January 21, 2020
Why Is Vitamin D3 So Important?
Vitamin D receives lots of press, especially this time of year when we all are looking for ways to bolster our immune system. But, what exactly is it, and why it is one of the most important vitamins we should focus on optimizing in our supplement routine?
Read on to learn everything you need to know about vitamin D; and if sardines aren’t your “thing”, we’ll also share a few other Vitamin D sources.
What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that actually works like a hormone in the body. When you’re exposed to sunlight, your body naturally produces vitamin D, and you can also get some vitamin D from certain foods (more on that below). However, during the colder months of the year, when we aren’t getting outside in the sun as much, and if we aren’t eating enough vitamin D-rich foods, it can become pretty easy to become deficient.
This is where vitamin D supplementation comes in, and you’ll find vitamin D in the form of either vitamin D2 or vitamin D3.
Let’s take a closer look at the difference between the two.
Vitamin D3 vs. Vitamin D2
The main difference between vitamin D3 and D2 is that vitamin D3 is found in animal foods, while vitamin D2 is plant-sourced.
You can find vitamin D3 in foods like oily/fatty fish like salmon or sardines, egg yolk, and butter.
Vitamin D2 is most commonly found in fortified foods but also in foods like mushrooms.
Why Vitamin D3 is Superior
When looking at whether to take vitamin D3 or vitamin D2, vitamin D3 is superior as it’s been found to be more effective at boosting your vitamin D levels. Vitamin D2 supplements have also been found to be lower quality than Vitamin D3 supplements as they may be more sensitive to external conditions such as humidity and temperature.
The Importance of Vitamin D3
With all this being said, let’s take a look at why vitamin D is so important for overall health.
- Important for the absorption of calcium
- Helps regulate bone growth
- Supports the immune system
- Helps regulate insulin levels
- Supports the nervous system
- May help support mood
It’s also worth mentioning that vitamin D deficiencies have been linked to conditions like depression, weight gain, heart disease, and even certain types of cancer (breast, prostate, and colon), giving us more reason to make sure we are supplementing appropriately.
The Bottom Line
Vitamin D plays a super important role in overall health. It has many functions in the body, and during the winter, many of us simply aren’t getting enough. From a lack of sun exposure, or not getting sufficient amounts from our diet, it’s important to supplement appropriately. The recommended daily allowance of vitamin D is 400-800 IUs, depending on age. However, it’s not uncommon to find vitamin D3 supplements offering up to 2,000 IU’s per day.
So, if you plan to supplement, opt for D3 over D2. You may even want to consider getting your vitamin D blood levels checked by your doctor or use Newtrition’s simple, at-home test kit to check your levels and get your results in the mail, all without leaving your home. This would be a great starting point when it comes to knowing how much you need to be supplementing with in order to bring those vitamin D levels up.
And, when you get those vitamin D levels up to optimal range, don’t be surprised if you feel a boost in your mood and get sick less often, two things than we all could benefit from!