Why Your Body Needs Vitamin D and How the Sun & Supplements Can Help

Our bodies rely on us to take good care of them, and that can mean doing many things: having gratitude for them, nourishing them properly, and moving our bodies are just a few of the ways that we can show thanks to our bodies for keeping us alive!

 

While there are a myriad of ways people suggest that you take care of your body, these can all be broken down into simple steps that you can accomplish every day — without feeling overwhelmed or thinking that being and staying healthy is unobtainable.
 

MaryRuth’s Art of Health for Busy People was created for this reason. It is possible to take small steps every day towards building a healthier lifestyle; this isn’t an “all or nothing” approach.
 

One of the ways that we can properly nourish our bodies is by providing them with the nutrients they need. While there are many macronutrients and micronutrients that our bodies use to perform basic functions, one particular micronutrient that our body needs is vitamin D.
 

What is vitamin D?  

Vitamin D is one of the few vitamins that our body can make on its own with some help from the sun, but it must also be provided by the food we eat and/or through nutrient supplementation.
 

Vitamin D, as well as vitamins A, E, and K, are fat-soluble vitamins. Fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the body for longer periods of time compared to water-soluble vitamins, which evacuate the body through urine when not needed.


How does the sun help provide vitamin D? 

Vitamin D is sometimes called the “sunshine vitamin.” Although our bodies can make vitamin D, it cannot produce vitamin D solely on its own; it is when our body is exposed to sunlight that we are able to produce vitamin D. This is one of the reasons that MaryRuth’s The Art of Health for Busy People recommends getting 15 minutes of direct sunlight everyday!
 

But a few minutes out in the sunlight may not always be enough to get the amount of vitamin D that your body truly needs. Plus, people who live in certain climates may not be able to access sunshine as often as others do.

 

Where else is vitamin D naturally available?  

Although the sun is the only natural way for our bodies to synthesize vitamin D, we can still provide it through food or supplements.
 

Unfortunately, very few foods have naturally occurring vitamin D, and the majority that do are not vegan-friendly, like fatty fish, egg yolks, and beef. Some other foods, like milk or cereal, are fortified with vitamin D, meaning that it’s added into the product during production.
 

Depending on your dietary needs, these may not be great options. One of the only naturally occurring, vegan-friendly foods that can be a good source of vitamin D are mushrooms. Otherwise, supplementing may be necessary if you find that you do not have adequate levels of vitamin D in your body.

 

What is vitamin D’s purpose in the body? 

Vitamin D has many purposes in the body, and its importance, as well as additional benefits, are becoming increasingly known and regularly investigated as scientists keep learning more about this vitamin.
 

Although calcium is usually noted as the one major necessity for strong bones, that is only partially true. Vitamin D plays a crucial role in aiding the absorption and retention of calcium and phosphorus in the body, which is important to support healthy bones and teeth. It also has been shown to have a role in cell growth and immune function.
 

Scientists are still learning more about the benefits vitamin D can have on the body, specifically its possible benefits for muscle strength and immune support, as well as its role in weight loss.

 

How much vitamin D do you need? 

Since vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, meaning that it’s stored in the body, getting the proper amount without having excessive amounts is important.
 

The recommendation is that adults get 20 mcg per day, with an upper intake level at 100 mcg daily. But the proper amount of vitamin D will depend on your specific body’s needs, your age, what your diet is like, and if you’re getting adequate time in the sun. Talking it through with your doctor or healthcare professional can help you determine if you are getting enough vitamin D.

 

Vitamin D deficiency risks 

Although we cannot say exactly how much vitamin D you should be getting, there may be ways to tell if you could possibly be vitamin D deficient. For example, people who live in an area without much sunlight, those who stick to a vegan diet, people who are allergic to dairy, or those with higher levels of melanin in their skin are found to be higher-risk for a vitamin D deficiency.
 

Since vitamin D is produced in our bodies from exposure to sunlight, not getting enough of the sun could put you at risk. Even people who may be getting adequate sunlight but have darker skin may not be getting enough vitamin D from the sun alone, since melanin reduces the skin’s ability to produce vitamin D in response to the sunlight.
 

Vegans or those who are allergic to dairy are also typically at higher risk since the majority of foods that naturally have or are fortified with vitamin D are animal products such as fish and dairy.
 

As mentioned previously, vitamin D is important for the body’s calcium absorption and the building and maintenance of strong bones. This means that a lack of vitamin D may cause bone pain or muscle weakness. Some of the more severe risks of a vitamin D deficiency include stress fractures, rickets, osteomalacia, and osteoporosis.

 

 

How else can you get vitamin D? 

Supplements are available and often necessary for many people who do not get enough vitamin D, and MaryRuth’s has vegan vitamin D in many of our supplements for your specific needs!
 

Our staple Liquid Morning Multivitamin offers D3, along with many other vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, amino acids, and trace minerals for your body’s needs, combined for the best absorption.
 

Our unflavored D3 Spray offers the same type of vitamin D that your body naturally produces, in an easy-to-use spray form. If you prefer flavor and ingesting your vitamins in a different form, we also offer D3 Gummies that boast 3 flavors in one bottle: strawberry, lemon, and orange.
 

We also offer D3 paired with other specific vitamins, each for its own purpose. The Sugar-Free D3 + B12 Gummies are meant to support cellular health with the benefits from each of these vitamins, while our K2 + D3 Calcium Gummies and our D3 + K2 Spray work to aid the body in calcium absorption to support bone health.
 

After evaluating your vitamin D needs, it’s up to you to decide the best method for you to reap the benefits of adequate vitamin D in your body. And MaryRuth’s is here to help you supplement whatever you may need!

 

 

 * References available upon request

 

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