This has got to be the supplement that I recommend to more people than anything else. We just do need it! More Vitamin D for everyone!
Vitamin D can be obtained through three different methods. (1) We can make it by our bodies. When the sun is at a high enough angle to the horizon (during the summer) we can expose our skin to the sun and our body will use the sunlight to manufacture Vitamin D. It generally requires 15-30 minutes of full sunlight with a skimpy bathing suit on to get enough Vitamin D manufactured for one day. We can store extra Vitamin D that we make but being outside an hour a day in the sunlight is not always possible and we cannot store enough for the whole year when the sun is not high enough.
(2) So we can get Vitamin D in our food. Foods that are high in Vitamin D include salmon, sardines, tuna, cow’s milk, eggs, and shiitake mushrooms. Salmon, the highest of these, has about 500 IU of Vitamin D in one 4oz serving. The National Institute of Health (NIH) believes this is enough Vitamin D for a day. But you can see that these are mostly animal sources and if you have challenges with diary or seafood your food sources for Vitamin D are drastically reduced.
And that lead us to supplementation with Vitamin D (3). I truly think that everyone should be supplementing with Vitamin D, especially in the winter months when the sun is too low and getting Vitamin D from the sun is just impossible. I see individuals all the time with seasonal depression, or even regular depression and anxiety symptoms that have radical turn around when they start supplementing with Vitamin D. More Vitamin D in the winter gets us the mental and physical energy we are all feeling like we are lacking when the days are gray and lonely.
For two winters now I have been supplementing heavily with Vitamin D and I have never had a more joyful winter as I have had this year. In the past I would not want to participate in my every day activities, I was losing the joy in life and unable to find my way back. Last year, I was not consistent with supplementing but this year I have been and I feel like my old self again! I have even seen suicidal teenagers turn their whole reflection on life around with Vitamin D supplementation. This is necessary! Spread this vitamin with everyone!
But how much do you need to take? So as I said the NIH lists the RDA for Vitamin D as 400 IU. This is ridiculously low in my opinion. This is basically what you need to not die. From my personal experience I believe that the lowest one should be taking daily for Vitamin D is 2,500 IU for an adult. If you experience seasonal depression but not year round I would start at 5,000 IU but for chronic depression symptoms 10,000 IU a day. For myself, in the winter I do well with 10,000 IU and an extra 2,500- 5,000 IU during the summer. This is going to be way higher than you see on a package but go to town! Let me know how supplementing with Vitamin D supports you getting through the winter.
Jillian Carnrick, founder and manager of The Dancing Herbalist, has a Masters of Science Degree in Herbal Medicine, practices as a nutritionist, and is a Certified Personal Trainer and Exercise Is Medicine Professional through the American College of Sports Medicine. The Dancing Herbalist posts on this blog every Thursday. For more of our posts, join us on Patreon. Jillian also presents regular live classes in The Dancing Herbalist’s home herbalist courses online. For more learning opportunities or to work one-on-one with Jillian with her wellness and herbal consultationsvisit The Dancing Herbalist.com.