Do You Need to Supplement with Vitamin D?

Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, can be a little hard to come by in the winter months especially if you live in Canada. Many people complain of seasonal depression and low energy, often lack of vitamin D can often be the culprit.

Vitamin D is an important vitamin that helps our body absorb calcium and phosphorus for bone growth. It also helps to boost our immune system, preventing disorders such as multiple sclerosis, hear disease and diabetes. Vitamin D also helps to balance hormones and aid in weight loss.

Symptoms of Deficiency:

  • Getting sick often

  • Fatigue

  • Bone loss

  • Hair loss

  • Depression

  • Impaired wound healing

  • Weight gain

  • Muscle pain

Dietary Sources

  • Fortified foods such as cereal and milks (dairy and nut milks)

  • Eggs

  • Salmon

  • Tuna

  • Mackerel

  • Sardines

  • Mushrooms

What type of vitamin D is best?

There are two types of vitamin D: vitamin D2 and vitamin D3. Vitamin D2 is synthesized by plants and D3 is synthesized by the sunlight on the skin and can be obtained through eating animal products. The recommended form of vitamin D for supplementing is vitamin D3.

Where are vitamin D supplements sourced from?

  • Oily fish

  • Lanolin: A wax secreted by the glands of wool bearing animals.

  • Lichens: a plant which is made up of fungi and algae.

The recommended IUs for vitamin D are:

  • 1000 IU for infants 0-6 months

  • 1500 IU for infants 7-12 months

  • 2500 IU for children 1-3 years

  • 3000 IU for children 4-8 years

  • 4000 IU for children over 9 years of age and adults (including pregnant or lactating women).

If you think you might be deficient, ask your doctor to run blood tests. Ideally you should be able to get all your vitamin d from food or sunlight so aim for that first before reaching for a supplement!