It seems two things weigh on our minds lately - COVID and the impending early sunsets now that we are entering the colder, darker months. (Where did the year go?) At times it can be hard not to feel down. While we can’t control the virus or the inevitable winter weather, there is
something we can do to help put our minds at ease.
Vitamin D is a hormone our bodies naturally produce when we are exposed to sunlight, although we do obtain a portion of it through food and dietary supplements. Even though it can’t
guarantee to work major miracles, research does show Vitamin D can help with several major
issues we face.
1. Vitamin D can help reduce symptoms of depression.
A study by the Journal of Internal Medicine examined a group of obese and overweight
subjects to see what the relation was between depression and the body’s natural Vitamin D
levels, and if taking a Vitamin D supplement helped relive the depression symptoms at all. At the end of the study, it was concluded that there was a significant relationship between one’s
Vitamin D levels and depression, and that taking a supplement of Vitamin D showed a major
improvement in the subjects’ health.
2. It may help fight disease/build the immune system.
Before COVID was the main illness on our minds, we were told, year after year, to take
proper precautions during flu season. A study conducted in 2008 by the National Library of
Medicine looked at the effects of Vitamin D supplementation on schoolchildren, and whether it was able to help prevent Influenza A. The results showed a great benefit to those who took the Vitamin D compared to the placebo group.
While fighting off sickness is a main reason doctors emphasize the importance of Vitamin D, its benefits on our bodies reach much further than our yearly sniffles. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found the supplement could also help decrease one’s risk of developing multiple sclerosis.
3. It aids in the development and growth of teeth and bones.
Vitamin D is necessary for our bodies to properly absorb calcium. Children who lack
Vitamin D are at risk for developing rickets, a condition that forms from weak and brittle skeletal structure.
4. It may assist in weight loss efforts.
No, Vitamin D isn’t going to magically melt away the fat. But a study published by the British Journal of Nutrition said there is a possible link between appetite control and supplementation of Vitamin D (when taken with Calcium) in those with naturally low Calcium levels.
A lack of sun exposure is one of the leading causes of Vitamin D deficiency. Not only are
we heading into the winter months, but society in general is spending more time indoors than outdoors. (Just look at the demand for the new PS5 - a love for video games is rampant!) When the sun isn’t available, food and supplements are good secondary sources. Foods naturally containing Vitamin D include a variety of fish; however, many foods are now fortified with Vitamin D, too. If you choose to take a supplemental version, it is recommended children get at least 600 IU daily, and for the majority of the population, at least 1,000 IU for proper bone health.
Ready to add Vitamin D to your supplement stack? Stop by a nutrition shop, like your
local Health Spot, to stock up!
Picture Caption: Self Evolve’s new vegan Vitamin D3 product, with 5,000 IU per serving