Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that your body needs for many vital processes, including building and maintaining your brain function, immune system and bone structure. Over 85% of people have insufficient vitamin D levels, which is particularly concerning given the pandemic and lack of sunshine in the winter months. Here are 3 effective ways to increase your vitamin D levels.
What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin made by our bodies only when our skin is exposed to the sun. It’s considered an essential nutrient because the human body cannot make it on its own, without the assistance of sunlight, food and/or dietary supplements.
Are You Low in Vitamin D?
What happens when your vitamin D is low? Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency can include:
- Bone fractures
- Weakened immune system - getting sick often
- Fatigue or low energy
- Trouble sleeping
- Chronic pain or joint issues
- Skin issues
What are the best sources of vitamin D?
Vitamin D supplements are available in two types: vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) and vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). Both are also naturally occurring forms that are produced in the presence of the sun’s ultraviolet-B (UVB) rays, hence its nickname, “the sunshine vitamin”. Vitamin D production in the skin (through sun exposure) is the primary natural source of vitamin D, but many people have insufficient levels because they live in places where sunlight is limited in winter, or because they have limited sun exposure due to being inside much of the time. To get your daily vitamin D through sunlight, you need 10 - 15 minutes of direct sunlight daily, without wearing sunscreen. If you have dark skin, you likely need 2-3 times more time in the sun to make enough vitamin D.
Few foods naturally contain vitamin D, though some foods are fortified with the vitamin. The best vitamin D rich foods include:
- Cod liver oil (take about one tablespoon daily)
- Fish (Halibut, Wild-caught salmon & Tuna)
- Fortified milk and dairy products
For most people, the best way to get enough vitamin D is taking a supplement because it is hard to eat enough through food or be consistently exposed to sunlight. The Recommended Dietary Allowance for adults is 600 IU daily and for adults > 70 years it is 800 IU daily.
Procera recognizes the importance of vitamin D and has incorporated this essential vitamin in several products including: