Should You Take a Vitamin D Supplement? It all depends…

If that sounds like an economist’s answer to a straightforward question, I won’t argue the point. However, just because there isn’t a straight-up “yes” or “no” answer, it doesn’t diminish the critical importance of taking vitamin D if you happen to be one of the people who should.

As a general rule, if you eat a well-balanced, healthy diet, you get all the vitamins and minerals you need, with one exception, vitamin D. 

The importance of getting adequate amounts of vitamin D cannot be overstated since it’s essential for good health. Nearly every cell in our bodies has receptors for vitamin D, and getting adequate amounts helps support our immune system, blood sugar regulation, bone health, calcium absorption and circulation, and maintain normal blood pressure. 

Most people are vitamin D deficient because the best source of vitamin D is sunlight. If you experience winter every year, it’s nearly impossible to get enough vitamin D even if you spend a great deal of time outdoors. 

What used to be called the season of coughs and colds is now recognized as the season of vitamin D deficiency. 

Also, people with darker skin have more melanin, which reduces the skin’s ability to produce vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. In fact, 89 percent of Blacks and 69 percent of Hispanics are deficient in vitamin D in the US.

Age is another factor. People over 50 have a reduced ability to synthesize vitamin D on the skin.

So here’s the thing: If you have access to sunlight, you need to expose your entire body to about 15 to 20 minutes of midday sun without sunscreen, and if you aren’t doing that regularly, it’s a good bet you require a supplement because it’s pretty difficult to get adequate amounts of vitamin D through food alone.

Vitamin D deficiency is widespread, but here’s the thing, most people low in vitamin D won’t feel it, which is why the only way to know is to get a blood test. 

If you purchase a vitamin D supplement, make sure you buy vitamin D3 because it’s superior at optimizing and maintaining adequate levels.

So for optimal health, adults between the ages of 18 and 70 need between 800 or 2000 IUs each day. 

Now that’s a pretty easy step to improve your health and boost your immune system.