Why should you take vitamin D3 in summer? - NL-032
Should I take vitamin D3 in the summer? The answer is a resounding yes. Ideally, being in the sun for about 15-20 minutes is enough to make good amount of vitamin D. However, some factors can affect how much vitamin D you can actually make when you are out in the sun. For example, it depends on where you live (how far from the equator), how much time you can practically spend outdoors every day, the amount of cloud cover, as well as the colour of your skin (amount of melanin).
The time of day also makes a difference to the amount of vitamin D you can make during sun exposure. It is because the UVB rays, the type of sun rays that stimulate the production of vitamin D in the skin, are strongest around noon. Here is a quick tip. If your shadow in the sun is shorter than your actual height you are making good amounts of vitamin D.
Getting out in the sun could be a challenge for people with a high risk of skin cancer or those with jobs that require spending long hours indoors. And for some people it is even more important to take vitamin D3 supplements all year round as they are more likely to develop vitamin D deficiency than others.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women also need higher amounts of vitamin D than usual to maintain their own health and to support the skeletal and overall development in foetus.
People with kidney and/or liver dysfunction, obesity, celiac disease and Crohn's disease need to take care of their vitamin D levels all year round. You can develop vitamin D deficiency if you are on statins, drugs that lowers cholesterol levels. Statins block the production of vitamin D in the body, hence the need for supplements.
Why do you need vitamin D?
- Supports bone health, reduces risk of osteoporosis
- Reduces inflammation
- Regulates immunity
- Lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease
- Reduces the risk of allergies and autoimmune conditions
- Helps in asthma
- Improves mood and cognition
- Helps in depression and Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
- Useful in inflammatory bowel disease
- Helps reduce symptoms in psoriasis
- Lowers the risk of diabetes
- Keeps your thyroid gland healthy
- Supports eye health
- Supports healthy pregnancy
Vitamin D deficiency and health problems
If you want to maintain vibrant physical, mental and emotional health, keeping an eye on your vitamin D levels is a must. It is well-known that vitamin D deficiency can cause osteoporosis (weak and brittle bones in adults) and rickets (softening of bones in children). But did you know poor vitamin D levels also makes you prone to developing cardiovascular disease, allergies, upper respiratory infections, asthma, depression, dry eyes and autoimmune disorders? Studies show that vitamin D deficiency is linked to poor thyroid health, psoriasis, poor mood, and poor cognitive functions.
Ways to boost vitamin D levels
There are two ways to maintain healthy levels of vitamin D: Getting out in the sun (without sunscreen, at the right time of the day and for about 15-20 minutes) and taking high-quality vitamin D3 supplements.
Another important thing to know is that vitamin D may be a superstar nutrient with such an incredibly long list of health benefits to its credit, but your body can’t put it to good use if you have magnesium deficiency. Magnesium, in itself, is an amazing mineral that you need to produce energy, manage stress, and sleep better. It also keeps your bones and muscles healthy and may even reduce the risk of fractures in older adults, according to some studies. If you are taking vitamin D3 supplements, top up with magnesium through food and supplements. Nuts, seeds, dark chocolate and green leafy vegetables are good sources of magnesium.