Do you constantly feel tired, your mood bounces like a yoyo, and perhaps you experience muscle aches and cramps?
If so, then you may be deficient in vitamin D. After all, vitamin D deficiency is a worldwide public health problem, affecting all age groups, countries, and populations, as stated by a 2013 study.
Vitamin D is essential for optimal health, supporting your bones, muscles, and nerves, and even contributing to proper immune system function.
But how do you get more vitamin D? Well, as it’s known as the “sunshine vitamin,” it likely comes as no surprise that exposure to sunlight stimulates the production of the vitamin. But the sunshine vitamin is also found in certain foods, such as oily fish, egg yolks, and red meat.
Keep reading to find out how vitamin D works, what causes a deficiency, how to boost your vitamin D intake, and more.
How does vitamin D work?
Unlike other vitamins, vitamin D is a nutrient we eat and a hormone made naturally by our bodies.
This fat-soluble vitamin is crucial in helping the body build and maintain strong bones (this is done by retaining calcium and phosphorus).
The best way for most people to get the recommended amount of vitamin D is through supplements. Dietary restrictions and a lack of sunlight often play a role in deficiency, so supplementation is often the easiest route.
Alongside supplementing vitamin D, you should still spend time in the sun (just be sure to wear sun cream for protection).
It’s worth mentioning that people with darker skin often have even lower levels of vitamin D - the skin acts as a natural sunblock, preventing the skin from absorbing the rays.
What causes a vitamin D deficiency?
There are actually several reasons why you may be deficient in vitamin D.
For starters, one of the main culprits is a lack of exposure to sunlight. If you don’t spend enough time outdoors, then your body cannot produce the vitamin D needed to formulate strong bones.
Despite this, even if you do spend time outdoors, if there is a lack of sun, like here in Denmark, then you also miss out on more of the essential vitamin. After all, it is called the “sunshine vitamin,” so if there’s no sunshine, then there’s likely no vitamin D.
Also, if you don’t eat oily fish, mushrooms, egg yolks, and red meat, then you’re also missing out on the much-needed vitamin.
What happens when your vitamin D is low?If you suspect your Vitamin D levels to be low, then you may experience numerous symptoms, including:
- Poor appetite
- Mood fluctuations (and an increased risk of depression)
- Achy bones
- Increased risk of osteoporosis (weak bones that are more likely to crack and break)
You may encounter one or two of these symptoms or all. The intensity of the side effects also varies from person to person.
How can I boost my vitamin D?
The best way to boost your vitamin D intake is by taking a daily supplement, such as the DESEJR® Vitamin D3 capsules.
Supplementing vitamin D is even more important if you live in countries with little sunlight (or during the winter months) and if you spend little to no time outside.
The same applies to dietary restrictions (i.e. if you don’t eat foods that contain vitamin D).
How do you take vitamin D correctly?
Most supplements require you to take one capsule per day, ideally with a glass of water before a meal.
It’s essential to take the right amount. Follow the instructions from your chosen brand to prevent taking too much vitamin D - this can produce negative side effects.
Taking too much vitamin D can lead to Vitamin D toxicity. This can lead to a build-up of too much calcium in the body (hypercalcaemia), weakening the bones, damaging the kidneys, and negatively impacting the heart.
Are there multiple types of vitamin D?There are two forms of vitamin D: vitamin D2 and vitamin D3.
You need both types to maintain strong bones, healthy teeth, strong muscles, and overall positive well-being.
What is the difference between vitamin D2 and D3?
Vitamin D2 and D3 are similar but obtained in slightly different ways. But, both types are equally important.
You’ll find vitamin D2 in food products such as mushrooms, milk, and orange juice (D2 can’t be produced by the body).
Vitamin D3 is found in animal products such as oily fish (tuna, sardines, and mackerel), but is also received through exposure to sunlight.
Often, people are more deficient in vitamin D3 due to a lack of exposure to sunlight and a diet that does not include oily fish. Therefore, supplementation is a popular option to help get you back on track with your vitamin needs.
To summariseThis blog post has highlighted everything you need to know about the sunshine vitamin, including how it works, why you may be deficient, and how to reap the benefits of the popular supplement.
- Most people are deficient in vitamin D
- A lack of the sunshine vitamin may lead to fatigue, a lack of appetite, and weak bones
- The best way to obtain the sunshine vitamin is through supplementation
If you’re looking to increase your intake of the popular supplement, shop the DESEJR® Vitamin D3 + K2 1.000 I.U capsules.
Frequently asked questions
Below you will find a mix of commonly asked questions about vitamin D:
How do you increase vitamin D levels quickly?
There is no shortcut or quick way to increase vitamin D. You should supplement it daily with a product of your choice, followed up with time spent outdoors.
Does vitamin D help with weight loss?
There is thought to be a strong link between a lack of vitamin D and obesity. Supplementing vitamin D may provide you with the energy to exercise more often, indirectly causing weight loss.