Knowing your vitamins can be tricky. After all, there are so many of them, each with their own list of benefits. We may know roughly which vitamins do what, but it’s easy to get lost in all the jargon and it can be tricky to know exactly what we need and why.
This year, the vitamin that's taken the spotlight is no doubt Vitamin D. Perhaps best known for boosting bone and muscle health, it’s recently become part of mainstream conversation for its role in defending against flu viruses.
Here, we break down the key benefits of vitamin D, why it’s especially important to keep your levels topped up in the winter, and some of the lesser known reasons it could be your new non-negotiable.
Sunshine + Vitamin D
Known as the “sunshine vitamin”, vitamin D (specifically D3) is produced naturally in your skin when exposed to the sun. During the winter months, a decrease in sunlight requires us to top up our levels with supplements or specific food sources.
It’s also worth noting that if SPF is a key player in your daily routine, ensuring your vitamin D levels are sustained is essential. While SPF is vital in protecting your skin against the sun’s damaging rays, one side effect is that you end up absorbing far less of that all-important “sunshine vitamin”. So you might want to consider investing in a vitamin D supplement if you are as devoted to your SPF as we are!
So what exactly are the health benefits of vitamin D? And why might you benefit from investing in a supplement?
Disease + Vitamin D
Research has shown that Vitamin D may help reduce your likelihood of developing the flu, and has therefore been suggested as a way to boost our global defense against Covid-19.
However, it’s not just the flu virus that vitamin D is thought to help protect against. Overall, this vitamin is believed to help facilitate the normal function of our immune systems with research showing that it can help lower your risk of developing heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer.
Depression + Vitamin D
Exposure to sunlight is thought to help boost our mood as well as our energy levels, and a deficiency in vitamin D has been commonly linked to both anxiety and depression. Therefore, during the long, dark winter months, vitamin D is thought to play a crucial role in warding off depression and low energy levels.
Muscle Aches and Pains
This is perhaps one of vitamin D’s better known health benefits. The vitamin works to regulate absorption of calcium and phosphorus which is vital for overall bone and muscle health. A deficiency in vitamin D is also believed to put you at risk of suffering from different types of bone abnormalities. It's therefor suggested as a supplement to help those suffering from aches and pains, and can be particularly beneficial to women approaching the menopause as bone loss can occur rapidly in the first few years, increasing the risk of osteoporosis.
- Research shows that older people and those with darker skin are more likely to suffer from a deficiency of vitamin D. In these cases, it’s especially important to supplement your diet with some form of the vitamin, to ensure you stay in optimum health.
- There are a number of foods that can help boost vitamin D levels. These include salmon, tuna, eggs, orange juice etc among many others. However, it has been suggested that it’s difficult to get the recommended amount of vitamin D from food sources alone.
- There are different compounds of vitamin D, with D3 believed to be better absorbed by the body than D2.
All in all, it seems that vitamin D may well be worth the hype. From improved moods, to a better functioning immune system, we could all benefit from a little more of this “sunshine vitamin”.
Which Supplements are Best?
Explore our full range of vitamin D supplements here. We stock a range of different formulas from tablets to sprays, so there is something to suit everyone.