We wanted to figure out if there are any supplements people should be taking consistently to improve their health, so we talked with a registered dietitians Amy Davis and Johna Burdeos to see what they thought about this. Both dietitians say that it is important to get the right amount of vitamin D every day and taking a vitamin D supplement every day could be a great option.
“Vitamin D is the supplement that I recommend to my clients. Since a lot of foods do not contain much vitamin D and we are inside a lot of the time, it is hard to get the right amount of vitamin D every day from food alone,” said Davis, “and vitamin D is important for your immune health, so lower levels are commonly linked with increased risk of chronic disease.”
Why do people need Vitamin D?
The human body needs Vitamin D for many of its functions. While you could absorb it through sunlight, or consume foods packed with vitamin D such as salmon, yogurt or eggs, taking a supplement might help you make sure you are getting enough.
“Vitamin D will help to optimize bone health by absorbing the calcium within the gut and managing phosphate and calcium levels to strengthen your bones. Vitamin D will also help to decrease modulates cell growth, inflammation and immune function,” said Burdeos.
What happens if you are deficient?
If you are deficient in vitamin D, you might notice some symptoms like muscle weakness, fatigue and even depression. In fact, having lower levels of vitamin D by not receiving enough exposure to sunlight is a common risk factor in getting SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder, during the winter time.
“Deficiency in D vitamins might lead to chronic conditions and mood disorders,” said Burdeos.
Who needs vitamin D the most?
There are a lot of circumstances where you might benefit from taking vitamin D supplements, but you might not really need them. You could talk with your physician and get a screening if you are not sure. According to Burdeos, here are the most common situations where people are at an increased risk of have a vitamin D deficiency:
“People who do not consume foods that are rich in vitamin D, people who do not get enough sunlight exposure, people with darker skin tones because more melanin or pigment diminishes the ability of the skin to produce vitamin D in response to the sun exposure, people who have kidney disease because the kidneys are what help covert vitamin D to its active form, people with some digestive disorders such as Crohn’s disease, celiac’s disease and cystic fibrosis, people who have higher BMI’s, and those who are in hospitals and nursing homes.”