Supplementing with vitamin D is especially important during the winter months

With the winter months nearly here, maintaining adequate levels of vitamin D becomes increasingly difficult

Special care should be taken during this time to ensure healthy levels, according to nutraceutical company Kirkman.

Studies continue to confirm the benefits of adequate vitamin D levels. Recently, the nutrient was found to be of particular importance to pregnant women, with certain neurodevelopmental conditions being linked to low levels of the nutrient.

Studies have also shown low levels of vitamin D can lead to mood problems.

The human body can produce vitamin D when skin is exposed to sunlight. During cold months, however, people are more likely to stay inside or, if they do go outside, they will probably cover themselves with layers of clothes, preventing the sun from triggering the body's creation of vitamin D.

During these times, it is particularly important to get vitamin D orally. But there are not very many foods that contain high levels of vitamin D (fish, eggs and beef liver being a few of the exceptions). Consequently, as many as 23 million Americans suffer from insufficient levels of vitamin D.

Fortunately, there are supplements. In 2012, the National Health and Nutrition Examination survey found that use of supplements drastically reduced vitamin D insufficiency levels. Only 12% of those that did not take supplements managed to have blood levels of vitamin D at recommended levels, while almost all (99-100%) of those that took supplements regularly were at sufficient levels.

There are numerous choices for vitamin D supplementation — both single nutrient, and multivitamins — that can help you get through these sunless months.

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