If I had to ONLY select one supplement to take throughout the year, it would be Vitamin D3. Now, I would prefer to take more than one supplement because let’s be honest, they are all amazing for their own purposes, but I hope that stresses the importance of Vitamin D specifically.
If you are not convinced just yet, hang tight, as I will explain all about why I selected this supplement!
First, let’s discuss what Vitamin D actually is, and then we will go into why it is so important for your body & mind.
What Is Vitamin D
Vitamin D, commonly called “The Sunshine Vitamin” is produced when your body is exposed to sunlight. In fact, just 20-30 minutes of sunlight will produce 10,000-50,000 IU’s of Vitamin D.
Now, Vitamin D is actually a hormone. Vitamin D supports many functions in the body including mood & mental health, heart health, immune system, cellular replication, muscles, blood sugar levels and more!
When the weather is warmer/sunnier, we are able to get Vitamin D from the sun; however, daily sunshine isn’t always available, even in the warmer months, and higher levels of stress can deplete Vitamin D levels in your body. Please keep in mind, even in sunny times, there is evidence showing adults and children are still not getting enough Vitamin D from the sun alone.
In fact, people who live at latitudes about 37 degrees north (the shaded area in the image below) make little, if any, Vitamin D from the sun for nearly half the year (in our fall and winter months). Other than the season, factors that influence synthesis and UV exposure include the length of day, cloud cover, smog, skin melanin content, pollution, and sunscreen.
Now that we understand what Vitamin D is and how we can get it from the sunlight (sometimes), let’s discuss why it is so important for your body.
Benefits of Vitamin D
As I mentioned earlier, Vitamin D plays many roles within your body. Since it is a hormone, it goes to work on a cellular level in your body, which is why it is so beneficial for overall health and wellbeing.
In the past, Vitamin D was widely recognized for its support in bone, muscle & teeth and now with more expansive research and studies, we have learned of the importance of Vitamin D in supporting a healthy immune system as well.
Generally speaking, individuals with a Vitamin D deficiency have a higher risk of developing illnesses, thus making supplementation with Vitamin D year-round of high importance.
During a “normal” year, colds, flus, and other viral infections are brought on by a weakened immune system. In 2020, we have those colds, flus, other viral infections AND Coronavirus.
Now, more than ever, we all need to be supplementing with Vitamin D, not only for our bones, muscles, and teeth but also as an extra layer of protection for our immune system.
In fact, there has been preliminary research indirectly showing the relationship between Vitamin D and a decreased risk of severe symptoms and complications associated with Coronavirus.
One study even noticed that 97% of people experiencing a severe infection had a severe Vitamin D deficiency <20ng/ml.
Vitamin D has also shown mood-boosting potential in conditions such as depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
SAD will often manifest itself as feelings of sadness or depression, specifically during certain seasons or times of the year. You may feel as though you struggle to get out of bed in the morning, feel drowsy or low energy during the day, like you can’t get enough sleep and may even notice weight gain.
Luckily, Vitamin D in some cases can greatly improve these feelings of depression!
Although we can get Vitamin D from the sunlight, sometimes, supplementation with Vitamin D is something we should all be doing year-round… Keeping in mind, the dosage during certain times of the year will vary depending on where you live, your blood levels, your body weight and other health factors.
The great thing about Vitamin D supplementation is that there is no prescription needed, it is safe, relatively inexpensive & effective per the research in protecting your body.
Now let’s further discuss the dosages and normal ranges. First and foremost, take these recommendations as general guidelines, not for medical practices. The normal medical range for Vitamin D is 20-40ng/ml.
I should also mention, although the medically established range is between 20-40ng/ml, research has suggested that it may not be an entirely adequate range for generally healthy individuals seeking optimal health. Meaning, if you are a healthy individual (not having any underlying conditions), the “normal” range for serum Vitamin D levels should be higher to ensure we are adequately protecting our bodies.
It is important that you test, if able, to know specifically where your Vitamin D levels are at because everyone’s levels will be different!
Generally speaking, the recommended range for supplementation will be between 3,000-8,000 IU’s, especially in the colder months. The precise supplement recommendation will vary from person to person, so please be sure to consult your doctor and/or health professional.
When supplementing with Vitamin D, it is important to find a product that is high quality and effective at protecting your body’s overall health and wellbeing. I have absolutely loved Eniva’s Liquid Vitamin D3 supplement because it gives you the option to take it straight up from the dropper or mix it into your favorite beverage!
Eniva’s Vitamin D3 provides natural and high potency Vitamin D3 and tastes great!
I hope by now you are convinced that including Vitamin D into your supplement routine is imperative because when it comes to protecting your body and mind, what else is truly more important?