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The Importance of Vitamin D: What You Need to Know

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays a vital role in supporting many body processes and vital organs. It is found in certain foods, dietary supplements, and is produced by the body when exposed to sunlight, which is why it is often referred to as the “sunshine vitamin”.[0] It supports bone health and muscle strength, boosts immune function, reduces inflammation, supports cardiovascular health, and may protect against cancer.[0]

The two forms of vitamin D are vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) and vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). Vitamin D2 is found in fungi (mushrooms) and yeasts, and is also available as a dietary supplement in capsules, sublingual tablets, and liquid forms.[0] Vitamin D3 is produced by the body when the skin is exposed to sunlight, found in fatty fish, egg yolks, beef liver, and dairy products, and is available as a dietary supplement in liquid drops, capsules, and sublingual tablet forms.

Vitamin D deficiency can lead to various health problems, including fractures, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, depression, and many inflammatory and autoimmune health conditions. Symptoms of deficiency include bone and muscle pain, muscle weakness, fatigue, mood changes, and joint pain.

The amount of vitamin D one should consume per day can differ depending on age, gender, and general health. Those who do not consume enough vitamin D–rich foods or do not spend enough time in the sun may have a vitamin D deficiency and may need to take supplements to ensure they get enough.[1] Consult with a healthcare professional to decide which type and amount of vitamin D is best for you. It may take several weeks of regular supplementation to restore vitamin D levels to normal.

0. “Vitamin D vs. D3: What's the Difference?” Verywell Health, 15 Mar. 2023, https://www.verywellhealth.com/vitamin-d-vs-d3-7153133

1. “How Soon Will I Feel Better After Taking Vitamin D? | HealthNews” Healthnews.com, 17 Mar. 2023, https://healthnews.com/nutrition/vitamins-and-supplements/how-soon-will-i-feel-better-after-taking-vitamin-d

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