Vitamin D in The Winter

What are the health benefits of vitamin D in winter? | 3 min read

Vitamin D is one of many vitamins your body needs to stay healthy. Consuming more Vitamin D during the winter makes gut microbes healthier; it also helps the body resist infection and inflammation year-round.

What is Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is a nutrient we eat and a hormone our bodies make. It is a fat-soluble vitamin that has long been known to help the body absorb and retain calcium and phosphorus; both are critical for building bone. Also, laboratory studies show that vitamin D can reduce cancer cell growth.

In addition to its primary benefits, vitamin D may also play a role in reducing the risk of contracting other diseases.

What diseases can Vitamin D fight?

  • Vitamin D reduces the risk of multiple sclerosis (MS). Low vitamin D levels are linked with an increased risk of multiple sclerosis.
  • It decreases the chance of heart disease. Low vitamin D levels have been linked to an increased risk of heart diseases such as hypertension, heart failure, and stroke.
  • It reduces the likelihood of severe illnesses. Vitamin D may make severe flu and COVID-19 infections less likely. Low vitamin D levels contribute to acute respiratory distress syndrome.
  • It supports immune health. People who do not have adequate vitamin D levels might be at increased risk of infections and autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, and inflammatory bowel disease.

Vitamin D is essential in winter; getting outdoors is the best way to increase vitamin D levels; however, there are other ways.

How to boost Vitamin D levels?

Taking a Vitamin D supplement can boost the levels; also, a few foods are naturally rich in vitamin D, such as:

  • Mushrooms
  • The flesh of fatty fish and fish liver oils.
  • Egg yolk
  • Cod liver oil
  • Salmon
  • Swordfish
  • Tuna fish
  • Orange juice fortified with vitamin D.
  • Dairy and plant milk fortified with vitamin D.
  • Sardines
  • Beef liver
  • Fortified cereals

The lack of Vitamin D is called Vitamin D deficiency; it may occur from a shortage in the diet, poor absorption, or a metabolic need for higher amounts. A deficiency may arise if one is not eating enough vitamin D and does not receive enough ultraviolet sun exposure over an extended period. People with lactose intolerance or who follow a vegan diet are at higher risk for a deficiency.

Who is at high risk of vitamin D deficiency?

  • People with inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease) or other conditions that disrupt the normal digestion of fat. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that depends on the gut’s ability to absorb dietary fat.
  • People who are obese tend to have lower blood vitamin D levels. Vitamin D accumulates in excess fat tissues but is not readily available for use by the body when needed. Higher doses of vitamin D supplementation may be necessary to achieve a desirable blood level. Conversely, blood levels of vitamin D rise when obese people lose weight.
  • People who have undergone gastric bypass surgery typically remove the upper part of the small intestine, where vitamin D is absorbed.

What are the symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency?

  • Tiredness, aches, and pains
  • Severe bone or muscle pain or weakness
  • Stress fractures, especially in your legs, pelvis, and hips
When to consult a doctor?

Vitamin D is an essential vitamin your body needs to be healthy. If you have risk factors for developing vitamin D deficiency or are experiencing symptoms, consult an Intercare doctor to get a blood test to check your levels.


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