The Great Health Vitamin: Are You Getting Enough?

Do you know which vitamin is imperative to healthy bones and muscles, helps maintain hormone balance, ensures proper sleep, helps the nervous system manage stress, and is even linked to balanced moods?  Both a vitamin and a hormone, there’s a lot more to vitamin D than just getting some sunshine.

Here are some of the symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency:

  • Bow legs or knock knees (rickets)
  • Burning in mouth or throat
  • Constipation
  • Dental cavities or cracked teeth
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Joint pains or bone pains
  • Muscle pains or cramps
  • Nearsightedness or myopia (can’t see distances)
  • Nervousness
  • Osteomalacia or osteoporosis
  • Poor bone development
  • Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)

It is not necessary to have all of the symptoms to have a vitamin D deficiency.  Conversely, some of the symptoms above can be linked to other conditions so it is always a good idea to consult a physician if you have any of the symptoms mentioned.

While direct sunlight is the best source of vitamin D, new research shows that it takes 48 hours from the time of the sun exposure on the skin for the vitamin D to reach the blood.  In the interim, this oil-soluble vitamin can be washed away with soap, oils, or body lotions that prevent its absorption.  Once you’ve had moderate sun exposure refrain from washing your sun-exposed skin with soap–simply wash with water and reserve soap for the armpit and groin areas only.  If you slather on sunscreens, you’ll also limit your vitamin D intake.  Now, I’m not suggesting that everyone becomes a sun worshipper–moderation is key.

Also, if the sun exposure you’re getting is through your home, office, or car windows, you could be getting UV-A rays that actually deplete vitamin D.

You can also obtain some vitamin D from fish, fish oil, sweet potatoes, sunflower seeds, mushrooms, and many types of sprouts, but the amounts are minimal and sunlight is still the best option.  When supplementing always choose the natural form of vitamin D–vitamin D3.  Dosages vary depending on the person, usually starting at 1000 IU/day.  Some health experts report the reversal of skin and mood disorders on higher doses.

Because vitamin D production is dependent on having adequate cholesterol in your body, you may especially need to supplement with vitamin D if you’re taking statin drugs to lower cholesterol levels.  Consult with a natural health or medical practitioner to determine if vitamin D supplementation is right for you.

Adapted with permission from The Life Force Diet by Michelle Schoffro Cook, BSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM

410 comments

Donna Hamilton
Donna Hamilton4 years ago

Thanks for the info. I took a Vit D supplement for the first time this winter and am astonished at the difference it has made.

Mary Brady
Mary Brady4 years ago

Good information. Would have liked a sentence stating if you live north of the mason dixson line you need to supplement more due to decreased sun exposure.

Elizabeth Brawn
Elizabeth Brawn4 years ago

thank you....a lot better than some other articles on this topic

Alison A.
Alison A.5 years ago

I think I need more vitamin D, thanks for posting!

wizzy wizard
wiz wi5 years ago

better than what the doctor say and there no after afects

Marge F.
Margaret M. F.5 years ago

Thank-you for the informative article. Articles I"v read the last several months have shown that we really need more vitamin D than was originally thought. It has been found that some (adults) have been so deficient in vitamin D that they needed to take a prescription strength until their vitamin D levels were back up in the necessary needed normal range. We also need to remember that vitamin D enhances absorption of the mineral Calcium (ie: why milk, a good source of Calcium, is generally enhanced w/ vitamin D) in order to have adequate Calcium levels. Some Calcium supplement preparations have vitamin D in them as well. Personally, especially due to the fact that I don't get out frequently enough to get the sun's benefit, I take 1000mg of vitamin D 2-3 times per day. Remember to check the label(s) if you are taking a multi-vitamin as well as other supplements that contain vitamin D before deciding how much extra vitamin D you need to take. I thank-you for reading this.

Marge F.
Margaret M. F.5 years ago

Thank-you for the informative article. Articles I"v read the last several months have shown that we really need more vitamin D than was originally thought. It has been found that some (adults) have been so deficient in vitamin D that they needed to take a prescription strength until their vitamin D levels were back up in the necessary needed normal range. We also need to remember that vitamin D enhances absorption of the mineral Calcium (ie: why milk, a good source of Calcium, is generally enhanced w/ vitamin D) in order to have adequate Calcium levels. Some Calcium supplement preparations have vitamin D in them as well. Personally, especially due to the fact that I don't get out frequently enough to get the sun's benefit, I take 1000mg of vitamin D 2-3 times per day. Remember to check the label(s) if you are taking a multi-vitamin as well as other supplements that contain vitamin D before deciding how much extra vitamin D you need to take. I thank-you for reading this.

patricia m lasek
patricia lasek5 years ago

Helpful info.

Rebecca S.
Rebecca Stover5 years ago

I have social phobia and was not going outside enough to get what I needed. Boy, it makes a difference. I take vitamins now. I know I should get real sunshine, but that is just not possible right now.

Val Leishman
Val Leishman5 years ago

There has been so much discussion as of late. Oftimes confusing. Thanks for teh facts