Vitamin D supplements aren’t just for kids. There are some solid reasons to make sure that you’re getting enough vitamin D.
There’s more and more evidence that vitamin D supports immune health, and the majority of people don’t get enough of the sunshine vitamin. You can get your daily vitamin D fix from food, supplements, or from sun exposure without sunscreen.
There aren’t many dietary sources of vitamin D, and most of the foods that do contain vitamin D are animal products: fatty fish, beef liver, and cheese for example. Mushrooms are one of the only plant-based food sources for vitamin D. If you’ve vegetarian or vegan, you may have to work a bit harder to meet you requirements. Even if you do eat animal products, though, there’s a good chance you’re low on vitamin D.
The best way to find out whether you’re vitamin D deficient is to get a simple blood test at your next physical. Early signs of vitamin D deficiency are subtle, so you could be deficient without knowing it.
4 Good Reasons to Take a Vitamin D Supplement
1. Chances are, you’re deficient. Vegetarians and vegans are more likely to need a vitamin D supplement, but around 75 percent of all Americans are actually deficient in vitamin D.
3. It helps prevent the flu, naturally. A 2010 study found that taking 1200 IU of vitamin D per day – around six times the RDA – helps your body fight the flu. With the wretched flu season we’re having this year, these findings are as relevant now as they were four years ago.
Vitamin D2 vs. D3
There are two types of vitamin D supplements available: D2 and D3. Usually D2 is from plant-based sources and D3 is from animal-based sources, and doctors tend to recommend vitamin D3 because it’s more bioavailable. It takes less D3 to raise your blood levels of vitamin D.
But vegan friends, I have good news! There are vegan D3 supplements out there now. D3 used to come from lanolin: an oil in sheeps’s wool. There’s a new D3 on the scene though. It’s derived from lichen, a sea vegetable. Just check the bottle to make sure the D3 you’re choosing is from plant-based sources. I searched “vegan D3″ on Amazon and came up with pages of results, so if you can’t find vegan D3 at the store, try looking online.