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Article Highlights

  • Vitamin D Deficiency is very common during winter as that’s when we get the least exposure to the sun.
  • To beat vitamin D deficiency during winter, when you can’t get sufficient exposure to sunlight, consider vitamin D rich foods and supplements.
  • When trying to get sunlight exposure to increase the level of vitamin D in your body, be careful not to over expose yourself to the sun as this may negatively affect your skin and your health
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Vitamin D Deficiency During Winter

Vitamin D is widely known as one of the most important nutrients for a healthy life. It is often referred to as the “sunshine vitamin” due to the sun helping with its production in the body. Just some of the many vitamin D benefits include reducing inflammation and supporting bone health, and it has even been reported to reduce cancer cell growth.

Since vitamin D is so beneficial, issues can arise with vitamin D deficiency. With vitamin D function being so important in daily human life, making sure you always have enough is important for your lasting health.

There are a few different vitamin D deficiency causes that are out of your control. It could be the case that you have a vitamin D deficiency disease occurring. However, the most common scenario is vitamin D deficiency during winter, particularly because of the absence of sun exposure.

When this occurs, people suffering from vitamin D deficiency should turn to supplements to help them obtain the vitamin D that they need. Individual vitamin D supplements are a possibility, but it is also a good idea to look into getting a multivitamin to help make sure all the nutrients you need are covered.

The amount of vitamin D you need and the severity of your deficiency can differ based on many factors. If you have darker skin, it can be harder to produce vitamin D from the sun, which can make vitamin D deficiency much more common. This issue is only magnified during winter months with less sun exposure.

To help illustrate the importance of vitamin D and how you can ensure you are maintaining healthy levels, we have created this article to cover all the important details.

Vitamin D Deficiency Symptoms

It is important to recognize vitamin D deficiency symptoms so that you can act on them and seek solutions. As with many other illnesses, there are a wide variety of symptoms, and vitamin D deficiency and neurological symptoms will present differently from one person to the next. For instance, let’s consider one of the most common vitamin D deficiency symptoms: dizziness. You shouldn’t doubt that you are experiencing vitamin D deficiency just because you aren’t dizzy, and you shouldn’t assume that you are if the opposite is true.

To help demonstrate the wide range of low vitamin D symptoms in adults, let’s look at 14 signs of vitamin D deficiency.

  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Hair Loss
  • Weight Gain
  • Bone aches
  • Hair loss
  • Depression
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pale Skin
  • Muscle weakness
  • More frequent illnesses
  • Wounds heal slower
  • Heart issues
  • Reduced cognitive function

Many of these symptoms can be associated with other illnesses, and the presence of any one of them will not always mean that you have a vitamin D deficiency. If you suspect that you do have a deficiency, you should ideally consult with your doctor.

If the winter months are approaching and/or you know that you don’t get enough sunlight daily, then you may want to consider implementing a multivitamin into your diet routine. Sunlight is probably the easiest way to get vitamin D, with vitamin supplements coming in second. Otherwise, there are some food options you can choose that will help you receive some vitamin D as well.

Vitamin D in food can be difficult to find. However, fatty fish are well known for having a significant enough presence of the vitamin. Salmon, tuna, and swordfish could all be eaten to help improve your vitamin D levels.

Vitamin D Sources

Now that we’ve started on the topic of vitamin D sources, let’s elaborate on it a bit. So far, we have established that there are vitamin D foods, you can produce Vitamin D with the help of the Sun, and multivitamins are a convenient source of vitamin D. When it comes to vitamin D foods, you may wonder if fish is your only option. After all, are there any vitamin D foods for vegetarians?

There are more vitamin D foods, but if you’re looking for vitamin D vegetables and fruits, you will have a hard time finding them. If you think you’ve heard of some examples of vitamin D fruits such as oranges, then this is most likely because of the prevalence of juices and how often they are fortified with vitamin D.

SunnyD, the popular orange juice drink, is fortified with Vitamin D but is not actually pure orange juice. Similarly, many other foods are fortified with vitamin D, such as milk and cereals. So, if you don’t have the opportunity to eat fish or eggs for vitamin D, then you could consider looking for a vitamin D-fortified cereal.

Vitamin D foods and supplements are a great way to manage a vitamin D deficiency during winter. Even outside of winter, there may be cases where sun exposure is not advised for you. If you live in an incredibly hot area, then getting enough sun exposure for vitamin D may also make you susceptible to heat stroke and sunburn.

This is why vitamin D supplements and multivitamins are often a popular source of vitamin D. They are convenient enough to be used year-round without worrying about weather or if you have dietary restrictions.

Some of the most popular multivitamins come in pill or gummy form, but if you find these difficult to take or want to make sure that your children will take them, then you can also consider purchasing a liquid multivitamin.

Vitamin D Sunlight

While the current consensus is that vitamin D deficiency during winter is a common occurrence, many people may have questions regarding this reality. After all, there will still be some sun in the wintertime, is there a real difference between sunlight in winter vs. summer? There are many factors that play into this, so we first need to discuss how to get vitamin D from the sun, and then if there is a best time to get vitamin D from the sun in winter.

What we need to establish first is how we produce vitamin D. Sunlight (particularly VBD rays in sunlight) hits our skin, interacting with cholesterol in our skin cells to allow the production of vitamin D. Sunlight, morning or evening, will produce these rays, although different times will offer different amounts.

Now this phenomenon doesn’t change in the wintertime, so you might wonder how to get UVB rays in winter. The issue is not how to get vitamin D in winter from the sun, the issue is how to expose your skin to the sun while also protecting yourself from the cold.

The reason most people become confused when discussing how to get sunlight in winter is that they feel that the sun must experience some change that makes it more difficult. But in reality, it’s just the fact that your skin is more covered up or you’re indoors, which makes getting sunlight (and therefore vitamin D) more difficult.

Speaking of protecting yourself from the cold, it is also important to protect your skin from the sun. Too much exposure can cause a significant risk to your health, so you should look up a vitamin D sun exposure chart to match your skin tone to the time you’ll need to be in the sun for maximum benefits.

You may have heard that the sun is strong and, therefore, less beneficial outside of the middle of the day when it is highest and brightest. But if you’re wondering if you can get vitamin D from the sun after 4 PM, then you’ll be happy to know that this is one of the better times if you have very light skin or are worried about too much sun exposure.

Best Form of Vitamin D for Absorption

So, if you’re wondering how much vitamin D you need per day, you’ll then also be wondering where you should get it from. Should you spend a certain amount of time outside? Do you need to eat certain foods with vitamin D, vegetables, fruit, fish, or otherwise? It might help if you understand the best form of vitamin D for absorption and then go from there.

When discussing vitamin D, you may sometimes hear information about D3 or D2. D3 is typically found in animal sources, while D2 is more often found in plant-based sources, such as specially-grown mushrooms. Most of the time, when vitamin D is prescribed for a deficiency, D3 is what will be suggested.

Vitamin D tablets with D3 are a great option for managing vitamin D deficiency, as this is a highly efficient form of vitamin D to absorb, and it is in a convenient serving. With the risk of toxicity from taking too much, though, you may want to consider a multivitamin that offers your ideal daily amount, so you don’t have to worry.

BetterFamily’s liquid multivitamin offers a great source of your daily vitamin D needs in an even more convenient serving. Instead of taking pills, you can ensure your daily nutrient intake in a simple liquid form. If you have children and/or are worried about taste, liquid multivitamins can easily be added to your favorite drinks to make them even easier to take.

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