We could go on for hours and hours about the plenty of reasons it’s important you take all of your daily vitamins, but we’re particularly passionate about vitamin D. Why? Because it supports a whole host of bodily functions, that’s why!
There are a variety of ways that you can get your daily dose of vitamin D, but it can be confusing to figure out which is the right route to take for you. Health and wellness are, as you know, highly individualized, so of course, it varies person to person.
That being said, here are some of our suggested ways that you get vitamin D. We’ll even answer the burning question we know you have: what’s the best source of this vitamin?
What is Vitamin D?
Let’s talk about all things vitamin D first! Once we cover the basics, you’ll quickly realize why it’s such an important vitamin, and that getting enough of it is completely essential to your wellbeing.
Vitamin D is largely known as “the sunshine vitamin.” This is because one of the ways that you can acquire it is from the sun. You can also get vitamin D from some foods (though not many offer enough of it), or -- you guessed it -- by taking a supplement.
This fat-soluble vitamin is sometimes referred to calciferol by doctors and researchers. There are two iterations of it: vitamin D2 and vitamin D3. If you have a question regarding which is best for you, you can ask your doctor for specific guidance.
There are so many reasons that vitamin D is useful, and a lot of those reasons relate to bones and teeth. It promotes the absorption of calcium in the gut while also maintaining adequate calcium and phosphate concentrations. We know that sounds super involved, but it basically means that your normal bone mineralizations are facilitated through the intake of this vitamin.
Of course, these are only a few of the crucial roles that this vitamin has. Some others include reducing irritation in the body, supporting processes such as cell growth, contributing to immune function, and beyond.
What Are the Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency?
You might be wondering if you’re vitamin D deficient, and we can help you figure that out!
Being vitamin D deficient simply means that there is not enough vitamin D in your body. That being said, if you want a direct answer, you should go to your doctor and ask them to do bloodwork. This is the quickest way to get the results that you’re seeking.
In addition, it’s important to note that while these symptoms can indicate a vitamin D deficiency, they can also signal that something else worth checking out is going on with your body.
If you find that you’re experiencing these symptoms, it might be a good idea to quickly check in with your doctor and confirm vitamin D is likely the culprit. You can also start intaking more vitamin D and see if the symptoms improve. If not, there might be an alternate cause.
We also want to note that vitamin D deficiency is extremely common! It’s estimated that approximately 1 billion people across the globe suffer with this deficiency, so if you find that you’re one of them, there is help out there.
Some of the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency include:
- If you find yourself getting sick or infections frequently
- If you’re often fatigued or tired
- If you’re experiencing back or bone pain
- If you’re depressed
- If your ability to heal after you get a wound is impaired
- If you’ve experienced bone loss (this is more applicable to older people)
- If your muscles hurt
- If you’ve had hair loss
If you find yourself getting sick frequently - Did you know that one of vitamin D’s most important roles in your body is supporting your immune system? Well, it’s true! If you’re feeling under the weather a lot, consider looking into your vitamin D levels as a possible culprit.
If you’re often fatigued or tired - While vitamin D is frequently overlooked as a potential cause of repeated fatigue or tiredness, it certainly can contribute to this. Taking vitamin D supplements specifically can support healthy energy levels.
If you’re feeling down in the dumps - Feeling bummy has been linked to lower vitamin D levels in various studies. Of course, a vitamin D supplement is no substitute for mental health counseling. Remember, health is holistic, and if you’re experiencing a consistently low mood, you might consider seeing a therapist or mental health counselor.
If your ability to heal after you get a wound is impaired - A study has suggested that vitamin D could support the production of compounds that help your body form new skin as part of the healing process when you get an injury. Therefore, if your body takes a long time to heal wounds, vitamin D deficiency could play a role.
If you’ve experienced bone loss (this is more applicable to older folks) - This is definitely something to keep an eye out for as you age. Because of the role the vitamin plays with calcium absorption and also bone metabolism, if you’re finding that you have bone density problems, consider a vitamin D supplement to support your bone health.
If your muscles hurt - One study revealed that 71% people in the study with chronic muscle pain were also vitamin D deficient. While it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact reason for muscle pain, vitamin D deficiency could definitely be a potential cause.
If you’ve had hair loss - While hair loss is usually considered a symptom of stress, there is the possibility that if the loss is severe, it may be due to a deficiency of a disease. That’s why it’s important if you notice this symptom to consult your doctor so you can take appropriate action.
You’re probably noticing a common theme, and that is that vitamin D has a massive impact on more bodily functions than you would have imagined. That’s part of the reason why making sure your levels are where they should be is so crucial.
What’s the Best Source of Vitamin D?
Now that we’ve discussed how to tell if you are vitamin D deficient, let’s chat about the best source of vitamin D so you can get your levels to where they should be!
There are three main sources of vitamin D and those include:
- The sun
- Dietary Supplements
Vitamin D can actually be formed by a chemical reaction that occurs in human skin. This is because everyone has vitamin D receptor cells. Through a series of reactions beginning with the conversion of cholesterol in the skin, vitamin D3 can be produced when exposed to UVB rays from the sun.
That being said, it can still be difficult to get the specified amount of vitamin D from the sun. This is particularly relevant if you don’t spend a lot of time outdoors, if you wear full clothing that covers your skin outside, or if you put on sunscreen (which, for the record, you should be wearing!).
In addition to this, if you have a darker skin tone, live in a northern latitude where UVB is not as strong, or are an older person, you might have an especially hard time soaking up the vitamin D you need from the sun itself. While it’s a great option, acquiring vitamin D from the sun can be a supplemental, but probably can’t be the only way you’re getting this vitamin.
There are some foods that are naturally rich in this vitamin. That being said, those foods are few and far between. The most rich sources include the flesh of fatty fish or even fish liver oils. There is also some vitamin D to be found in egg yolks, cheese, or even beef liver. That being said, some foods are fortified to contain vitamin D. These often include dairy products or cereals.
Last but certainly not least, we have dietary supplements for vitamin D. Because a lot of people don’t want to expose themselves to the sun for an extended period of time or don’t have food in their diets that include vitamin D, this is an easy, quick way to ensure that you’re getting the amount of vitamin D you need. There are two types of vitamin D supplements: D2 or D3. Vitamin D3 is what you want to look for in a supplement because it’s better absorbed and used by your body.
Beaming is Cosmos Vitas’ Vitamin D3 supplement to help support your immune system, aid calcium absorption, and promote healthy bones and healthy teeth. Best of all, it’s a vegan-friendly gummy, making it a perfect addition to any diet while being delicious and easy to take!
Because of the amount of vitamin D that you need, the most foolproof way to get it is by taking a dietary supplement. (Of course, if you’re getting adequate vitamin D in a different way, be wary of taking too much!)
Vitamin D is an extremely important vitamin, and it makes sense why there’s a lot of buzz around how you can get the right amount. While there are options for how you get your vitamin D, we highly suggest a supplement.
Here at Cosmos Vita, we create gummy vitamins that are both tasty and healthful, and our Beaming Vitamin D3 supplement is like sunshine in a bottle for your immune system!