Supplements

Vegans & Vitamin D | The Benefits of Vitamin D Supplements

More and more you’ll hear people talk about the importance of getting your daily dose of vitamin D as the days grow shorter and colder. But did you know that following a plant-based lifestyle could put you even more at risk of not hitting your daily targets? Discover why you should make vegan vitamin D supplements a priority this winter.

Vitamin D Benefits

Vitamin D is an essential micronutrient that benefits your body in many ways. It helps to keep your bones and teeth strong and healthy, as well as your muscles functioning normally. Plus, it plays a part in your immune system, so it can to protect you against colds and keep you feeling your best.

The good news it’s easy to come by, but are natural sources enough?

It’s widely known as the sunshine vitamin, however during winter months when you barely see daylight at all either side of your 9-5, this isn’t always enough.

A healthy, balanced diet is always the first port of call when ensuring that your body is getting all the essential vitamins that it needs. However, as some of the best foods for vitamin D happen to be animal products such as cheese, eggs, and fish — it can be a little harder for vegans to make sure they’re hitting their daily requirements from diet alone.

vegan vitamin d

Vegan Vitamin D Sources

So, as previously mentioned, even though the sun is a great natural source of this vitamin (and definitely vegan-friendly), it’s not always enough.

Vegan vitamin D supplements are therefore really valuable if you’re following a plant-based diet, as they’re a reliable and convenient way to keep on top of the nutrients your body needs. They’re easy to make part of your routine and don’t require any label-checking for non-vegan ingredients, or the effort of meal prep.

As well as supplements though, there are a few other plant-based foods that’re fortified with the vitamin specifically with vegans in mind. These include most soy products like milk and tofu, some brands of orange juice, and some cereals.

 

How Much Vitamin D Do I Need?

To protect bone and muscle health, everyone needs vitamin D equivalent to an average daily intake of 10 micrograms. If you’re unsure whether you’re getting the right amount of vitamin D, then check out the following symptoms of vitamin D deficiency as these may be signs that you need more of it.

 

Vitamin D Deficiency

Change in Mood


A vitamin D deficiency has been associated with increased symptoms of depression, according to a new study.

Vitamin D has been associated with dopamine levels, a chemical linked to mood in the brain, as well as health benefits for the bones, muscles and heart.


Fatigue


Sure, after exercise you’re bound to feel fatigue, but if you’re feeling excessively tired or weary when you haven’t been exercising, a lack of vitamin D may be the reason why.


Aching Bones


Vitamin D is good for strengthening bones and a lack of vitamin D has been proven to worsen symptoms of osteoporosis.

people working out

Infections


Because of its effect on your immune system, a lack of vitamin D could be a reason why you’re more susceptible to those bugs going around at work.


Muscle Pains


This doesn’t just apply for when you’ve been weightlifting — if you experience subtle to extensive pain in your muscles it may be from a vitamin D deficiency rather than lifting weights.


Sweating


If your body temperature is at a normal level but you’re sweating or glowing while maintaining a steady level of activity, a vitamin D test is advisable.

Vitamin D Research

Further to this, new research has since identified the relationship between vitamin D, sleep, and pain. The study, published in the Journal of Endocrinology, was carried out by researchers from the Department of Psychobiology at the Federal University of São Paulo in Brazil.

Evidence suggests that vitamin D plays a role in biological processes including sensory signals and sleep regulation. The research also concluded that vitamin D plays a big part in bone metabolism.

While pain is linked to interrupted sleep, it is still inconclusive how vitamin D affects pain. Two of the ways vitamin D supplements could potentially impact on your sensitivity to pain is by affecting your sleep, and via its role in countering inflammation.

In acting against inflammation, vitamin D stimulates the anti-inflammatory response produced by your immune cells. This reduces your sensitivity to pain, which can also help you to sleep better.

Since it’s difficult for people to meet the 10 microgram recommendation from consuming foods naturally containing or fortified with vitamin D — especially if you’re restricted to only vegan vitamin D sources — you should consider taking a daily supplement in autumn and winter.

vegan vitamin d

Take Home Message

Vegans, if you’re concerned about whether or not you are getting the right amount of vitamin D, or have any of the aforementioned symptoms despite an otherwise healthy diet, our Vegan Vitamin D3 could give you the peace of mind knowing you’re getting what your body needs in order to function and train effectively.

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Faye Reid

Faye Reid

Writer and expert

Faye has a MSc in Sport Physiology and Nutrition, and puts her passion into practice as goal attack for her netball team, and in competitive event riding. She enjoys a pun, and in her spare time loves dog walking and eating out.


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