Are you getting enough Vitamin D? Often referred to as the “sunshine vitamin,” you probably already know that you can get your daily dose from sunlight. When UVB rays from sunlight interact with a form of cholesterol in the skin, it initiates a series of chemical reactions that eventually produce Vitamin D3, also known as cholecalciferol.1 This natural process allows the body to create its own Vitamin D when your skin is exposed to sunlight. But what if you don’t live in a year-round sunny location?
In recent years, research has highlighted the widespread prevalence of Vitamin D deficiency and its potential implications for public health.2 Many people today face vitamin D deficiency due to a diet high in processed food, an indoor lifestyle and sun avoidance. Low levels of vitamin D may result in decreased calcium levels and bone health issues.3
So how can you make sure you’re getting enough? And what’s the best time to take Vitamin D? Discover everything you need to know about Vitamin D, including Vitamin D benefits, sources, foods, supplements and more.
What Is Vitamin D?
The importance of Vitamin D extends beyond bone health. It is a fat-soluble vitamin that acts as a hormone4, influencing the functioning of numerous tissues and organs.
Vitamin D plays an important part in the proper functioning of your musculoskeletal, nervous, immune and cardiovascular systems.5 It comes in two forms: Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) and Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). Vitamin D2 is obtained from plant sources and supplements. Your skin produces Vitamin D3 when exposed to UVB sunlight or when you eat animal-based foods.6
In other words, you can get your daily dose of Vitamin D through sun exposure, dietary sources or supplements. Food sources with Vitamin D include fatty fish, eggs, fish liver oil, dairy products and mushrooms.
Vitamin D Benefits
There are many ways in which Vitamin D works hard to keep your body and mind healthy. Some benefits of Vitamin D include:
Supports Stronger Muscles
Vitamin D contributes to muscle strength by working with other nutrients like calcium, magnesium and protein. It helps the body build and repair muscle tissue, which is crucial for muscle strength and growth.7
Supports Cognitive Function
Vitamin D supports the health of neurons and brain cells. It plays a role in regulating neurotransmitters and reducing inflammation in the brain. These are essential factors for optimal cognitive function and mental well-being.8
Supports Bone Health
Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption in the intestines, ensuring that an adequate supply of calcium is available for bone mineralization.9 Plus, it helps maintain balanced levels of calcium and phosphate in the blood, which are essential for bone strength and density.
Ongoing scientific research continues to shed light on this essential vitamin and how it may contribute to our wellbeing.
The Science-Backed Benefits of Vitamin D
Vitamin D could play an important role in the treatment and prevention of psoriasis, according to a recent study of 602 participants.12 Researchers found that psoriasis patients had Vitamin D levels seven times lower compared to the control group. The study points to the need for early detection of Vitamin D deficiency and timely intervention for improved quality of life in psoriasis patients. Vitamin D may support skin health by influencing immune responses and reducing skin inflammation.
Another scientific study examined the effect of Vitamin D on marathon runners’ post-workout recovery.13 After supplementing with Vitamin D for three weeks, participants exhibited improvements in muscle repair after strenuous exercise. Further studies are needed to determine the optimal dosage, but this study suggests that Vitamin D potentially contributes to the prevention of skeletal muscle injuries in athletes.
And finally, Vitamin D could have an important role to play in reproductive health, according to recent research.14 In a clinical trial featuring women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), those who supplemented with Vitamin D displayed significant effects on certain hormones related to fertility. This means that Vitamin D could potentially be part of a complementary treatment program for women who have PCOS. Since Vitamin D supplementation is generally safe and inexpensive, it could be a worthwhile avenue to continue researching.
As our scientific understanding of Vitamin D deepens, these studies underscore the crucial importance of maintaining optimal Vitamin D levels. Whether through sunlight exposure, dietary sources or supplements, Vitamin D is essential in supporting your overall well-being and preventing various health conditions.
The Bulletproof Approach to Vitamin D
Nutrient-dense foods are one of the best ways to get your vitamins, but sometimes life gets in the way of healthy eating. And in the case of Vitamin D, sunlight isn’t always available year-round to help you get enough. That’s where supplements can come in handy. They help you stay on track with your wellness goals no matter what life throws your way. Vitamin D is an essential vitamin that you want to make sure you’re not deficient in. Learn more about how our Vitamin D blend does more than your standard off-the-shelf supplement.
Get More from Vitamin D
We’ve formulated our Vitamins A-D-K to include three essential vitamins for well-rounded support. Why? Because Vitamins A and D work together for immune support and Vitamin K works for your bone and heart health. Together, vitamins K and D optimize how your body absorbs and uses calcium.15 Prefer your supplements in gummy form? Try our sugar-free Vitamins A + D + K Gummies.
We’ve formulated our blend to provide an effective supplement that helps you get more from Vitamin D than simply taking it on its own. Plus, our supplements are made with science-backed ingredients that go through an extensive testing process.
Our Supplement Testing Standards
We are committed to providing you with high-quality products you can count on, from coffee to supplements and everything in between. We don’t leave anything to chance when it comes to sourcing ingredients and testing the final products. We work closely with objective third-party labs to make informed choices for every step of product development. Our products align with FDA regulations concerning purity, strength and composition.
As for our supplements, they go through rigorous four-step testing to make sure we are delivering on our promise of safety and quality. The first step involves testing the identity of the ingredients to make sure they are present and not diluted. After that, researchers check for purity to ensure that there are no harmful contaminants. The third step examines the amount of active ingredients in the supplement to ensure sufficient strength. And finally, the last step involves composition testing to make sure it meets all label specifications. Our testing process goes above and beyond to bring you peace of mind about our products’ effectiveness and safety.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin (it dissolves in fat, rather than water), so it’s better absorbed when you take it with a meal containing some fat. To make it easier to integrate into your routine, try taking your Vitamin D supplement with breakfast. There is some evidence that Vitamin D suppresses melatonin production16, so you may want to avoid taking it before bed. Ultimately, the most important thing is consistency. Choose a time that works best for you and stick to it to ensure you’re getting a regular intake of Vitamin D.
It depends. Latitude, time of day, season, skin tone, sunscreen use and clothing coverage can all affect the amount of UVB radiation absorbed by the skin. In some regions and during certain seasons, sunlight may be insufficient to meet Vitamin D needs. Therefore, while sunlight can be a valuable source of Vitamin D, it’s not always dependable and dietary sources or supplements may be necessary to ensure adequate levels.
Common symptoms include fatigue, muscle weakness and bone pain, often in the lower back, hips and legs. People with deficient Vitamin D levels may experience frequent infections due to a compromised immune system.17 In adults, it can cause soft and brittle bones, leading to fractures and muscle weakness.18
It depends on age, health status and your individual needs. For most adults, a daily intake of 600-800 IU (15-20 micrograms)19 is recommended to maintain optimal levels. However, certain people may require higher doses, such as older adults, those with limited sun exposure or those with specific medical conditions. Consult with a healthcare provider to determine your exact needs and to avoid exceeding the upper intake level.
Yes. Some drugs, like corticosteroids, weight-loss medications and anticonvulsants, can affect Vitamin D metabolism or absorption. Corticosteroids, for instance, may reduce calcium absorption, impacting Vitamin D’s role in maintaining bone health. Inform your healthcare provider about all medications and supplements you are taking to ensure there are no adverse interactions.
Taking too much Vitamin D can lead to Vitamin D toxicity, also known as hypervitaminosis D.20 This can result in elevated levels of calcium in the blood (hypercalcemia), leading to symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, excessive thirst, frequent urination, constipation and muscle weakness. In severe cases, it can cause kidney stones and damage to the heart, blood vessels and other organs. Vitamin D toxicity is typically a result of excessive supplementation, as the body can store Vitamin D for an extended period. Follow the recommended dosage guidelines to avoid adverse effects.
Prioritize Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) for better efficacy. Choose a reputable brand with third-party testing for quality assurance. Consider whether you need additional nutrients, like calcium and be mindful of allergens and additives in the supplement’s ingredients. Opt for a formulation that suits your preference, whether it’s capsules, soft gels, gummies or liquid. If you have underlying health conditions or take medications, consult with a healthcare professional before starting a supplement regimen.