It can be hard to know what supplements your specific body really and truly needs. Vitamin D is one of those crucial vitamins for most people and can be hard to get in food and sunshine. Of course it is healthier to get nutrients from food, but sometimes supplements are necessary for optimal health. So do you need vitamin D? Here are some of the benefits of vitamin D:
- It helps your bones grow. When taken with calcium, you will be at your optimal bone health and this is especially helpful as you age.
- It reduces your risk for breast cancer, respiratory infections and infertility.
- It helps cell growth and neuromuscular function which means you will not only have healthy bones, but healthy muscles.
- It reduces inflammation in the body which can lead to a plethora of health problems.
Do you know if you are deficient in vitamin D? You can get tested from your doctor to know for sure, but you may have some of these symptoms or be in one of these categories:
- If you have darker skin, you need 10 times more sun exposure to produce the same amount of vitamin D as someone with pale skin. If you have darker skin and live in a cloudy climate, you might be seriously lacking vitamin D.
- You have depression or have been feeling sad.
- You’re older than 50. Chances are you need more vitamin D. You also need more if you are overweight, obese or pregnant.
- Your bones ache or you feel very fatigued.
- Your head is sweating a lot.
- You’re having digestive problems.
Of course the only way to know for sure is to get tested to see which nutrients you might be lacking if you are having strange symptoms. Don’t self-diagnose.
Doctors recommend the average person get at least 600 IUs a day but your doctor may prescribe less or more based on your needs. Stock up on foods rich in vitamin D like fish, milk and yogurt and get plenty of time in the sun (wear sunscreen!). Vitamin D is a crucial vitamin for optimal health so discuss with your doctor and figure out if a supplement is right for you.
Do you take vitamin D supplements? Which kinds are your favorite? Share with us your story!