Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that helps the body absorb calcium, phosphate, and other minerals that are necessary for healthy bones, muscles, and teeth. It also boosts the immune system and helps to fight inflammation.
Vitamin D – What the scientists say
Harvard Medical School explains how vitamin D – and more specifically its most bioavailable variant, namely: D3 – is created by the sun’s energy, which turns a chemical in your skin into D3. After that, the vitamin is carried to your liver and then your kidneys to transform it into active vitamin D. The first stop is at the liver, where vitamin D picks up extra oxygen and hydrogen molecules and transforms them into chemicals crucial for the good functioning of our bodies.
According to the same institute, “low levels of vitamin D lead to low bone calcium stores, increasing the risk of fractures. Researchers have begun to accumulate evidence that it may do much more than just protect the bones. In fact, many of the body’s tissues contain vitamin D receptors, proteins that bind to vitamin D. In the intestines, the receptors capture vitamin D, enabling efficient calcium absorption. But similar receptors are also present in many other organs, from the prostate to the heart, blood vessels, muscles, and endocrine glands. And ongoing research suggests that good things happen when vitamin D binds to these receptors. The main requirement is to have enough vitamin D”.
According to Nourish by WebMD, vitamin D is also associated with lower levels of some cancers, fewer tumours, and slower growth of tumours.
Vitamin D – Sunshine on a winter day
In the winter months, our bodies don’t get enough of the UVB rays from the sun that are necessary for vitamin D synthesis. Depending on your lifestyle and where you live, you might not be getting enough of this vitamin during the rest of the year either. This can lead to a deficiency of this important nutrient.
Lack of vitamin D can lead to a number of health problems, including osteoporosis, weak bones, and infections. It can also make it difficult for the body to fight inflammation.
If you want to learn about the role of vitamin D on your mental wellbeing, check our article “Vitamin D : Boost Your Mood With This Incredible “Sunshine” Vitamin”
According to the NHS, “Children from the age of 1 and adults need 10 micrograms of vitamin D a day. This includes pregnant and breastfeeding women, and people at risk of vitamin D deficiency.“
People who spend most of their time indoors, working in an office or at home, or living in parts of the globe where winters are long and dark, are among the groups that are most likely to lack vitamin D. Vegetarians and vegans are also particularly at risk for vitamin D deficiency, as there are few natural vegan sources of this nutrient. Moreover, the few plant-based sources of vitamin D, such as mushrooms, contain only vitamin D2, which is not as potent as D3, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information.
Vegan D3 – Importance of vegan grade even if you are an omnivore
A balanced diet is crucial for health, so even if you are not following a diet that is completely vegan, choosing the vegan option is still good for you. Vegan foods are nature-friendly, and they tend to be lower in saturated fats and higher in fibre and nutrients, so they are better for your health.
Vegan vitamin D is derived from natural sources like algae and lichen rather than being synthesised in a laboratory.
Lichens are small organisms that consist of a symbiotic relationship between a fungus and an algae, which makes them truly unique. It is commonly found in the forest or in the mountains, on rocks, and trees, and can provide a natural source of Vitamin D3 without causing any negative effects on the environment.
Therefore, it’s important that when you supplement your diet with vitamin D3 – the most bioavailable type of vitamin D – that you also make sure that your supplement is vegan.
How to check if your vitamin D is vegan?
First of all, always read the label and check if it contains any animal products. The allergen list is also worth a quick check. Vegan products are certified by accredited institutions and the symbol “V” appears on the labels. Your vitamin D should be obtained from algae and lichen, without added substances and chemicals.
Liquid Vitamin D3 has another important advantage compared with the non-vegan options, especially those obtained from fish: it can easily be added to a glass of water, juice, or smoothie, because it has a pleasant taste!
Our favourite vegan vitamin D is the Organic Vegan D3 from Vimergy, which is obtained only from lichen and doesn’t contain any fillers, additives, alcohol, or hidden ingredients.
If you are looking to improve your health, opting for the vegan option will bring you closer to nature and to your true self!
We advise you to consult a medical specialist in order to know if you are at risk of deficiency of vitamin D or other nutrients. Always consume supplements responsibly and follow the recommended serving instructions of every supplement.