How Much Vitamin D Do I Need?
What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is an antioxidant, a type of molecule that plays an important role in a wide variety of your body’s functions. There are two types of vitamin D – D2 and D3. Both D2 and D3 can be beneficial for your health.
Vitamins D2 and D3 both prompt your liver to produce 25-hydroxyvitamin D, which is essential for maintaining your immune system’s health, keeping your bones strong, and regulating your mood.
What Happens If You Have A Vitamin D Deficiency?
When your body isn’t producing enough 25-hydroxyvitamin D, you can experience a number of troublesome and potentially dangerous health issues.
Signs of a vitamin D deficiency include:
- Fatigue and exhaustion. A lack of vitamin D can have an impact on your energy levels. This serves as a partial explanation for why many people experience seasonal fatigue and exhaustion in the wintertime. Less exposure to sunlight can mean lower vitamin D3 levels in the winter, which can lead to feeling constantly rundown and tired. Supplementing with vitamin D3 can help keep this unpleasant side effect from setting in
- Mood problems. In addition to fatigue, lack of vitamin D can also make you feel apathetic. The sun’s rays and the vitamin D3 they help your body produce can play a crucial role in maintaining your emotional health. Taking a vitamin D3 supplement can be a huge help, too.
- Reduced immune function. If your body isn’t producing enough 25-hydroxyvitamin D, it can also impact your immune system since vitamin D plays a major role in keeping your immune system functioning well.
- Weaker bones. In addition to calcium, vitamin C, and other essential vitamins and minerals, vitamin D is vital for bone health. This symptom of a vitamin D deficiency may be harder to notice than other symptoms at first, but it can have a lasting negative effect on your body if it is left unaddressed.
To potentially avoid these issues, make sure to get enough vitamin D from supplements and sunlight! A high-quality vitamin D3 supplement can support your 25- hydroxyvitamin D levels up, especially in the lower-sunlight months of the year.
Vitamin D3 is often referred to as “the sunshine vitamin.” This type of vitamin D is produced by your body in response to sun exposure. Sun exposure is one of the most reliable means of getting vitamin D3, especially if you are vegan as vitamin D3 is otherwise primarily found in animal sources. Fortunately, if you’re vegan, you can still get plenty of vitamin D3 from sunlight and supplements.
Vitamin D3 is easier for your body to convert into 25-hydroxyvitamin D than vitamin D2. This makes D3 a more suitable source to take. A MaryRuth Organics vitamin D3 gummy gives you 25 mcg (1000 IU) of vegan D3, making it a perfect plant-based supplement to include in your diet!
Vitamin D2 is a form of Vitamin D that can be found in limited plant-based foods. It’s often also added to fortified foods like alternative milks, bread, and cereal.
Your body can still benefit from getting vitamin D2 from plant-based foods. However, if you adhere to a vegan lifestyle, supplementing with vitamin D3 is a great idea. D2 is not as effective as D3 at producing 25-hydroxyvitamin D. Since you can mostly only find this form of vitamin D in animal-based foods or from the sun, adding a D3 supplement to a vegan diet is the way to go.
How Much Vitamin D Do I Need To Get in a Day?
The recommended amount of vitamin D intake– both D2 and D3 – differs between men and women. The recommended daily amount of vitamin D is 16 mcg (600 IU) for women and men over the age of 19, and 20 mcg (800 IU) for adults aged 70 and older.
A MaryRuth Organics vitamin D3 gummy gets you well over the daily recommended amount, with each gummy containing 25 mcg (1000 IU) of vitamin D3. Getting extra vitamin D3 in the form of a high-quality supplement is a great way to avoid a deficiency.
We suggest that when it comes to supplementing with vitamin D3 that you stick with the recommended dose and do not advise going over the UL (Tolerable Upper Intake Level) unless suggested to do so by your doctor. The tolerable upper intake level (UL) of vitamin D for adults is 4,000 IU — four times the amount that a MaryRuth’s D3 supplement provides. If you take in copious amounts of vitamin D closer to or past the UL, you may start to see some harmful side effects, such as calcium buildup, nausea, vomiting, weakness, and excessive need to use the restroom.
So, getting about the daily recommended amount of D3 is generally considered safe, but there is a point when you can take in too much vitamin D, so be mindful.
Although it is possible to get too much vitamin D, it’s much more important to find effective ways to get enough of this essential nutrient in your diet.
Below are five tips for getting enough vitamin D each day!
1. Spend Time in the Sun!
Soaking up some sun rays each day helps your liver produce plenty of 25-hydroxyvitamin D. Sun exposure prompts your body to produce vitamin D3, which your liver can convert into 25-hydroxyvitamin D more effectively than vitamin D2. Getting time in the sun every day can help to improve your mood, especially in the colder, darker months of winter. Thanks to the mood-boosting power of vitamin D3, you may start feeling much better if you get some sun when the winter blahs are hitting you hard!
But it is also important to note that whenever you go out in the sun, make sure to put on SPF. Sunscreen will help to protect you from the harmful effects of ultraviolet rays, allowing you to soak up all the benefits of sun exposure and be left without the drawbacks – sunburn, dark spots, irritated skin, and increased skin cancer risk. Through daily application of sunscreen, you can confidently enjoy time catching some rays without worrying about potential risks.
2. Take A High-Quality Supplement
If you eat a plant-based diet, it can be tough to get enough vitamin D3. That’s where supplements such as MaryRuth’s USDA Organic D3 Spray or MaryRuth’s Vitamin D3+K2 Gummies come in handy! Our gummies and liquid spray contain more than the daily amount of vitamin D recommended, and the D3 we use comes from a vegan source.
While many vitamin D3 supplements contain lanolin, which is derived from lamb’s wool fat, our D3 gummies are made with lichen, which is one of the rare plant-based sources of vitamin D3 found in nature. Taking daily D3 supplements can help to support your needs while allowing you to stick with your plant-based diet!
3. Add Fortified Foods To Your Diet
Some plant-based foods, including many dairy-free milk alternatives and cereals, are fortified with vitamin D. You can boost your vitamin D intake by adding these foods to your weekly diet!
Bear in mind that some foods are fortified with a non-vegan form of vitamin D, and many of these may be loaded with added sugar. Try to avoid cereals, milk alternatives, and other fortified foods that are excessively sweetened. Look for fortified foods that contain little to no added sugar, and make these foods some of your go-to sources of dietary vitamin D!
4. Eat Some Mushrooms!
Another excellent source of dietary vitamin D might surprise you – it’s mushrooms!
Many mushrooms contain vitamin D2, and they’re right at home in many plant-based meals. You can find creative ways to include mushrooms in your diet, either cooked or raw. When you combine food sources of vitamin D like mushrooms with a high-quality supplement, you’ll support your body’s needs for this vital nutrient each day.
5. Take A Multivitamin
MaryRuth’s liquid multivitamins contain D3 in addition to plenty of other vital vitamins and minerals. These liquid vitamins are incredibly easy to take, and can give you a major boost of nutrients that is completely compliant with a plant-based diet!
For many vegans, vitamin D3, vitamin B12, and other important nutrients are tough to get from food. Taking a vegan multivitamin is a great way to make sure you don’t get any nutrient deficiencies while sticking with a plant-based diet.
MaryRuth’s liquid multivitamins are perfect for vegans and non-vegans alike – they’re packed with essential nutrients that everyone needs daily, and they taste amazing!
Hopefully these tips have helped shed some light on how important vitamin D is for health -- so with that, chew a gummy, get out in the sun, and give your body the vitamin D it needs!
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