- Vitamin D is essential for your mood, long term health and immune system function.
- It’s impossible to get enough during the winter so you need to supplement.
- The best time to take Vitamin D is whenever you remember to take it.
What Is Vitamin D And Why Is It Important?
Vitamin D can be classified as both a vitamin and a hormone. This makes it pretty unique as vitamins go. (Source)
Vitamins can be subcategorized into fat-soluble or water-soluble and Vitamin D falls into the fat-soluble group.
This means the body can store some, and it isn’t excreted via the urine in the same way Vitamin C is, for example.
Vitamin D takes two main forms:
- Vitamin D3 (animal-based)
- Vitamin D2 (plant-based)
Both have their unique benefits, and the good thing about Vitamin D2 (you get 100% of your daily requirements via Supergreen Tonik) is that it is vegan and vegetarian-friendly.
Many parts of your body have special receptors just for Vitamin D, which shows how adaptable and crucial it is for different areas of health and well-being.
Vitamin D is also great at helping other nutrients to do their jobs too.
For example, it helps your intestines to absorb calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus, all of which have their special health benefits.
So, when you don’t get enough Vitamin D, you can also end up depleted in other key nutrients as well, as your rate of absorption can decrease.
Health Benefits Of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is important because it can benefit so many areas of your health and well-being.
Here are some of the main benefits.
It Can Support Your Immune Health
Evidence shows you can reduce your risk of respiratory infections if you keep your Vitamin D levels up. This is one of the reasons why you may experience more coughs and colds during the winter – as many people don’t get enough during these months.
Vitamin D helps your body fight off any viruses and bacteria it encounters. Studies have also shown that people with autoimmune disorders tend to have lower-than-ideal Vitamin D levels. (Source)
So it’s good to include sufficient Vitamin D and C during winter.
It Can Reduce Your Risk Of Chronic Disease
Vitamin D deficiencies may increase your risk of multiple chronic diseases. But the good news is that getting enough can reduce your risk of conditions such as multiple sclerosis and heart disease. (Source)(Source)
Studies show that having enough Vitamin D may also reduce the severity of various illnesses, including COVID-19. (Source)
It is thought that Vitamin D can regulate your immune response as well as inflammatory pathways in the body, which may explain its role in reducing chronic disease risk or severity.
It Can Boost Your Mental Health
You might be aware of Vitamin D’s physical health benefits, but did you know it can also benefit your mental well-being?
People with depression who took Vitamin D supplements saw reduced negative emotions and were better able to manage their condition. (Source)
Vitamin D may also help to regulate mood in people with seasonal affective disorder syndrome – which is another reason to keep your levels topped up during the winter months. (Source)
It Can Help With Weight Loss
This is a slightly unusual but highly beneficial aspect of Vitamin D. Studies have shown that people who were supplemented with Vitamin D could lose more of their body mass than those who did not. (Source)
And similarly, studies looking at the Vitamin D status of people who were overweight found that they tended to have lower levels of the Vitamin than people of a healthier weight. (Source)
So if you are keen to watch your weight (and let’s face it, who isn’t?) Perhaps it’s time to think outside the box and consider your nutrient and calorie intake.
Where Can You Get Vitamin D From?
Vitamin D is known as the sunshine vitamin for a reason – the best source of it comes directly from the sun.
Whilst we need to be sun safe, the best way to get sufficient Vitamin D is through 10-30 minutes of unprotected sun exposure on the arms or legs.
This time varies because if you have fair skin, more than 10 minutes could lead to burning, whereas if you have darker skin, you might need more time to absorb the amount you need.
The sunlight is strongest at midday, so this is a great time to stock up on this key Vitamin.
But, sadly, in northern Europe, there isn’t sufficient sunlight during October -March for you to meet your Vitamin D needs.
So it’s just as well you can find Vitamin D in various foods.
Vitamin D3 is in oily fish, beef liver, egg yolks, and shellfish. You can also get the plant-based D3 version in foods such as mushrooms treated with UV light and fortified products like orange juice or cereals.
Many supplements also offer you a daily dose of Vitamin D, usually in the D3 form – which is readily absorbed and ideal if you have a deficiency. But other supplements offer a plant-friendly form of D2, which is a great way of meeting your Vitamin D needs in a vegan-friendly way.
And remember that it can be beneficial to take a supplement which combines Vitamin D with other nutrients such as Calcium, Magnesium, and Phosphorus as these are all better absorbed in the presence of Vitamin D.
How Much Vitamin D Should I Take?
The ideal amount is around 600 iu for those aged up to 70, and 800iu for those older than this. Getting your Vitamin D from a mixture of sunlight and food sources can help you to prevent deficiency, especially in the winter.
But remember that you can get too much of a good thing too. This is because Vitamin D is fat-soluble and therefore, excess can be stored in the body and result in toxicity.
You should have nothing to worry about if you read your supplement instructions carefully and don’t exceed the safe upper limit.
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When Is The Best Time To Take Vitamin D?
When it comes to what time you should take Vitamin D – it really depends on your personal preference. This is because there is no “ideal time”.
Many people wonder if they should take Vitamin D in the morning or the night, but the only thing that matters is when they can remember to take it.
There have been some concerns about whether taking Vitamin D at nighttime could contribute to insomnia, but there’s been no evidence to prove this is the case at all. But if you are wondering whether Vitamin D will keep you awake, the answer is – everybody is individual.
Some anecdotal reports suggest a few individuals find this to be the case, while others may notice no effect at all. So again, it comes down to personal choice. You might like to experiment and see what works best for you.
Some people find it easier to take their supplements in the morning because this means they won’t get distracted later in the day and forget to take it.
But, there are some factors which can affect the absorption of Vitamin D, which can influence how much benefit you gain from supplementing.
For example, it is better absorbed when taken with food. This is because it’s a fat-soluble vitamin and is found naturally in high-fat foods such as oily fish.
So, having your Vitamin D supplement alongside a meal containing healthy sources of fat is wise. This can mean having things such as salmon, avocado, or nuts and seeds.
Studies show this is an easy way for you to increase your absorption of Vitamin D – sometimes by as much as 50%. (Source)
But remember that as great as Vitamin D is, it’s not the only nutrient you need for good health. In fact, it’s easy to get focused on just one individual nutrient supplementation, when in fact nutrients work together, and you need to get enough of them all for good health.
So, instead of remembering to take multiple individual supplements, which can be both costly and inconvenient, why not take a superfood blend which contains Vitamin D amongst a wide range of other nutrients, antioxidants, super greens and more?
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Supergreen Tonik offers you a convenient way to get your daily dose of Vitamin D whilst also giving you a comprehensive insurance policy against other common nutrient deficiencies. The answer to the question: are green powders good for you? Is definitely yes.
And to achieve optimum health, we need more than just minerals and vitamins.
Our body really also needs superfoods such as chlorella and spirulina to take on modern-day threats to our well-being; think processed foods, toxins and stress.
Supergreen Tonik gives you all this and more, making it an ideal choice to bulletproof your health, because remember, prevention is always better than cure.
Julia is a health content editor and nutritionist from Norwich, UK. She has worked as a health coach in private practice and for the national health service. She undertook an MSc in nutritional medicine to deepen her knowledge.
She enjoys producing evidence-based content which inspires people to become healthier and happier.