If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it’s how vital it is to support and protect our immune system. While there are many ways in which we can do this, strong evidence has emerged since the start of the pandemic that use of a daily Vitamin D supplement may provide a significant boost to the immune system’s efficacy. This evidence is, in fact, robust enough for physicians to recommend Vitamin D supplements to potentially help prevent or treat COVID-19.
So it’s official; Vitamin D supplementation could be one of the most effective ways to provide our body’s first line of defence with extra protection. So how does Vitamin D do this, and what exactly are its benefits? How much do I need, and what are the implications if I take too much? Can I take Vitamin D with other wellness-boosting extracts? We decided to investigate further, so stick with us as we take a deeper look at the potentially life-saving vitamin.
What is Vitamin D and Where Does It Come From?
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin as well as a hormone produced by the body. Vitamin D is a term that refers to a compound family that includes Vitamins D1, D2 and D3.
You can obtain Vitamin D from several foods and supplements. Your body produces Vitamin D naturally when it is directly exposed to sunlight.
Getting enough Vitamin D is essential for healthy bone and teeth growth, resistance to some diseases and for regulation of calcium and phosphorus absorption and retention. It has also been reported that Vitamin D may reduce inflammation levels and reduce the growth of cancer cells, but further studies are needed to confirm this.
What are the Benefits of Vitamin D?
Getting enough sunlight and/or taking a Vitamin D supplement can provide a number of benefits to the mind and body, according to science. These include:
- Healthy growth and development of bones
- Support in fighting infection and disease
- Contribution to bone, teeth and muscle function
- Regulation of mood
- Regulation of absorption, retention and use of key nutrients including phosphorus and calcium
- Weight-loss support
What is Vitamin D3?
The term Vitamin D covers the family of compounds mentioned earlier: D1, D2 and D3. Generally, when we see ‘Vitamin D’ on product labels, the item refers to Vitamin D2. Vitamin D2 is sourced from plants such as wild mushrooms. Some foods, such as milk and cereals, can also be fortified with Vitamin D2. It is the most common form of Vitamin D since it is the least expensive to produce.
Vitamin D3, on the other hand, is sourced from animals, e.g. egg yolks, oily fish such as mackerel and salmon, and liver. Your skin also produces Vitamin D3 after direct sun exposure. You can buy Vitamin D3 supplements, but vegans may prefer to opt for plant-sourced Vitamin D2 supplements. Some studies have found that Vitamin D3 may be more effective than Vitamin D2 in supporting health.
How Does Vitamin D Deficiency Impact Health?
Vitamin D deficiency is common and can occur from limited sun exposure, milk allergies or strict vegan diets, for example.
Symptoms may be subtle, but too little Vitamin D can pose significant health risks. Insufficient Vitamin D levels may be associated with:
- Aching and fatigue
- Impaired cognitive function (in older adults)
- Cardiovascular disease
- Bone deformities such as rickets (in children)
- Severe asthma (in children)
- Stress fractures, particularly of the pelvis, hips and legs
How Much Do I Need?
UV light is weaker in the UK during Autumn and Winter, and it is recommended that we eat foods rich in Vitamin D during these months.
NHS recommendations encourage everyone to take a daily Vitamin D supplement (10 micrograms) between October and early March. Those at an increased risk of not getting enough Vitamin D, children up to age 4 and babies should take a daily supplement all year round.
From the end of March until the end of September, the majority of people will produce sufficient levels of Vitamin D from sun exposure.
Risks of Too Much Vitamin D
Your body can't overproduce Vitamin D from sunlight exposure. However, you can take too many Vitamin D supplements. Doing this over a sustained period can cause hypercalcaemia (a build-up of calcium in the body) which can cause bone weakness and organ damage.
10 micrograms of Vitamin D per day is the recommended amount. Do not take more than 100 micrograms of Vitamin D each day. Children between 1 and 10 years should not have more than 50 micrograms each day; infants under 12 months should have a maximum of 25 micrograms per day.
If you are taking medications and are in doubt regarding how much Vitamin D you should take, consult your GP.
The Benefits of Taking CBD Oil with Vitamin D
CBD (cannabidiol) oil offers a range of health and wellness benefits and is sometimes used in conjunction with Vitamin D. The two substances work in synergy to heighten their positive influence on your immune system and general wellbeing. You can buy a separate CBD oil to use daily alongside your Vitamin D supplement. Alternatively, you can purchase CBD oils that contain Vitamin D and take them both at once. Mission C offers CBD Oil 10%, a potent CBD oil infused with Vitamin D, Limonene and natural Echinacea for optimal immune support. Each full pipette of CBD Oil 10%c contains approximately 50 micrograms of Vitamin D, ensuring you obtain at least the recommended daily amount as per NHS guidelines.
Vitamin D has many potential benefits and the scientific evidence is robust enough for NHS physicians to recommend that we take daily Vitamin D supplements during the Autumn and Winter when sun exposure is limited. Vitamin D may reduce the risk of some diseases, lift the mood and contribute to healthy weight management.
It is difficult to obtain sufficient levels of Vitamin D through your diet alone, so consider taking a supplement.