb calcium, which is crucial to good bone health. Thus, calcium and vitamin D work together as a team to protect your bones. Calcium helps build and maintain bones, while vitamin D helps your body effectively absorb calcium.

Strong muscles

Vitamin D plays a crucial role in muscle strength and function. Low vitamin D level is associated with poor muscle strength and fatigue, particularly in older people.

Immune system

Vitamin D is necessary for the proper functioning of the immune system and the activation of immune system defences. Therefore, a deficiency in this nutrient may compromise immune response and increase your risk of infection and disease.

Vitamin D plays an important role in most diseases, including infectious diseases. For example, recent research found vitamin D is a contributing factor to COVID-19 outbreaks and infection severity.

Mood disorders

Vitamin D is crucial for proper brain development and functioning. Low levels of vitamin D are associated with depression, PMS, seasonal affective disorder, and even schizophrenia in adults. If you are suffering from any mood disorder, check your vitamin D levels before getting any medication.

Getting enough vitamin D

Many factors affect our ability to produce enough vitamin D. Our skin’s ability to produce vitamin D drops with age, and people with darker skin typically have lower levels of vitamin D than lighter-skinned individuals. Therefore, people over 65 and People who have dark skin or avoid sunshine should eat more vitamin D-rich foods and consider supplements.

Here are some effective ways to increase your vitamin D levels.

Spend time in sunlight

Your skin can produce large quantities of vitamin D on its own when exposed to the sun’s UV-B rays. Aim for 20 minutes a day of direct sun exposure. 

Consume foods high in vitamin D

Fatty fish like salmon and sardines are among the foods highest in vitamin D. Free-range, and pastured eggs, beef liver and cod liver oil are other great sources of vitamin D.

If you are vegan or vegetarian, start adding more mushrooms into your diet because they are the only vegetarian source of vitamin D.

Take a supplement 

Before you start any supplement, it’s important to get your vitamin D level tested,  and if you are now taking supplements, be sure to get your vitamin D levels checked before stopping. Lastly, you will need to remeasure your vitamin D level in three to six months to ensure that the supplement and the dose are working for you.

Be sure to get a supplement that contains vitamin D3, along with vitamin K2.

Bottom line

Vitamin D has been associated with many health benefits, from strengthening bones to proper immune function, mood regulation and even covid-19 prevention. But, unfortunately, most of the population is deficient in this vitamin.

To optimize your vitamin D levels be sure to:

  1. Spend at least 20 minutes outdoors.
  2. Consume foods high in vitamin D, such as fatty fish, eggs and mushrooms.
  3. Take a vitamin D3 and K2 supplement.

Resources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3513873/

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352187218300226

https://academic.oup.com/edrv/article/34/1/33/2354646

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/taking-too-much-vitamin-d-can-cloud-its-benefits-and-create-health-risks

https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2021/02/22/vitamin-d3-for-coronavirus.aspx

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.