Soaking in sun rays may be more important than you realized—not just for creating that summer tan—but for your health! Vitamin D is vital in the body. It is needed to maintain healthy bones and to regulate cell functions. It helps regulate bone and muscle function, immune health, and cell activity in the brain. It is recommended you intake 15 micrograms per day to maintain adequate levels for the average adult.
What is Vitamin D?
It is a fat-soluble vitamin involved in calcium absorption. Calcium is required for continued bone health and density. Vitamin D works in conjunction with calcium to maintain bone density. It also holds protective properties, supporting immunity, muscle, and brain health.
What are Natural Sources of Vitamin D?
It is naturally found in very few foods, but fortified milks and cereals are good sources. Fatty fish are a great source as well. The primary natural source of vitamin D is sunlight! Direct sunlight converts a naturally occurring chemical in your skin to calciferol—active vitamin D. Certain elements—exposure, UV Indexes, time of day—affect the amount of the vitamin produced during sun exposure.
But the bottom line is, soak up those sun rays!
How Much Should I Take?
Consuming enough is essential, to both feel and look your best! The National Institute for Health offers dosage recommendations for different ages and demographics. Young adults and adults should be consuming at least 15 micrograms—but up to 100 micrograms—per day.
Can I Take Too Much?
Vitamins that are fat-soluble (A, D, E, and K) are not flushed out as easily as water-soluble vitamins (C and B). This means that consuming extreme excesses can cause negative side effects, as the excess is not excreted as easily as water-soluble vitamins.
Does Supplement Brand/Source Matter?
In short, YES! When supplementing vitamin D, think about the source and absorption mechanism of the supplement. Some supplements may be more desirable because they offer 10x the daily recommended value, but if more product is present than needed, it does not benefit you. Your body will not absorb the excess. Supplements that act on liposomal delivery systems are optimal. Liposomal delivery increases nutrient absorption by 15x compared to traditional pill formulas!
If you choose to supplement vitamin D, consider adding vitamin K as well! The two vitamins work in conjunction with calcium for optimal bone health and nutrient absorption. As always, speak with your healthcare provider if you have concerns.