Effective Ways on How to Get Vitamin D for Your Body
13% of the world's population is affected by vitamin D deficiency.
But what is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is easily dissolved in fat, helping your body absorb calcium, and promoting bone growth and mineralization.
Extreme vitamin D deficiency may lead to bone deformation or bone loss, such as rickets in children and osteoporosis in adults.
The role of vitamin D is to strengthen the growth of bones, boost the immune system, and resist the invasion of bacteria and viruses.
Studies have also found that it can improve wellness by helping reduce body weight and lower the risk of heart disease, multiple sclerosis, and improving depression symptoms.
In this article, we will tell you in detail about the synthesis mechanism of vitamin D in the body, where to obtain vitamin D, and the recommended health products for vitamin D supplementation.
How Does the Human Body Process Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a hormone and is produced in the skin mainly as a response to sunlight. It is also absorbed through food. Vitamin D works to absorb calcium from the gut to the bloodstream.
When the energy from the sun gets to your skin, a chemical is turned into vitamin D3. The vitamin is then carried to the liver first, before the kidney; where it is transformed to active vitamin D. 
How the body processes vitamin D. Source: Havard Health Publishing
The body needs enough vitamin D; otherwise, dietary calcium would only be absorbed in low quantities (10% and 15%), but when vitamin D is adequate, the absorption gets from 30% to 40%.
The amount of calcium and vitamin D needed in adults and children differ.
According to the institute of medicine, here's the amount of vitamin D for various ages:
- Infant (newborn-12 months): 400 IU (10 mcg)
- Children (1-13 years old): 600 IU (15 mcg)
- Teenagers (14-18 years old): 600 IU (15 mcg)
- Adult (19–70 years old): 600 IU (15 mcg)
- Elderly (over 71 years old): 800 IU (20 mcg)
The guidelines of the National Academy of Medicine in the United States are roughly the same, but generally, the recommended daily intake of up to 4,000 IU is still a safe level. 
Your physician may prescribe a higher dosage depending on your health condition, especially if you're prone to osteoporosis.
Vitamin D and Hair Growth
Aside from absorbing calcium in low quantities, hair loss (alopecia) may occur due to insufficient vitamin D. It has been found that new hair follicles may be created through the help of vitamin D - this means more pores for new hair to grow.
While vitamin D is produced on the skin by the sun's reaction with a precursor, it is still metabolized by keratinocytes in the skin. Keratinocytes are cells in the skin responsible for processing keratin- a protein found in the skin, nail, and hair.
Regulating hair growth becomes difficult for keratinocytes in hair follicles when vitamin D isn't enough in the body. Source: Freepik
When people lose too much hair due to psychological stress, childbirth, or other factors, dermatologists tend to recommend some vitamin D sources.
Also, vitamin D isn't a single chemical, but the skin produces the natural type. While the skin produces vitamin D3 through the reaction of UVB and a precursor - a form of cholesterol, 7-dehydrocholesterol, vitamin D2, is produced by exposing a plant sterol to UV rays.
The vitamin D2 comes from dietary supplements and almost functions the same as D3 thus, they're merged as vitamin D. 
4 Proven Ways To Boost Your Vitamin D Levels
Some general concerns associated with vitamin D often include:
Making sure that you are getting enough vitamin D per day is crucial in keeping your bones strong.
Some common vitamin D boosting strategies commonly recommended by doctors may include the following:
1. Spending More Time In the Sun
The sun is a good source of natural vitamin d for patients with vitamin D deficiency. Source: Pexels
In actuality, the best source of vitamin D is the sun, which is why it's called the "sunshine vitamin."
Also, vitamin D that is obtained from the sun is twice the amount from vitamin D foods and supplements; this is achieved through the reaction of the sun with the precursor on your skin to produce vitamin D.
The ability of the body to produce vitamin D is affected by factors such as:
- Your season and location - proximity to sun rays help your body produce more vitamin D; this is excellent for people who live close to the equator.
- Age and skin tone - a darker skin tone needs more vitamin D due to the presence of melanin on their skin. Melanin is a compound that can inhibit the production of vitamin D. With age also, vitamin D production decreases.
- Clothing and sunscreen - there are clothing and sunscreen that can impede or prevent the production of vitamin D. Although sunscreens are great for the prevention of skin cancer, spending a little time under the sun can help your body's vitamin D production. It's been found that 8-15 minutes of exposure to the sun is enough. Darker people may need more time.
2. Including a Diet Rich in Fatty Fish and Seafood
Salmon is an example of fatty fish. Source: Pexels
Seafood is one natural source of vitamin D, and it offers a natural higher amount of vitamin D than some foods fortified with vitamin D.
You never know when you've had enough vitamin D from sunlight, which creates room for options like fatty fish and seafood; that are rich in vitamin D, such as:
- Canned Tuna - a can of tuna provides up to 218IU of vitamin D.
- Sardines - a can of sardine contains 177IU of vitamin D.
- Salmon - salmon provides 526IU of vitamin D
Other fatty fish and seafood that are rich in vitamin D include cod liver oil and herring.
Although fatty seafood is a good source of vitamin D in general, as it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, consuming an excessive amount of it might have a negative effect on your cholesterol level.
3. Eating Fortified Foods
Fortified foods such as egg yolks are a good source of vitamin D. Source: Pexels
There are limited options for the natural sources of vitamin D. It is even harder for vegetarians as they can't eat seafood and fatty fish.
Still, some foods are fortified with vitamin D; they include:
- Soy milk - soy milk is a plant-based milk substitute that is usually fortified with vitamin D. A cup of soy (roughly 237ml) contains 107-117IU of vitamin D.
- Orange juice - sometimes milk products are out of the equation because up to 75% of the world's population are lactose intolerant. Imagine someone being lactose intolerant and a vegetarian. Fortunately, orange juice in some countries is fortified with vitamin D. A breakfast with one cup (237ml) of orange juice can give 100IU of vitamin D.
- Mushrooms - mushrooms being a plant-based source of vitamin D, only provide vitamin D2. Though this vitamin D2 helps increase the vitamin D in the blood, it isn't as efficient as D3 vitamins, which come from animal-based sources. However, some varieties of wild mushrooms have been found to provide up to 2,300IU of vitamin D. Science direct
- Egg yolks - while whole eggs are known to be nutritious, they're also rich in vitamin D; and vegetarians can embrace it as a source of vitamin D. One egg yolk contains 37IU of vitamin D. It's worth noting that the level of vitamin D in egg yolk depends on its exposure to the sun and vitamin D content in the chicken feed.
- Pasture-raised chickens that mostly walk under the sun produce 3 to 4 times higher levels of vitamin D. When feeds that are enriched in vitamin D are given to chickens, they may produce eggs with up to 6000IU of vitamin D.
4. Taking A Supplement
Supplements that contain vitamin D or multivitamin supplements can be included as part of your diet for additional vitamin D absorption. Source: Pexels
If you don’t have enough vitamin D to get enough nutrients from sunlight or food, you may consider supplementing with vitamin D.
Your doctor will recommend supplements based on your current vitamin D level.
Generally speaking, a daily dose of 1,000-4,000 IU is sufficient to maintain a healthy level.
However, if your level is low as in certain special cases, for example, vegans having difficulty in absorbing vitamin D3 from non-animal foods, or rarely get exposed to the sun, you may follow closely with doctor’s instructions and add more doses accordingly.
Top 4 Vitamin D Supplements: Best Picks of Vitamin D Supplements From iPharmaHome
The option of supplementary vitamin D pills come in handy foreople who don't buy the idea of exposing the skin to the sun, or for other particular reasons.
As a rule of thumb, you would want to see obvious improvements in your vitamin D levels following your new supplementary diet - to achieve that supplements that are tested by a third party for purity and quality are your best picks.
To get you started on the best options, below are 4 top vitamin D supplements in Malaysia:
1. SWISSE Calcium + Vitamin D (150 tablets)
This SWISSE Calcium + Vitamin D premium quality product supports inadequate dietary intake by providing a source of calcium to help prevent osteoporosis.
It also supports bone density and healthy teeth. To help the absorption of calcium, this product is formulated with a naturally derived vitamin D3.
2. BLACKMORES Fish Oil Caps 1000mg 120s
This dietary supplement is a natural source of marine omega-3 fatty acids.
As one of the best fish oil supplements in Malaysia, it supports inadequate dietary intake.
Additionally, Blackmores fish oil supports muscle growth by aiding muscle synthesis and restricting muscle breakdown.
It also promotes building immunity and post-workout recovery. It contains good fat for cardiovascular health enhancement.
You may be interested in: Benefits of Fish Oil - Overview, Benefits, Side Effect - Fish Oil Reviews
3. BIO ISLAND Milk Calcium for Kids
This product is formulated with milk from cows and vitamin D3. The BIO ISLAND Milk Calcium for Kids are shaped like fishes for easy dosage for all age groups.
It promotes healthy teeth and bones and also healthy growth and development for infants and children.
This calcium drink also contains soya bean and milk products and can only be helpful when dietary intake is inadequate.
4. ENSURE GOLD Vanilla HMB 400g
This is a nutritional powder drink for adults, and it provides complete nutrition.
It can be used as a supplement or as a meal replacement. Ensure Gold Vanilla contains high-quality protein that maintains muscle mass and supports tissue repair.
It also contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that support heart health.
The presence of dual-fiber blend FOS and inulin promotes gut health.
The product is helpful to people who are looking to increase their levels of vitamin D because it increases calcium absorption.
Buy Ensure Gold in various flavour from us here:
Adequate time in the sun is an excellent way to gain the right amount of vitamin D per day.
Still, getting sufficient exposure might seem difficult for some people; this is why getting diets that are rich in vitamin D becomes an alternative.
While getting an adequate amount of vitamin D from food can be challenging, it can be achieved.
Also, there's the option of product supplements that are rich in Vitamin D. But to make sure you get your money's worth, be sure to look for high-quality vitamin D supplements.
The supplements discussed in this article are four of our best picks.
While it's advisable to use supplements to support inadequate dietary intake, it's also vital that you consult your physician.
Some places are known for high-quality supplements, such as iPharmaHome. Aside from supplements, our pharmacy online Malaysia has other excellent products that are great for other purposes as well. Some of our best-selling supplements brands include the Blackmores Malaysia, SWISSE Malaysia, NutriForte Malaysia and more.
If you're looking to get the right supplements for your needs or other related products, you can always check us out!