Why do you need to take Vitamin D?

Updated 

Did you know that 1 in 4 Australians has a Vitamin D deficiency*?  

Interestingly, vitamin D deficiency is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies worldwide! 

Vitamin D3 shines like no other essential nutrient. 

Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is the form of vitamin D that is naturally made by our bodies after the skin is exposed to direct sunlight. It can also be found in vitamin supplements and foods, such as fortified milk, fatty fish, fish liver oil, and egg yolks. Most adults should get at least 1,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D daily, however It’s difficult to get enough through your diet alone. 

Why is vitamin D so important? 

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays critical roles in the proper functioning of your body, including bone health, muscle health and immunity. 

What can increase your risk of vitamin D deficiency? 

Factors such as spending your time indoors, living in an area with high pollution and where buildings block the sun can affect your ability to get adequate vitamin D from sunlight alone. 

You may also be less likely to absorb enough vitamin D from the sun if you have darker skin (The higher the levels of melanin, the less vitamin D your skin can absorb.) and live in colder climate areas. 

Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency 

- Bone or Muscle pain and weakness
- Tiredness, aches, and pains
- Stress Fractures, especially in your legs, pelvis, and hips

What kind of vitamin D is best? 

Since vitamin D3 or cholecalciferol is naturally found in the human body, it is generally considered the preferred form of vitamin D supplementation. 

Vitamin D3 supplements can be sourced from lanolin- a waxy substance in sheep’s wool and lichen a combination of two different organisms- a fungus and an alga or cyanobacterium. It’s naturally found on mountainsides, rocks and trees in abundance. Vitamin D3 sourced from lichen is the preferred form of vitamin D for vegans and vegetarians. 

If you think you may be deficient in vitamin D, ask a healthcare professional for a blood test. Vitamin D deficiency is surprisingly common, but the symptoms are often subtle and nonspecific. 

* ABOS(2011-2012) Australian Health Survey: Biomedical Results for Nutrients 

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