A few years ago Vitamin D became a supplement celebrity. Everyone wanted to know how they could get their supply and the best way to take it. Foods were instantly adapted to contain lab-made supplements. Shelves of health food stores today are loaded with products that help people get their daily dose, but no bottle or food is the top source of Vitamin D.

The Sunlight Vitamin

The best way to soak up this essential ingredient is to go outside. Even on cloudy days the sun is sufficiently powerful to provide at least some of what you need, although sunny days are better. Temperature is unimportant: heat is not what fills you up with Vitamin D.

Exposure is the key as long as you are not over-exposing your body. You don’t want to develop sunburn. All it takes is a quarter of an hour directly under the sun’s rays to replenish stores. Not only does this increase the amount of Vitamin D in your body but also makes you feel happier. Strangely, people in sunny countries frequently become deficient because they have to stay out of the sun.

Natural Food Sources

A little bit of the vitamin is also present in food. You find it in fatty fish, for instance, which is also a good source of Omega 3. Fortified foods (cereal, bread, and drinks) provide another option. Food is not a significant source of Vitamin D, however, so if you live in a rainy or grey part of the world there is a better way to get your dose. It’s added to several brands of meal supplements, especially shakes, as part of a vitamin-enriched regimen.

Become Savvy about Supplements

Since you absorb Vitamin D from the sun through your skin, the best products are similarly administered although they can also be taken by mouth. Put a drop of synthetic vitamin on your hand or tongue. That is all you need. Take a little more if you are very deprived. Several multi-vitamins contain Vitamin D, so it is possible to swallow this vitamin in a capsule or chew it as a vitamin “candy.” Here are some signs you have been lacking for a long time.

Signs of Vitamin D Deprivation

Many conditions are attached to Vitamin D deficiency. They include bone problems like osteoporosis and brittle bones. Asthma, cardiovascular disease, gum disease, and MS are also linked to or made worse by Vitamin D deficiency.

One reason is that a body naturally requires a certain dose of this product in its own right. Another reason is that the body does not absorb calcium properly without vitamin D. Calcium is well known for its relationship to healthy teeth and bones. You will frequently see the two paired in a supplement.

Doctors, scientists, and holistic health care professionals connect Vitamin D deficiency with PMS and obesity; muscle weakness and skin disease. There is no organ or system of the body unaffected if it is absent or in low supply. It can’t hurt to add some to your regular diet if you suffer from any health problem regardless of what it is.

Avoid Vitamin Hype

Is there too much hype around Vitamin D?

In one sense there is because consumers see fortified foods and believe they are doing something good for their bodies by eating those instead of going outside. In a culture where the average citizen does not exercise nearly enough to promote cardiac health, this is a real problem.

Sun exposure and activity are not necessarily linked because you can work out in a gym, but energetic individuals do tend to go outside for walks more than lazy or lethargic ones. You can see how a low-energy, indoor lifestyle could directly or indirectly influence moods too. Obesity, heart disease, and depression are all on the rise and it is no coincidence that rates of physical fitness are also on the decline.

Taking a supplement is better than nothing, but it will not take the place of a healthy lifestyle. Vitamins can do wonders for a body that is severely deprived of every nutrient but they cannot be treated as the “be all, end all.”

Do not let hype fool you into purchasing cold cereal and other refined foods that bring with them their own diet-related problems. The sugars in these foods are quickly diverted to fat stores and too much of them causes insulin resistance, leading to Type 2 Diabetes and yet more potential systemic problems.