Sources of vitamin D vary and it is important to know where we gain the “sunshine vitamin” in order to obtain the required dosage. The nutrient plays an essential part in our bones, muscles, and natural defences. Discover the sources of vitamin D, and how supplements can help you ensure you receive a regular intake.
Table of Contents:
- Sourcing Vitamin D from Sun Exposure
- Food Sources of Vitamin D
- Vitamin D Supplements
- Vegan Sources of Vitamin D
Sourcing Vitamin D from Sun Exposure
Our bodies generate vitamin D from sunlight, meaning our levels are impacted by our exposure to the sun. When the sun’s rays come into contact with your skin, the UVB rays interact with a protein in the skin, which transforms it into vitamin D3 which is the active form of this vitamin. Whilst vitamin D supplements can support your nutrient intake if you experience limited sun exposure.
Some areas of the world are less sunny than others, so it can be difficult to obtain the recommended vitamin D levels you need. For example, in the UK it is rarely sunny enough for sufficient vitamin D in the months of October to March. This means it is essential to find other sources of vitamin D to obtain the recommended amount.
Ensuring you receive enough time in the sunlight is important to allow you to source vitamin D and avoid vitamin D deficiency. Whilst it is still essential to wear sunscreen to avoid other skin-related issues that come along with sun exposure.
Food Sources of Vitamin D
As with most of the vital nutrients we need, many may source it from their food. However, only 10% of vitamin D comes from food, as sunlight is the key source. Therefore, many may find it difficult to obtain the “sunshine vitamin” from diet alone.
There are important food sources of vitamin D which can help to naturally increase levels of the “sunshine vitamin”. Without enough, you could experience the signs of low vitamin D, which can negatively impact health. The nutrient is a fat-soluble vitamin, which is present in different types of food. Food sources of vitamin D include:
- Oily fish (tuna, mackerel, salmon)
- Dairy products (milk, cheese)
- Beef liver
- Fortified foods (cereal, breads, juices)
Levels of this nutrient can vary depending on the types of food, or where it is sourced from. For example, wild salmon and free-range eggs may contain more vitamin D than caged eggs or farmed salmon.
Achieve Your Daily Dose with Supplements
Supplements can be an essential part of nutrition. They can help you to increase your levels in order to see the benefits of vitamin D. Vitamin D supplements taken regularly can also help to boost your immune system, fighting off infection. This is because vitamin D supports the immune system through its interaction with T cells, B cells, and dendritic cells. All of which are key to immune function.
According to the NHS, those aged 1 to adulthood need at least 10 micrograms of vitamin D per day. Vitamin D supplements can help you to source vitamin D and avoid low levels. Staying below the safe upper limit of each type of vitamin is important to ensure you intake proper amounts. It is also vital to take note of the nutrient reference values for vitamins and minerals to stay on top of your nutrition.
Everyone is advised to take a supplement through the winter months, whilst those at risk of low levels are advised to supplement vitamin D all year round.
BetterYou’s award-winning range of Vitamin D Supplements are available in a number of dosage strengths for the whole family, from children’s vitamins to toddler vitamins. With natural flavours, your little ones will love getting their source of vitamin D without interrupting playtime.
How Do Food Sources & Supplements Compare?
It’s essential that we intake the optimum amount of vitamin D daily to avoid deficiencies, and the unwanted symptoms that come along with that. Adults require at least 10 micrograms a day, and depending on your diet this can be tricky to achieve. For example, if you were to try and get all your daily vitamin D from eggs, you’d have to eat 6 everyday! Whereas our vitamin D oral sprays deliver above your daily dose, with the D4000 offering a maximum strength supplement for those that need it. This makes it extremely efficient and easy to achieve your daily levels in seconds.
Vegan Sources of Vitamin D
Vitamin D sources include food which may be excluded from a vegetarian or vegan diet. Therefore, those who avoid these sources of vitamin D may be more likely to develop low levels. Vitamin D is one of the supplements that vegans should take, because it is present in meat, fish, eggs, and dairy products. Vegan supplements are designed to provide the gap in nutrients that people following a plant-based diet may experience. Whilst vegetarians may exclude meat and fish, they can still obtain this nutrient from eggs and dairy products, as well as others such as cereals and breads. However, vegetarians may wish to take vegetarian supplements to support their diet.
The majority of our vitamin D is sourced from Lanolin, which is derived from the wool from sheep. While our vitamin D supplements are suitable for vegetarians, some vegans may not wish to supplement using this vitamin D source.
At BetterYou, we have a vegan-friendly version for our Vegan Vitamin D Spray. We use a vegan source of vitamin D called D3V®. This is sourced from algae, and is vegan approved by the Vegetarian Society.
Other vegan sources of vitamin D include milk alternatives fortified with vitamins and minerals, mushrooms, cereals and juices.