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
STRENGTHENS IMMUNE SYSTEM
- 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
DECREASE RISK OF CANCER
BOOSTS WEIGHT LOSS
Besides weight-loss, there are many other health benefits to taking a vitamin D supplement.
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?
2. Foods with Vitamin D:
3. Vitamin D Supplement:
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.
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!).