Don't leave yourself vulnerable to illness or weak bones.
Do you experience bone pain and muscle aches? Have you been feeling depressed and spending more time inside? Want to avoid getting sick and protect your immune system? These signs could be telling you that you need more vitamin D. But don't worry, we've got an easy way to get your body the vitamin D it needs.
What Is Vitamin D For, Anyway?
It's the nutrient that helps your body absorb calcium, which helps keep your bones strong. It also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant features, which helps build up your immune system. And that part is particularly important during a pandemic — or when you're finally going out into public again!
How Do I Know If I'm Not Getting Enough Vitamin D?
You could experience these signs if you have a deficiency: fatigue, bone pain, muscle weakness/aches/cramps, mood changes like depression. But some people may not experience any symptoms. Take this quiz to get a simple look at whether your body could use more vitamin D.
A blood test from your doctor can tell you definitively if you have a vitamin D deficiency.
What Could Cause Low Vitamin D Levels?
Several health conditions can lead to low vitamin D, like Crohn's disease, obesity and kidney disease. A person's older age or darker skin tone are also factors. A deficiency can also develop from staying inside and not getting enough sunlight, which your skin uses to produce vitamin D naturally.
How Can I Get More Vitamin D?
A great way to get your body the vitamin D it needs is through a supplement. Look for over-the-counter bottles labeled D3, also called cholecalciferol. It is easily absorbed and lasts longer in your body than other forms of D.
For extra assurance that the supplement you choose is safe, check for a quality assurance stamp on the label. They let you know that the product has been tested and is safe to consume and includes the listed ingredients in the stated amounts. Those certifications can include:
- GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices)
- CL (ConsumerLab)
- NSF (National Sanitation Foundation)
- USP (US Pharmacopoeial Convention Dietary Supplement Verification Program)
Some stores also offer their own certification for supplement brands they sell. Check the store's website to see what kind of stamp to look for on labels.
OK, I'd Like to Try a Vitamin D3 Supplement
Check out iHerb, a reputable online store for many certified supplement and nutritional products, including trusted brands that are labeled with the certifications above. iHerb also offers their own third-party testing certification called iTested, which you can look for on product labels.