Vitamin D is a dynamic vitamin that is foundational for good health. Not only is vitamin D essential to the proper functioning of our immune system, it has also been found to regulate bone growth and mineralization, in addition to ensuring the healthy functioning of our organs.
Even if you’re eating a healthy, varied diet, and getting plenty of time outdoors, you might still not be getting enough vitamin D on a daily basis, which is why many people find taking a vitamin D supplement beneficial.
Nurture by Metagenics Vitamin D3 Liquid contains 25mcg of vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) per drop to help in the development and maintenance of bones and teeth, as well as the absorption and use of calcium and phosphorus.
You can also find 8.3 mcg of vitamin D3 to support your overall good health in Nurture by Metagenics Multi-Vitamin, which also contains a blend of highly concentrated full-spectrum phytonutrients enhanced with selective bioactive plant compounds, and 20+ essential vitamins and minerals for multidimensional health support. Nurture by Metagenics Calcium + also contains 25 mcg of vitamin D to aid in absorption, while our Prenatal vitamin contains 2.5 mcg of vitamin D.
Here are just some of the reasons that vitamin D is such a dynamic nutrient.
Helps Immune Function
According to research, vitamin D can help regulate both the innate and adaptive immune responses as it interacts with immune cells in the body. Studies have also found that there is a strong link between vitamin D deficiency and autoimmune disease, with approximately one third of people having insufficient vitamin D levels, suggesting that supplementing with vitamin D is necessary for many individuals.
Regulates Hormonal Processes
Vitamin D must be first activated by the liver, which converts it to 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) — also known as calcidiol. Calcidiol is then converted by the kidneys into calcitriol, which is the active, hormone form of vitamin D. Calcitriol supports a variety of physiological functions, including helping the body regulate levels of calcium and phosphorus, as well as mineralize bone.
Aids Healthy Bone Formation
Maintaining skeletal calcium balance is one of the most important roles of vitamin D in the body, which it does by maintaining calcium and phosphate levels within the body for healthy bone formation and maintenance. In fact, vitamin D deficiency can lead to bone issues such as osteoporosis.
Regulates Insulin Levels
There is some research which suggests vitamin D deficiency is detrimental to insulin synthesis and secretion, and that vitamin D is positively correlated with insulin sensitivity. This has researchers exploring whether vitamin D is an effective treatment option for those with type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes, as well as those struggling with weight loss.
How Much Vitamin D Do I Need Each Day?
According to recommendations from the Institute of Medicine (IOM), women aged 9-70 should aim for 600 IU/day, while those older than 70 should consume 800 IU/day. Pregnant and lactating women have the same requirement of 600 IU/day.
Research consistently shows that most people are not meeting their daily recommended intake of this essential nutrient, and in fact, diet alone is not enough for the vast majority of individuals to meet their vitamin D needs.
Sources of Vitamin D
Dietary sources of vitamin D include fatty fish like tuna, mackerel, or salmon, eggs, mushrooms, and fortified foods such as dairy products, orange juice, soy milk, or cereals.
You can also get vitamin D by spending some time in sunlight every day. Sources suggest that as few as 8–15 minutes of exposure is sufficient for lighter-skinned individuals, while those with darker skin may need more time to produce adequate levels.
There are two kinds of vitamin D — D2 and D3. Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol), is found in plants such as lichens and mushrooms, as well as some soy and almond milks. Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is the natural form of this nutrient that is created by the body with sun exposure, and is more easily absorbed by the body. Vitamin D3 is found in small amounts in oily fish such as cod and salmon, egg yolks, as well as fortified cereals and milk, and dietary supplements.
What If I’m Vitamin D Deficient?
Common risk factors for vitamin D deficiency include:
- Older age
- Regular sunscreen use
- Winter season
- Frequent TV viewing
- Dairy product exclusion
- Darker skin (more melanin)
- Not using vitamin D supplements
- Malabsorption disorders (bariatric surgery, IBD, cystic fibrosis)
- Liver disease
- Renal insufficiency
- Certain drug classes: weight loss, fat substitutes, bile sequestrants, anticonvulsants, antiretrovirals, anti-tuberculosis, antifungals, glucocorticoids
If your vitamin D levels are low, a dietary supplement can help bring them into adequate ranges. As with any supplement, we recommend speaking with a health care provider to determine the best dosage for your specific concerns. Your blood levels of vitamin D will need to be monitored to ensure safe treatment, but by bringing your vitamin D to a healthy level, you can more easily thrive and live your best life.