Sunshine is the best medicine. Sunlight increases our serotonin levels and helps people with anxiety and depression. Less sunlight contributes to decreased serotonin which triggers depression. The hormone serotonin boosts our mood and helps us feel calm, relaxed and focused. Vitamin D3 is necessary for healthy and strong bones and teeth, but also for good immunity and defense against viral conditions. But, given all the sunshine, do you need Vitamin D supplements in the summer?
Let’s see the facts!
Should I take vitamin D in the summer?
We know that vitamin D is created through exposure to sunshine. However, the sun rays are strong enough only 3 to 4 months a year – usually from May through August.
You can get vitamin D3 from the sunshine only if you are outside at least 20 minutes a day. But that is not all: you mustn’t put sunscreen while exposed to sun; the ideal time for exposure is from 10 am to 2 pm, and your arms and legs should be fully exposed, which means you should be in shorts and a sleeveless shirt!
Please note that we do not say that you should not use sunscreen at all! But we do think it would be alright to spend about 20 minutes without it, especially if you want to get your daily dose of vitamin D.
You’ll need ultraviolet B (UVB) energy to convert the precursor to vitamin D3. Sitting by a window in your car won’t work for this, because the glass blocks out the UVB rays!
Unfortunately, in the UK, even the summer months lack enough sunlight, which means you should probably consider taking a supplement.
Vitamin D deficiency symptoms
Getting enough vitamin D is so much needed to keep your body functioning at its best. It may even help prevent some cancers.
Let’s dive in to see what the symptoms are if you are not getting enough of the sunny vitamin!
- Frequent colds
Studies done byThe National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) have shown a link between a deficiency and respiratory tract infections: colds, bronchitis, pneumonia. Vitamin D plays a huge role in immune function. So, one of the most common symptoms of a deficiency is an increased risk of illness or viral, bacterial infections.
Workers who spend their time mostly working inside buildings report feeling tired and exhausted. Chronic daytime fatigue and headaches are symptoms of low vitamin D blood levels.
- Bone and lower back pain
Vitamin D helps to maintain bone health. It enhances our body’s absorption of calcium. If you have bone pain and lower back pain, it may be a signal that you do not have enough vitamin D in the blood.
Studies have shown that giving vitamin D to people who had low levels – and were depressed – improved depression, especially seasonal depression, since this type of depression occurs during the colder months.
The health effects of vitamin D deficiency
Vitamin D supports health of the people who have the following medical conditions:
- Heart disease and high blood pressure,
- Diabetes and insulin resistance,
- Viral infections,
- Some types of cancer: colon, breast, prostate cancer,
- Autoimmune disorders: Hashimoto’s, Multiple Sclerosis.
Health care workers do not usually check levels of vitamin D, but they’ll check it if you have certain medical conditions or exhibit risk factors.
Please note, higher-than-recommended doses of vitamin D can be dangerous! Consult with your doctor before making any changes.
NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) recommends daily dosage 400 IU (or 10 mcg) for vitamin D3. A daily vitamin D3 intake of 1000-4000 IU (25-1000 micrograms) ensures optimal blood levels for the majority of people. Blood levels 20-30 ng/ml are considered sufficient.
Go outside and get some sunshine!
Take some time to get an early morning walk outdoors or you can just sit and meditate in a warm sunbeam at least 20 minutes a day. Make sure you make the most out of the summer months!
In case you would still like some extra boost, or you don’t have a chance to expose yourself to the warm weather – you can get vitamin D in the summer with supplements! Vitamin D3 supplements! Goodwill Pharma’s formula is produced by professionals and guarantees high quality and optimal levels of vitamin D3.
For more info on vitamins, tips and tricks, and proper care of health, read our blog.