Vitamin D3: How the Sun Helps Your Health

Vitamin D3: How the Sun Helps Your Health

Vitamin D3, often called the “sunshine vitamin,” is something many of us may not be getting enough of on a regular basis. This basic vitamin plays a key role in our health, so it’s important to know the signs of deficiency and easy ways to get more D3.

What is Vitamin D3?

Vitamin D3 is made naturally by the body when skin is exposed to the sun. Vitamin D2, on the other hand, is often found in food like salmon, egg yolks and shiitake mushrooms.

What Does Vitamin D3 do?

Vitamin D3 helps protect your endothelium—the tissue that lines your heart, blood vessels and other parts of your circulatory system.

It also helps prevent chronic disease and conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, insulin resistance and cardiovascular disease.

What Are Signs of Vitamin D3 Deficiency?

Historically, vitamin D3 loss has been associated with rickets, the softening and weakening of bones in children, a doctor writes at Everyday Health. Adults typically do not develop rickets disease but their bones may also soften if they don’t get enough vitamin D3.

Other signs you may not be getting enough vitamin D3:

  • Achy bones
  • Depression
  • Low energy
  • Obesity

What are Easy Ways to Get Vitamin D3?

Get this important vitamin for free by spending 15-30 minutes in the sun each day. If more of your skin is exposed to the sun, it’s usually more beneficial.

Many vitamin D supplements are on the market and it’s possible to overdose, so it’s important to talk to a health professional if you think you may have a deficiency and need a supplement.