Vitamin D – The Sunshine Supplement
Vitamin D is called the sunshine vitamin due to a certain type of Vitamin D (Calciferol, vitamin d-3) comes from exposure to the sun. Vitamin D is essential to good health, and blood testing is necessary to determine if you are deficient.
Benefits of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is essential for strong bones and immune system support. Research has also shown that Vitamin D may help people modulate moods and aid in warding off depression. Research has shown that people with lower levels of Vitamin D in their blood are more susceptible to upper respiratory infection.
Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency
some symptoms of a Vitamin D deficiency include:
- muscle weakness
- bone pain
- cognitive impairment
Why are you deficient in Vitamin D?
Vitamin D deficiency is very common, among the reasons for deficiencies are:
- strict vegan diets
- limited exposure to sunlight
- dark skin
- living in a big city with tall buildings that block sunlight
- living in a high pollution area
- using sunscreen
Adults in nursing homes, young women, infants and persons of color are more likely to be deficient in Vitamin D.
What to do if you develop a Vitamin D deficiency?
Thankfully vitamin D deficiencies are easy to address. Food sources of vitamin D are:
- fatty fish such as salmon, herring, and tuna
- egg yolks
- fortified dairy and grain products
Exposure to summer sun is also a great way to get Vitamin D. Experts recommend exposure of your arms or legs for 10 – 20 minutes a day without sunscreen, during the hours of 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM. The use of natural sunscreens is still recommended if you will be out in the sun for extended periods.
High quality supplementation is also an easy way to get appropriate amounts of Vitamin D.
Too Much of a Good Thing?
Too much Vitamin D in your system is possible, but rare. Be sure to follow doctor and label directions. Symptoms of excess Vitamin D include:
- digestive distress
- excessive thirst
- frequent urination