Sunshine is the best way to get vitamin D, but it's not always available.For those of us who spend all day long cranking away in the office, it can be difficult to get a sufficient amount of sunshine. That's where supplements come in.
Like lacking in veggies and fruits, individuals with low levels of vitamin D can get their daily dose in the form of a pill. But, one question that remains is: Do you have to get sunshine everyday in order to activate the vitamin D supplement, or is knocking back the tablet good enough? Brooklyn-based registered dietitian Beth Warren responds.
"There's nothing like getting vitamin D from the sun, but it depends on where you live, the season, the time spent in the sun, what clothing you wear, whether you use sunscreen, and so on," says Beth. Fortunately, she adds that one doesn't need to soak up the sun in order to activate their vitamin D supplement.
The lesson doesn't end there, however. As Beth notes, you do need to take your supplement with a food that contains fat. Vitamin D is fat-soluble, she says, and can only be absorbed when ingested with a fat.
Beth also adds that the body doesn't absorb vitamin D in supplement form as readily as it does when obtained from sunshine or certain foods, like sardines or liver. If you are going to swallow your nutrients in supplement form, be sure to look for vitamin D3. "This is the type of vitamin D most easily used by the body," says Beth.