Vitamin D deficiency is a common problem, especially in the UK or if you are based in a location where you see very little sunshine. In this blog post, we will discuss the benefits of getting enough vitamin D, focus on how you can use it to enhance your bone health and why vitamin D deficiency could put you more at risk!
Why is Vitamin D Important?
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that can be found in a few food sources, such as oily fish, and eggs, as well as through supplements (like at Nourished). Vitamin D typically comes from the wool fat in sheep which is secreted by the sebaceous glands. Our vegan alternative however is sourced from algae and lichen fungus species grown in northern Canada.
One of the best ways to get your daily dose of vitamin D is from exposure to sunlight. Just like how plants need sunlight to grow, our bodies also rely on sunlight to produce this important vitamin.
Sunlight Aids Vitamin D Production
When our skin is exposed to sunlight, it triggers a chemical reaction that causes our bodies to produce vitamin D. This process is known as photosynthesis and it’s how we get the majority of our vitamin D. Unfortunately, this process is not always reliable, which is why many people are deficient in this important vitamin.
According to certain reports, up to 74% of the UK population may have below adequate blood levels of vitamin D during parts of the year, and as a result, may require vitamin D supplementation [ii].
The Negatives of a Vitamin D Deficiency on Health Bones
A vitamin D deficiency can cause a variety of issues to your health, including a loss of bone density (also known as osteoporosis) and osteomalacia, which can result in weak bones [iii].
If you would like to understand more about your own vitamin D blood levels and make sure you aren't consuming too much vitamin D, then we advise that you contact your local GP or doctor.
Why are Healthy Bones Important?
I'm sure we all remember how we were told as kids to eat certain foods or drink certain products (such as milk) to help our bones grow strong! But why are healthy bones important?
Healthy bones are vital to supporting our body, protecting the brain and other vital organs, and enabling us to go about our daily tasks.
Our bones also act like a bank too, as they hold a supply of calcium and phosphorus that is slowly released into the body when needed [iv]. Calcium is another important nutrient our body needs as it could reduce the risk of blood clotting, can aid muscle function and could regulate normal heart rhythms [xii].
When bone health isn't maintained, it can lead to them becoming brittle and being more at risk of breaks and fractures. Asides from stating the obvious that a fracture and broken bone can be extremely painful, this can also lead to longer impairments if serious and may also require surgery [iv].
How Vitamin D Can Aid Bone Health
While getting enough vitamin D is important for all of us, it’s especially critical for those who are at risk for osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a serious problem that affects millions of people around the world [xiii]. However, there are things you can do to lower your risk and aid your bone health.
One of the ways in which you could reduce the risks of osteoporosis is by ensuring you get enough calcium and vitamin D. As we mentioned earlier, vitamin D helps our bodies absorb calcium [iv], so it’s essential for bone health. If you’re not getting enough of these nutrients, your bones can become weak and fragile.
What Foods Are Highest In Vitamin D?
There are a few ways you can make sure you’re getting enough vitamin D.
First, eat a balanced diet that includes plenty of calcium-rich foods, such as dairy products, leafy greens, and fortified foods. By getting regular exercise and spending time outside in the sun you can help keep your bones healthy and strong, and also aid the natural vitamin D production process in the body too [iv]!
However, it can be challenging to find sources containing enough vitamin D for a vegan diet. Mushrooms are the only vegetables to contain vitamin D, and can be combined with other vegan sources such as from fortified foods (such as fortified cereal and orange juice) and non-dairy milk (for example soy milk) [vi].
Vitamin D Supplements
Outside of getting vitamin D through foods you can also boost your levels through supplementation of vitamin D (such as what we offer at Nourished).
But vitamin D supplementation isn't just for those on a vegan diet. Some studies advise that those most at risk should consider supplementation of vitamin D in order to reduce the risk of fractures and injuries [v].
NHS England also advises the supplementation of vitamin D throughout the autumn and winter months, and all year round for those not getting enough vitamin D [xii].
At Nourished, our Vegan Vitamin D3 has been carefully formulated in response to the latest research which indicates how an increased dosage of Vitamin D (higher than current government guidelines) may be linked to better health outcomes surrounding our immune systems and Covid-19, along with possible other benefits such as reducing the risk of breast cancer [vii] [x] [viii] [ix] [xi].
Vitamin D is a powerhouse when it comes to potential health benefits, with certain reports suggesting that this could also affect more than just bone health (such as immunity and wound healing). If you would like to read more about the other ways in which vitamin D can affect your health (along with links to the studies) then read our other blog posts below:
- What are T-Cells and how Vitamin D can Boost Immunity
- Why we 5x our Vitamin D3 Dosage at Nourished
- How Vitamin D Can Aid Wound Recovery
How to Get Your Own Vitamin D Supplements at Nourished?
Whether you are looking for ways to aid healthy bones or for one of the other potential benefits provided by vitamin D, this powerful ingredient can be added to your own personalised, freshly 3D-printed gummy today here at Nourished!
Gummy nutrients are chewable, and easier to consume, and studies have shown that gummy form can lead to higher absorption of certain ingredients.
Want to Learn More About Vitamin D and Vitamin D3?