Everything you need to know about the sunshine vitamin.

Vitamin D is an extremely important vitamin for our overall health. Vitamin D has been shown to help prevent cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and depression. 

You may have heard of vitamin D referred to as the “sunshine vitamin.” And it’s true – our bodies are able to produce all the vitamin D we need to function with a little sun exposure each day. 

Although vitamin D is essential to almost every organ system in our bodies, it is estimated that over 40% of the population in the United States is deficient in vitamin D. 

Read on to hear about all the amazing benefits of vitamin D and why so many people may be deficient in it. 

What are benefits of Vitamin D?

BUILDS STRONG BONES

Vitamin D is essential to produce strong teeth and bones. 
We think of calcium as the mineral of teeth and bones; however, our bodies require vitamin D in order to properly and efficiently absorb calcium. 
Many foods, such as milk which is naturally high in calcium, is fortified with vitamin D, meaning vitamin D is added to it. This allows your body to better utilize the calcium to build strong teeth and bones. 

STRENGTHENS IMMUNE SYSTEM

In addition to its primary benefits in bone health, research has linked vitamin D to an overall decrease in disease and illness.
Optimal vitamin D levels have been correlated to:
  • Reduced risk for Multiple Sclerosis
  • Decreased effects of severe respiratory illnesses such as COVID and the flu
  • Decreased risk of cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and strokes
  • Reduced risk of autoimmune diseases such as Type 1 Diabetes and Rheumatoid Arthritis

FIGHTS DEPRESSION

Research has shown that vitamin D might play an important role in regulating mood and warding off depression. In one study, scientists found that people with depression who received vitamin D supplements noticed an improvement in their symptoms.
In another study of people with fibromyalgia, researchers found vitamin D deficiency was more common in those who were also experiencing anxiety and depression.

DECREASE RISK OF CANCER

Some older research suggested that taking a vitamin D supplement decreased the risk for some cancers. 
However, more recent studies were unable to prove a causal relationship between vitamin D supplements and the lower incidence of cancer. 
In general, it is thought that people who take a vitamin supplement or have optimal levels of vitamin D are likely healthier overall and have a generally lower cancer risk. 

BOOSTS WEIGHT LOSS

Although the research is mixed, taking a vitamin D supplement could help you lose weight. 
In one study, people taking a daily calcium and vitamin D supplement were able to lose more weight than subjects taking a placebo supplement. The scientists said the extra calcium and vitamin D had an appetite-suppressing effect.
In another study, people who took a daily vitamin D supplement did not lose a significant amount of weight but were able to improve their risk for heart disease. 

Besides weight-loss, there are many other health benefits to taking a vitamin D supplement.

chalk board with words "vitamin d" surrounded by foods including salmon, mushrooms, eggs, and milk

What is the best way to get Vitamin D naturally? 

The best way to get vitamin D is from the sun! 

Unfortunately, many people are deficient in vitamin D due to lack of sun exposure. 

Here are three ways to get more vitamin D:

1. Is Vitamin D from the sun?

Yes! You can get vitamin D from the sun! Your body produces vitamin D naturally when it is directly exposed to sunlight. 
And a little can go a long way! All you need is ten minutes of midday, pre-sunscreen sun exposure in order for your body to make vitamin D from the sun. 
Don’t forget! After ten minutes of sun exposure to get your daily dose of vitamin D from the sun, remember to apply sunscreen to prevent other sun-related health risks including sunburns and skin cancer. 
It is best to always wear a facial moisturizer with sun-protective properties. We recommend Frownies Moisturizer Face & Neck with Zinc Oxide. Learn about the other skin benefits of zinc oxide here
Besides getting vitamin D from the sun, you can also get the beneficial vitamin through certain foods and supplements to ensure adequate levels of the vitamin in your blood.

2. Foods with Vitamin D:

Eating certain foods is not the primary source of Vitamin D for humans, but there are some foods with Vitamin D. 
A few foods contain Vitamin D naturally, while other foods may be fortified with vitamin D. The skin of fatty fish such as salmon and halibut contain the highest natural levels of vitamin D. Foods such as cheese, eggs, and liver may contain lower levels of naturally occurring vitamin D. 
Some foods are made with added vitamin D. Foods that are commonly fortified with vitamin D including milk, orange juice, 
The best ways to increase levels of vitamin D are by producing vitamin D from the sun and vitamin D supplements. 

3. Vitamin D Supplement:

Because so many people are deficient in vitamin D, it may be beneficial to take a vitamin D supplement. 
Many multivitamins contain a small dose of vitamin D which may be sufficient for most people. However, some people require higher doses and a separate vitamin D supplement may be necessary. 
There are two variations of vitamin D available in vitamin supplements – D2 and D3. 
According to current scientific understanding, vitamins D2 and D3 appear to play similar roles in the body; although D3 supplements may remain in the bloodstream longer and require less frequent supplementation. 
To find out if you are deficient in vitamin D, your doctor can order a simple blood test. 
woman in yoga outfit in bathroom holding jar of frownies moisturizer with zinc oxide

Why is your Vitamin D low?

There are a few reasons which may contribute to low vitamin D levels including environmental and lifestyle factors. 

People who live in colder climates or further away from the equator with less direct UV radiation may have lower vitamin D levels.

Similarly, you may experience vitamin D deficiency more often in the winter versus the summer. 

In general, people in our modern era spend much more time indoors, limiting exposure to sunlight. 

Today, we are much more aware of the dangers of UV radiation and the risk of skin cancer. Most people are diligent about applying sunscreen when they are going to spend time outdoors. 

Occasionally, some people may have difficulty absorbing vitamin D through food sources or supplements. 

open hand with sunshine in the background holding yellow soft gel capsules of vitamin d supplement

What Vitamin D deficiency causes?

These lifestyle and environmental factors contribute to vitamin D deficiency in an significant portion of the population. It is important to get some of your vitamin D from sources besides sunlight including food and supplements.

The symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency in adults include:

  • Overall tiredness, aches and pains
  • Malaise or a general sense of not feeling well
  • Severe bone or muscle pain or weakness that may cause difficulty in walking, climbing stairs, and standing from a chair
  • Stress fractures, especially in the legs, pelvis, and hips
  • Impaired balance and increase in falls

Remember, optimal vitamin D levels have been linked to many health benefits, so even though you may not be experiencing these severe symptoms of vitamin D deficiency, it still may be beneficial to take a vitamin D supplement. 

How much Vitamin D is too much?

As amazing and essential as this vitamin is to your overall health, you may be wondering if there is such a thing as too much vitamin D. 

Technically, yes. You could have too much vitamin D, although vitamin D overdose is extremely rare. 

Current guidelines in the United States indicate that healthy adults require 400-600 international units (IU) of vitamin D daily. 

An additional supplement of 1,000 IU of vitamin D would help approximately 50% of the deficient population reach optimal levels; however, up to 2,000 IU of vitamin D could be necessary. 

Research suggests that vitamin D supplementation is extremely safe even up to 4,000 IU daily. The most common side effects of vitamin D overdose are nausea and vomiting. 

Please consult your doctor for dosage recommendations when taking a vitamin D supplement. 

 

Follow Frownies on Instagram here for inspiration on how to get your vitamin D every day (hint: it’s a daily morning walk!). 

 

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The information provided on this website is intended solely for educational purposes and should not be construed as medical or dermatological advice. At Frownies, we recognize that individual skin responses to treatments and skincare products vary. Testimonials shared represent personal experiences and may not reflect the outcomes of all users, as results depend on numerous factors such as consistency, skin type, age, lifestyle, and more.

We strongly recommend consulting with your healthcare provider or dermatologist before incorporating any new skincare regimen, including Frownies products, especially if you have pre-existing medical conditions or specific skincare concerns.

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