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Everything You Need To Know About Vitamin D Supplements

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble nutrient. This means your body produces small amounts of this essential vitamin on its own and can store it for long periods of time. While your body can naturally produce its own vitamin D, you also get D vitamins from food. Some of the best dietary sources of vitamin D are animal products like eggs and dairy, as well as mushrooms and fortified whole grains.

Your body produces D vitamins in response to exposure to sunlight – this is why vitamin D is often referred to as “the sunshine vitamin.” However, it can be tough to get enough vitamin D from sunlight alone, and some diets do not contain enough of this essential nutrient to meet your daily needs. 

That’s where supplements come in handy. 

A high-quality vitamin D supplement can help you meet the daily recommended value of vitamin D without solely relying on food and sunlight.

In this post, we’ll be filling you in on everything you need to know about vitamin D supplements – how to tell if you need to take one, what the benefits are, and how to choose the right amount of vitamin D for you.

Let’s get started!

Why Vitamin D Matters 

Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that your body needs for several key reasons. Below are some of the most important roles that this fat-soluble vitamin plays within your body:

  • Supporting bone health. Your body needs vitamin D to properly absorb calcium, which is one of the most important nutrients for healthy bones and teeth. Without enough vitamin D, you may be at risk of developing a calcium deficiency ­­– that means your body isn’t able to utilize the calcium it’s getting from food or supplements because your vitamin D levels are too low. Thus, it’s essential to get enough vitamin D to maintain healthy bones and aid in the absorption of other important nutrients like calcium.

  • Maintaining your mood. Optimal vitamin D levels have been linked to better mood management and emotional health. This connection is part of why vitamin D deficiency is often linked to seasonal affective disorder (SAD). SAD tends to pop up for its sufferers during the colder, darker months of the year, when people are getting less vitamin D from sunlight. During these months, it can be especially helpful to add a vitamin D supplement to your daily routine, especially if you tend to struggle with seasonal depression. 

  • Supporting your immune system. Low vitamin D levels have been linked to a weaker immune system. If your immune system gets compromised, you can end up more vulnerable to getting sick. Thus, it’s vital to get enough vitamin D from your diet, from sunlight, and from supplements, as well as other immunity-boosting nutrients like vitamin C and zinc.

Vitamin D Deficiency: What Are The Symptoms?

If you aren’t getting enough vitamin D from dietary sources, supplements, and sunlight, you run the risk of developing a deficiency. 

Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency include all of the following:

  • Fatigue. When your body is lacking a nutrient that it needs, you can start to feel worn-out and tired. Fatigue is also often linked to seasonal affective disorder, which has been connected to low vitamin D levels.

  • Getting sick more often. While there are multiple factors that can lead to more frequent colds and other bugs, getting sick more often may be a sign that your vitamin D levels are too low. Since D vitamins are essential for supporting your immune system, 

  • Achy bones. Because vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption, and calcium absorption is vital for strong bones, a vitamin D deficiency can lead to bone problems. In more extreme cases, Vitamin D deficiency can lead to issues like osteoporosis, bone fractures, or bone density loss.

  • Hair loss. Insufficient vitamin D levels have been linked to hair loss in some cases. Hair loss is also often connected to stress, which can be worsened by low levels of vitamin D as well. Since vitamin D plays an important role in mood regulation, this key nutrient is vital for managing your stress and, consequently, keeping your hair.

Vitamin D deficiency can also cause diseases such as rickets, hypercalcemia, and osteomalacia. Additional common side effects of vitamin D deficiency include muscle weakness and mood changes. 

Individuals with obesity and older adults are at a higher risk of developing vitamin D deficiencies, as are individuals with darker skin. Melanin has photoprotective qualities that can inhibit the production of vitamin D from ultraviolet B light.

While the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency can be problematic, they typically go away once you get your levels of this important nutrient back to normal. If you suspect that you are dealing with a vitamin D deficiency, make sure to talk to your doctor. 

Your healthcare provider may recommend that you take a vitamin D supplement to treat your deficiency, or that you simply make lifestyle changes such as getting more sunlight and eating food sources rich in vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol). These foods include orange juice, sardines, egg yolks, dairy products, and fatty fish including mackerel.

Your doctor can determine whether you are dealing with a vitamin D deficiency by checking your nutrient levels with a 25-hydroxyvitamin D blood test. This test needs to be conducted at your doctor’s office – don’t buy the idea that you can accurately check your nutrient levels with an at-home test! 

It’s always best to rely on a doctor when it comes to diagnosing health problems, and trying to diagnose a nutrient deficiency on your own may lead you to draw inaccurate conclusions. 

Although it is very rare, there is such a thing as too much vitamin D, and while high doses of vitamin D are suggested for the treatment of some cardiovascular diseases, it can cause vitamin D toxicity in others. 

It's always best to seek medical advice if you want to try higher doses of vitamin D than the amount found in dietary supplements and multivitamins. Know that the suggested dose of vitamin D in supplements is entirely safe, and the benefits of vitamin D are very important for your health. 

Vitamin D For Vegans 

If you adhere to a vegan diet, you’re probably already familiar with the challenges that come with this popular lifestyle. Eating vegan is a big sacrifice for many people – it involves letting go of many foods that are found everywhere, as well as being careful with ingredients labels and even the clothes you wear. 

However, while being vegan can be tough, there are also plenty of reasons to opt for adopting the lifestyle. Many people adhere to a vegan diet out of concern for the environment, animal welfare, and their own health. 

Eating vegan can be healthy and well-balanced, but it definitely takes some intentionality. Unfortunately, vitamin D – along with vitamin B12 – is scarce on a vegan diet. 

While a few foods, such as fortified grains and mushrooms, contain vitamin D2, there are virtually no plant-based sources of vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) that vegans can eat. This means it’s essential to find a plant-based vitamin D3 supplement if you are sticking with a strict vegan diet.

Taking vitamin D3 while eating vegan can help you avoid developing a deficiency. Nutrient deficiencies can cause a wide array of problematic symptoms, and it’s always worth it to do whatever you can to keep your nutrient levels up to avoid running into any problems. 

Vitamin D For Stress Relief 

As you’ve learned, vitamin D is an essential nutrient for mood health. If you are dealing with a vitamin D deficiency, you may find yourself getting stressed out and overwhelmed more easily. 

One of the symptoms associated with vitamin D deficiency is depression, which can sometimes stem from seasonal affective disorder. Taking a vitamin D supplement may help you manage mild seasonal depression, and it can also help you cope with stress in healthy ways. 

When your vitamin D levels are as they should be, you’ll have a stronger defense against everyday stress and anxiety. You can meet your needs of this valuable nutrient through sunlight, foods, and supplements. In addition, you can complement a healthy vitamin D intake with other stress-fighting supplements, including natural ingredients like valerian root, L-Theanine, and more. 

Tips For Getting Vitamin D From Sunlight 

While food and supplements can be excellent sources of D vitamins, it can also be helpful to get plenty of vitamin D3 from sunlight. However, there are a few important considerations to take when you’re soaking up some rays for the sake of a boost of vitamin D. 

For one, always make sure to wear sunscreen each day. Sunscreen helps to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays, which can cause skin cancer and other problems in the long run. By wearing generous amounts of sunscreen each day, you’re setting yourself up for safe sun exposure, allowing you to soak up vitamin D without needing to worry about the harmful effects of UV exposure. 

In addition, if you live in a part of the world that has colder, darker seasons during the winter months, it’s essential to have other reliable sources of vitamin D besides sunlight. In the winter, it can be especially helpful to add a vitamin D3 supplement to your daily routine. This is especially true following the coronavirus pandemic, in which many people were encouraged to spend time indoors. Vitamin D supplementation can offset this lack of sunshine and keep your immune system strong.

Summary 

Vitamin D is one of the best supplements you can take to support mood health, immunity, strong bones, and more. It’s also one of the key ingredients in R3SET’s signature stress-fighting formula

R3SET’s Calm and Unwind capsules are designed to help you conquer stress through the use of natural ingredients like vitamin D. To learn more about everything R3SET has to offer, visit our products page.

In addition, if you have further questions about stress management, helpful ingredients to add to your stress-fighting routine, and the science of stress and anxiety, make sure to visit the R3SET blog. There, you’ll find plenty of helpful information to help you create your own powerful anti-stress regimen with the help of R3SET supplements.

 

Sources:

https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3688475/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2908269/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3166406/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5751255/

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