Vitamin D deficiency is so common, experts often refer to it as a global health issue. This is problematic for several reasons. The main one? Vitamin D is a super important nutrient for your body, and without it, you could experience a slew of negative side effects. Your physical health is a tremendous part of taking care of your overall well being, so if you fear you have a deficiency, taking action is essential.
There are several ways that you can increase your vitamin D levels, but one of them stands out is being more effective than the others. Today, we’re here to discuss vitamin D’s importance in everyday health, some signs that you’re experiencing a deficiency, what you can do about it, and when you can expect to feel better.
We know that the negative side effects from a vitamin deficiency are no fun to have to deal with. In fact, they can be taxing and plain exhausting. That’s why taking care of the problem as soon as possible can make a sizable impact on how you feel.
What Are Vitamins, Anyway?
First, let’s quickly go over what vitamins are, why they’re essential, and more. There are actually 13 of these organic compounds that people require for functional health. We only need them in small quantities, but most vitamins have to come from either food or supplements. This is because the human body is either incapable of producing them or it produces an insufficient amount.
A vitamin is an organic compound, which means that it contains carbon. Your body needs these organic substances for several reasons. First, they’re required for cell growth. With an improper amount of nutrients, your cells won’t be able to develop as they’re supposed to.
In addition to this, vitamins are necessary for function and development. When you’re lacking any vitamin, you’ll find that you do experience adverse effects. By supplementing a lack of nutrients, you’re supporting your body.
As we mentioned, there are 13 “essential” vitamins. This group gets divided into fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins. These categories are impactful, as they can dictate how long a vitamin can last in your system, i.e. how frequently you need to intake that certain vitamin.
First, let’s discuss fat-soluble vitamins. These vitamins get stored in your fatty tissue, which means that they stick around in the body longer than water-soluble vitamins would. There are four fat-soluble vitamins: A, D, E, and K. One way that you can support your body is by ensuring you have enough dietary fat in your diet. This allows your body to absorb these vitamins more easily.
In contrast, there are also water-soluble vitamins, which do not get stored in your body. This means that you need to take these vitamins on a regular basis or you’ll face a shortage. If you have extra water-soluble vitamins, don’t worry! They will leave your body when you urinate. There are nine water-soluble vitamins, and one is an outlier. Did you know B12 is the only water-soluble nutrient that is able to be stored for years? Interestingly, it’s true.
What is Vitamin D?
Now let’s dive into all the details about vitamin D. It’s a fat-soluble vitamin, and there are actually two different forms of it: D2 and D3. These two are very similar. The main differences lie in their side-chain structures, as they’re chemically different in this way.
There are a few names that Vitamin D goes by. One of them is the “Sunshine Vitamin.” We’ll elaborate more on that later. The other is slightly more scientific -- “calciferol.” You can acquire this nutrient in a few ways.
The first one is by spending time outside in the sun, as it is produced endogenously when rays from the sun strike your skin. This triggers vitamin D synthesis. Another way that you can acquire vitamin D is by eating foods fortified with the nutrient. Finally, you can take it as a dietary supplement.
Why is it Important?
There’s so much talk about vitamin D, you might be wondering why it’s so important. There are innumerable reasons that your body needs vitamin D. The first reason is that it helps your body build and maintain healthy bones. Your body is only able to absorb calcium, which is the main component of bones, when there is vitamin D present. This means that without it, you could have difficulty with your bones. They can become soft, brittle, and thin.
In addition to this, Vitamin D has a slew of other cellular responsibilities in your body. The nutrient also has neuroprotective, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. Ultimately, this vitamin is essential because it helps to support the immune system, muscle function, and even your brain cells activity. When you’re lacking vitamin D, you’re increasing your odds of getting several harmful ailments.
All About Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency plagues a significant amount of people across the world. Let’s run through the facts regarding vitamin D deficiency.
There’s a quick and easy way to find out if your levels are down, and that’s by going to your doctor and getting some bloodwork done. There are also other signs and symptoms that you can keep an eye out for.
Vitamin D deficiency shows up differently - and often more subtly - in adults than it does in children. This means that you’ll have to carefully observe your symptoms, or go directly to the source and get a blood test at your doctor’s office. One common symptom for vitamin D deficiency is fatigue. Vitamin D deficiency can also impact your sleep. In addition to this, you might notice bone pain, or even muscle problems.
This can include muscle weakness, aches, or cramps. Finally, vitamin D can even impact your mood. If you’ve noticed mood changes, or the onset of depression, vitamin D could be to blame. We also want to note that a significant part of taking care of your overall well being is nourishing your mental health. If you feel depressed or otherwise mentally unwell, seek professional help.
There are several groups that are at a higher risk for deficiency. The first one is age. As your body ages, your skin’s ability to make this vitamin lessens. The next is mobility. If someone is rarely outside or is homebond, using sun exposure as a main source of vitamin D won’t be as reliable.
Skin color could also impact your vitamin D intake. People with darker pigmented skin are at higher risk for deficiency.
Finally, people who live in certain geographic areas might struggle more with a vitamin D deficiency than others. This includes people who live far away from the equator.
How to Increase Vitamin D Levels
There are several ways that you can increase your vitamin D levels, but one is far more direct and effective than the others. Let’s discuss all three options so you can decide which is right for you and your lifestyle.
The first way that you can increase your vitamin D intake is by ensuring that you’re ingesting foods that are either fortified or naturally include the vitamin. Some examples include fortified milk, cereal, or certain types of fatty seafood.
The second way that you can tackle a vitamin D deficiency is by spending more time outside in the sun. Do note, when you’re outside, you should always have sunscreen on to prevent skin damage. This means you won’t be able to make as much vitamin D, however.
That’s exactly why getting more vitamin D is not as simple as spending more time outside in the sun. In addition, people with darker skin or those who live in a location far away from the equator may still have a deficiency despite spending time outside.
Finally, the most foolproof way to acquire more vitamin D is by simply taking a supplement. This is an easy fix for vitamin D deficiency. It doesn’t require spending more time outdoors or changing your diet. All you have to do is take your supplement, and ta-da! You’re all set for supporting your body on a mission towards greater overall health.
When Will I Feel Better After Taking Vitamin D?
You might be wondering how long it will take you to feel better after you begin to include vitamin D supplements into your wellness routine. The answer? It varies! There are several factors that can impact how long it will take you to notice a difference. The pace largely depends on how low your levels are when you start taking the supplement.
Some doctors believe it could take two to three months to see a difference in vitamin D levels, but again, this is highly personal depending on how deficient you are. If you want a more personalized answer, you can reach out to your own doctor, who’s more familiar with your health history.
When you choose to take a vitamin D supplement, you’re helping support your body in a multitude of ways. While it might take a few months to notice a tangible impact from taking supplements, you can rest assured that you’re giving your body the boost it needs.
At Cosmos Vita, we’re passionate about creating products that will help you do so.
Our Beaming gummy vitamin is packed with D3 and designed to help your body on its journey towards enhanced overall well being.
If you’re vitamin D deficiency, you’re one of many people who are. Nevertheless, there are some negative side effects that come along with this deficiency, so taking care of it as soon as possible is important.
When taking vitamins, the most important thing is consistency - that’s why taking them routinely will help you reap the most benefits, and having a delicious gummy vitamin to look forward to can definitely help you take your vitamin D everyday!