When our skin is exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet B (UVB) rays, our bodies produce vitamin D. However, many people do not get enough sunlight exposure to produce adequate amounts of vitamin D. This is especially true for those who live in areas with limited sunlight, work indoors, or wear clothing that covers most of their skin. Vitamin D is important for our overall health and well-being.
Vitamin D is important for many reasons:
Bone Health: Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium and phosphorus from the food we eat. This is important for maintaining strong and healthy bones.
Immune System: Helps regulate the immune response and reduce inflammation, which is important for fighting off infections and diseases.
Brain and Nervous System: Vitamin D has been linked to improved cognitive function and a reduced risk of depression.
Cancer Prevention: Some studies have suggested that vitamin D may prevent certain types of cancer, such as colorectal, breast, and prostate cancer.
“Vitamin D aids in the repair and regeneration of cells, which could decrease the growth of cancerous tumors, stimulate the death of cells that have been damaged by cancer, and lower the formation of blood vessels in tumors.”1
Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, is essential for good health! Vitamin D can be greatly beneficial in bone health, as it helps the body absorb calcium and phosphorus from the food we eat. Other benefits of vitamin D include that can help boost the immune system, reduce inflammation, and regulate cell growth. Vitamin D deficiency is a common problem, especially among older adults, people with dark skin, and those who do not get enough sunlight or eat a diet low in vitamin D.
In addition to sunlight, vitamin D can also be obtained through food sources such as fatty fish (such as salmon and tuna), egg yolks, and fortified food (such as milk and cereal). However, it can be difficult to get enough vitamin D through diet alone.
A variety of foods with vitamin D naturally: 2
cod liver oil
regular mushrooms and those treated with ultraviolet light
certain cereals and oatmeal (fortified)
orange juice (fortified)
How much Vitamin D do you need?
For most adults, the recommended daily intake of vitamin D is 600-800 IU per day.3 This amount can be obtained through exposure to sunlight, dietary sources, or supplements. However, some individuals may require higher doses of vitamin D, especially those who are at risk of deficiency or have certain health conditions.
Children and adolescents may require higher doses of vitamin D, ranging from 400-600 IU per day, depending on their age and development stage. Pregnant and breastfeeding women may also require higher doses of vitamin D to support the growth and development of the fetus or infant.
More than half of us are considered Vitamin D insufficient. Most people who are deficient don’t display any symptoms, but prolonged deficiency can lead to:
Fatigue or weakness
Bone, muscle, and joint pain
Better your mood with vitamin D
Vitamin D has been linked to depression in various studies. The brain comprises various serotonin and dopamine receptors, which are essential for regulation or mood. Vitamin D affects the number of these receptors, and lower levels may be associated with the development of depressive symptoms. Therefore, it may be beneficial for individuals suffering from depression to ensure that they have sufficient intake of vitamin D.
Depression is a mental illness that affects millions of people worldwide. Common symptoms of depression include a persistent low mood, loss of interest in activities and feelings of hopelessness. There are many factors that can contribute to the development of depression, including genetics, childhood trauma, and life stressors. Studies have shown that people with depression often have lower levels of vitamin D in their blood than those who do not have depression. Low levels of vitamin D may be related to the severity of depressive symptoms.
Given the potential link between vitamin D and depression, there is growing interest in the use of vitamin D supplements as a treatment for depression. However, the evidence is mixed, and more research is needed to fully understand the role of vitamin D in depression. While vitamin D supplements may be beneficial, they are not a replacement for other treatments such as medication and therapy.
Here are some tips on obtaining more vitamin D in your life:
Get more sunlight: Spend more time outside in the sun, especially during the early morning or late afternoon when the sun is less intense.
Aim for 10-15 minutes of sun exposure without sunscreen but be sure to protect your skin from overexposure.
Eat vitamin D-rich foods: incorporate more vitamin D-rich foods into your diet, such as fatty fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel), egg yolks, and fortified foods (milk, cereal, orange juice).
Take vitamin D supplements: If you’re not getting enough vitamin D through sunlight or diet, consider taking vitamin D.
Get regular check-ups: Make sure to get regular check-ups with your doctor to monitor your vitamin D levels and ensure that you are getting enough of this important nutrient.
Vitamin D plays an important role in many aspects of human health, including mental health. Make sure you are getting enough vitamin D for your overall health and well-being - make it a priority today! Have any questions? Talk to our pharmacy team!