However, we will share with you as much information as possibly can about this subject so that you no longer have any questions left un-answered by the end of this article.
Your skin can produce vitamin D when exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. Most people get at least some of their vitamin D this way. However, depending on your geographical location or climate, it may not be practical to achieve this degree of direct sun exposure.
Summary Your skin produces vitamin D following direct exposure to the sun. However, several factors can reduce your body’s vitamin D generation, and excess sun exposure isn’t recommended, as it may raise your risk of skin cancer.
Why Do You Need Vitamin D?
Vitamin D helps you to absorb calcium, magnesium, and phosphate, the nutrients that keep your bones, teeth, and muscles healthy.
It also plays a role in regulating the immune system. According to a 2011 study published in the “Journal of Investigative Medicine,” “deficiency in vitamin D is associated with increased autoimmunity as well as an increased susceptibility to infection.” The study suggests that supplementing vitamin D could benefit those who are deficient. With COVID-19 infections still on the rise, it’s logical to ask if vitamin D can help protect your immune system against it.
The U.S. Department of Justice even ordered a Georgia company that touted its vitamin D products as a treatment for COVID-19 to stop, all because of unsubstantiated claims.
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Mushrooms are the only plant-based sources of vitamin D found in nature. The FDA has even approved UV-treated mushrooms as an additive to other foods to increase vitamin D intake.
Be careful when consuming mushrooms — especially wild ones.
Since You’Re Here…
Some people say that vitamin D is not really a vitamin because we can make it when our skin is exposed to sunlight. However, in the UK, there are concerns that we do not make enough to keep our bones and muscles healthy.
Experts have provided the following advice about supplementation:
Provide/use vitamin D drops/supplement
People aged 5+ years Supplement during autumn and winter, but you might choose not to use one during spring and summer Pregnancy and breastfeeding Yes Breastfed babies Yes Formula-fed babies having less than 500ml per day Yes Children 1–4 years old Yes People who do not expose their skin to sunlight regularly Yes People with darker skin Yes
If you choose to boost your level of vitamin D by exposing your skin to sunlight during spring and summer, make sure that it does not burn. Aim to spend short periods exposing your skin to sunlight daily, particularly between 11am and 3pm. When choosing a supplement, be aware that some types of vitamin D are not vegan-friendly.
Vitamin D2 is always suitable for vegans, but vitamin D3 can be derived from an animal source (such as sheep’s wool) or lichen (a vegan-friendly source). Vegan supplements contain vitamin D3 from lichen or vitamin D2
Need More Information?
You can compare your diet to our guidelines using the free VNutrition app. If you have dietary concerns, please talk to your doctor about seeing a dietitian.