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Do I Need to Take Vitamin D? Some Surprising Benefits

There’s so much talk about vitamin D out there that I thought I would put together a quick check list of the surprising reasons why you should be taking vitamin D.

Did you know that it is estimated that 1 billion people have vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency worldwide? [1].

Vitamin D is one of the most under rated ways of keeping yourself mentally and physically well.

Did you know that vitamin D can help with your brain and mental health? 
Did you know that it affects how your genes are switched on or off?
Did you know that it reduces inflammation in your whole body?
Did you know that it can help you lose weight?


Having good levels of vitamin D is a really fantastic way to biohack your health. It’s why I put high levels of vegan D3 in all M+E brain health supplements [M+E supplements]


Where can you get vitamin D from?

The sunshine vitamin is produced:
  • naturally by your body in your skin when it’s exposed to enough sunlight
  • it is in certain foods: fatty fish, fish oils, egg yolk, mushrooms, butter and liver
  • it is fortified in some foods: milk, cereal, yogurt, juice
  • it is in supplements in two forms: vitamin D2 and vitamin D3


Many of us adopt a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle making very difficult to eat enough foods which have vitamin D. 

Many people get very little sun. They either work indoors or live in a country that doesn’t get much sunlight during the winter. 

If this applies to you, make sure to regularly eat plenty of food rich in vitamin D.
It can be hard to get enough vitamin D each day through sun exposure and food alone, so taking vitamin D supplements can help.

D3 or D2?
The vitamin comes in two main forms:
  • Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol)
  • Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol)
Vitamin D2 and D3 are not equal when it comes to raising your vitamin D status.
Both are effectively absorbed into the bloodstream. However, the liver metabolises them differently.

Calcifediol is the main form of vitamin D circulating in your blood stream and it’s levels reflect your body’s stores of this nutrient.

However, vitamin D2 seems to yield less calcifediol than an equal amount of vitamin D3.

Most studies show that vitamin D3 is more effective than vitamin D2 at raising blood levels of calcifediol [2]

For example, one study in 32 older women found that a single dose of vitamin D3 was nearly twice as effective as vitamin D2 at raising calcifediol levels [3]

If you are taking vitamin D supplements, check to see if they are vegan vitamin D3.



What are the benefits of Vitamin D?
1.   Healthy bones: it’s vital in the absorption of calcium and phosphorous for normal growth and development of bones and teeth. Prevents osteoporosis.

2.   Fights disease: it helps your immune system to function properly. It has been shown to help with Covid [4], heart disease [5], the flu [6], and multiple sclerosis [7]

3.   Lowers inflammation: lowers markers of chronic inflammation that undermines your health and increases your risk for various diseases – including mental health, 
heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer’s [8]

4.  Reduces depression: essential for brain health and neurodevelopment. 
Research has shown that vitamin D might play an important role in regulating mood and warding off depression.

It has been found that people with depression who received vitamin D supplements noticed an improvement in their symptoms [10]

Its deficiency has been linked to many problems such as dementia, depression, diabetes mellitus, autism, and schizophrenia [9]

5. Boosts weight loss: Consider adding vitamin D supplements to your diet if you’re trying to lose weight.

People taking a daily calcium and vitamin D supplement are able to lose more weight as it has an appetite-suppressing effect [11]

6. Gene expression: affects how genes express themselves and vitamin D supplementation contributes to the maintenance of wellbeing and the prevention of age- and lifestyle-related diseases, in particular those related to chronic inflammation, through genes being switched on and off [12]

What are the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency?

In adults, a vitamin D deficiency may:
  • cause muscle weakness
  • intensify bone loss
  • increase the risk of fractures
  • general sense of feeling unwell
  • tiredness

Why am I deficient in vitamin D?

Many factors can affect your ability to get sufficient amounts of vitamin D through the sun alone. These factors include:
  • Being vegan
  • Being in an area with high pollution
  • Using sunscreen
  • Spending less time indoors
  • Living in big cities where buildings block sunlight
  • Wear clothing that covers all your skin
  • Have darker skin (the higher the levels of melanin, the less vitamin D the skin can absorb)

How much vitamin D do I need?

How much vitamin D you need depends on many factors. These include:
  • age
  • ethnicity
  • latitude
  • season
  • sun exposure
  • clothing
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends an average daily intake of 400–800 IU, or 10–20 micrograms.
 
However, some studies find that the daily intake needs to be higher if you aren’t being exposed to the sun or have darker skin tones or if you are post menopausal or overweight.

All things considered, a daily vitamin D intake of 1,000–4,000 IU, or 25–100 micrograms, should be enough to ensure optimal blood levels in most people.
According to the National Institutes of Health, the safe upper limit is 4,000 IU. 
Make sure not to take more than that without consulting with a healthcare professional.

The word microgram is sometimes written with the Greek symbol μ followed by the letter g (μg).

Sometimes the amount of vitamin D is expressed as International Units (IU). 1 microgram of vitamin D is equal to 40 IU. So 10 micrograms of vitamin D is equal to 400 IU.

If you would like to know more I write a blogs and a monthly newsletter with lots of information on how to take care of your brain and mental health with psychological insights, nutrient information and lifestyle tips.
 
It’s all about taking care of yourself from 360 degrees.

I’d love it if you would like to join us:


If you would like to find out more have a look here:


If you would like to buy the best brain health supplements with vegan vitamin D3 click here:




Take care
Evelyn
x

 

 

References:

1 Holick MF. Vitamin D deficiency. N Engl J Med. 2007;357:266-81.

 

2 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22552031/

 

3 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18492750/

 

4. https://www.bmj.com/content/372/bmj.n544

 

5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2726624/

 

6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20219962/

 

7. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/204651

 

8. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-19708-0

 

9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6132681/

 

10. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1365-2796.2008.02008.x

 

11. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition/article/calcium-plus-vitamin-d-supplementation-and-fat-mass-loss-in-female-very-lowcalcium-consumers-potential-link-with-a-calciumspecific-appetite-control/623D71E0A965E910C48903089FA7B56C

 

12. https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/11/3/676/htm

References:

1 Holick MF. Vitamin D deficiency. N Engl J Med. 2007;357:266-81.

 

2 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22552031/

 

3 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18492750/

 

4. https://www.bmj.com/content/372/bmj.n544

 

5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2726624/

 

6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20219962/

 

7. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/204651

 

8. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-19708-0

 

9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6132681/

 

10. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1365-2796.2008.02008.x

 

11. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition/article/calcium-plus-vitamin-d-supplementation-and-fat-mass-loss-in-female-very-lowcalcium-consumers-potential-link-with-a-calciumspecific-appetite-control/623D71E0A965E910C48903089FA7B56C

 

12. https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/11/3/676/htm

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