As winter begins to settle into the Northern Hemisphere we begin spending more time inside and less time outside in the sunshine. Colder temperatures and inclement weather are a couple of the major reasons we venture out less. There are also fewer hours of sunshine during winter months (because the sun is lower on the horizon) so we have fewer daylight hours to be outside. These factors could lead to lower levels of Vitamin D (often referred to as the sunshine vitamin) in our body. Why would that be of concern?

Vitamin D plays a role in many functions in our body. We routinely associate Vitamin D with bone health – and yes, it is an important nutrient that helps your body absorb calcium, one of the main building blocks of bone. But Vitamin D also plays a role in nerve function, the immune system, and muscle function. Because it plays a role in many processes in the body, Vitamin D is often thought of as a multifunctional prohormone as well.

What is Vitamin D? It is a fat soluble nutrient found in a few foods (like salmon, tuna and sardines), is added to many foods (like fortified dairy products and cereals), and can be consumed through supplements. Your body can also produce Vitamin D through UVB ray synthesis. There are two main forms of Vitamin D, ergocalciferol (D2) and cholecalciferol (D3), both absorbed in the small intestine, with enhanced absorption in the presence of fat. This is why most of the Vitamin D supplements seen in the market contain an oil – like soybean oil, MCT oil, of sunflower oil – as the component to assist with absorption.

What do you need to know about Vitamins D supplementation? FIRST, it is very important to have your health care provider check your blood levels of Vitamin D prior to beginning a supplementation routine. This is done through a simple blood test ordered by your provider.

The next question that usually is asked is “How much should I take and when?” This is definitely a discussion you should have with your health care provider. The FDA recommends an intake of 800 IU as a MINIMUM Daily Value needed to maintain health. Obviously, if you are low in Vitamin D, supplementation may be recommended.

As noted above, taking Vitamin D with a fat “carrier” aids absorption of the nutrient. In many supplements you will often find soybean oil as the carrier used in the product. Many individuals, however, are looking for products that do not contain any soy ingredients. That’s where Country Life® Vitamins has the solution for you!

The Country Life® line of Vitamin D supplements contain MCT oil or sunflower oil as the fat “carrier” and NO SOY!! 

Remember to always work with your Health Care Provider to determine you individual needs when it comes to Vitamin D so you can #PowerYourGreatness!

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