People are always banging on about vitamin D. Your mates, your neighbour, your mum’s best friend's cat’s nephew – they’ve all told you to take vitamin D supplements. But is it really necessary?
Vitamin D is often referred to as the sunshine vitamin. This is because it’s a little bit special… Unlike most vitamins and minerals that come from the foods we eat, we get most of our vitamin D from natural sunlight.
You will find that vitamin D is sometimes artificially added to fortified foods, such as some milks, cereals, or spreads. We can also get small amounts from oily fish, red meat, liver, and egg yolks. So yes, it can be a little tricky to get enough without going out in the sun, especially if you’re vegan.
So, when are vitamin D supplements necessary? How do you know if you need them? Let’s find out…
When Do I Need To Use Vitamin D Supplements?
Some people suffer from a medical vitamin D deficiency – this is something you probably won’t be aware of unless you get it checked by a doctor. Here are some of the main symptoms of vitamin D deficiency.
- Tiredness or fatigue
- Muscle weakness
- Muscle or bone pain
There are also certain groups of people who are more at risk for having a vitamin D deficiency:
- Pregnant or breastfeeding women
- People over 65 years of age
- People with a darker skin tone
- Malabsorption syndromes such as Crohn's disease or Celiac disease
But, vitamin D supplements are not only for people with a medical deficiency. They are also ideal for those who lack vitamin D in their diet and lack sun exposure – and not necessarily every day!
In other words, you should take vitamin D supplements on those days where you don’t get enough of it naturally.
The NHS recommends that people in the UK take vitamin D supplements between October and March, simply because there is less sunlight through this portion of the year. This was especially important this past year, since many of us spent most of our time cooped up inside (thanks a lot, Covid).
It’s a good idea to keep a vitamin D supplement handy for those cloudier days, or the days when you simply don’t have a chance to get outside. Even during the summer months, we all have days like this. And it’s important to ensure that you’re getting enough vitamin D EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
But Why Is Vitamin D So Important?
The main reason we need enough vitamin D every day is because it’s vital for regulating the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body. But why do we need to regulate calcium and phosphate levels? Take a look at the reasons below:
- Keeps bones and teeth healthy
- Helps keep the muscles healthy and strong
- Helps keep the heart and blood healthy
- Helps improve resistance against certain diseases
A lack of vitamin D may also lead to the following problems:
- Muscle weakness
- Muscle and bone pain
You simply spray the liquid under your tongue 8 times a day, and you’re done! It’s a super satisfying and delicious way to get your daily intake (with a yummy spiced orange flavour). Plus, because it’s a liquid, it absorbs into your body more effectively than tablets.