The winter months are fast approaching. The days will get shorter and darker. The moods will, unfortunately, become more solemn and our energy levels often decrease.
The vibrant buzz of happiness from the summer sunshine begins to die down as the chills kick in.
So here we bear the question, when is the right time to begin taking our Vitamin D supplements? According to the NHS, “from about late March/early April to the end of September, most people should be able to make all the vitamin D they need from sunlight… But between October and early March we do not make enough vitamin D from sunlight”.
Here is what Vitamin D can do for our bodies:
- Helps to improve immune function – Vitamin D can help to reduce your chances of getting the flu, according to research undertaken in 2010 by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
- Reduces Depression – Vitamin D not only helps to reduce your chances of suffering from depression, but it also plays a key role in regulating our moods. In a study of people with fibromyalgia, researchers discovered that a deficiency in vitamin D was more evident in people also suffering from anxiety and depression.
- Helps boost weight loss – “Vitamin D may aid weight loss by altering the storage and formation of fat cells and increasing levels of serotonin and testosterone” according to an article by Healthline.
- Vitamin D helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body - These nutrients are needed to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy, according to the NHS.
The symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency in adults include:
- Aches and pains
- Feeling generally unwell
- Severe bone or muscle pain or weakness
- Stress fractures, particularly in the legs, hips and pelvis
Why do we need it more in the winter months?
In the summer, our bodies naturally create Vitamin D when we have direct exposure to sunlight.
In the winter, it can be hard to get enough vitamin D each day through sun exposure, especially in the UK where seeing the sun in the winter is rare.
Therefore, eating foods high in Vitamin D, and taking vitamin D supplements can help.
Here are some foods high in Vitamin D:
orange juice (fortified)
Orange juice (fortified)
Soy milk (fortified)
Almond Milk (fortified)
Rice milk (fortified)
How much Vitamin D do we need per day?
According to the NHS, “10 micrograms a day will be enough for most people. Do not take more than 100 micrograms (4,000 IU) of vitamin D a day as it could be harmful.”
The NHS also states that “taking too many Vitamin D supplements over a long period of time can cause too much calcium to build up in the body (hypercalcaemia). This can weaken the bones and damage the kidneys and the heart.”
Which Vitamin D supplements should you go for?
There are two forms of Vitamin D supplement – D2 and D3. Vitamin D3 is the most beneficial for human health to take as a supplement.
Vitamins D2 has traditionally come from plants. It structure varies slightly from that of Vitamin D3. D2 is less beneficial for maintaining vitamin D levels in the body.
Make sure you get quality vitamin D supplements if you are looking to take them.
For a lot of “Vitamin D3 supplements, the process actually starts with lanolin, a fatty substance secreted by the skin glands of sheep to condition their wool. It has been used variously by human cultures for thousands of years and today is an ingredient of many skin creams, beauty products and lip balms due to its waterproofing and barrier qualities” according to FoodUnfolded.
But you can get vegan forms of Vitamin D - SB nutrition’s are vegan, tested for heavy metals and derived from natural sources – algae. It is non-genetically modified (non-GMO), made sustainably and uses absolutely no harsh solvents or pesticides. You can check it out here.
To explore more of our natural supplements, click here.
You can read more of our blog posts here.