Y’all know that I am someone who uses lifestyle practices like food, movement, breath, and sleep as my main preventive care regimen. When I’m working with a client, we’ll spend the first 95% of our time talking about these simple habits and routines we can use to support our health, and then talk about the supplements or herbs that may support your health goals.
That being said, I was doing some research this week and came across such impactful studies about a particular supplement that I knew I wanted to highlight it here for you all.
This supplement actually has some powerful research for womxn in general and for pregnant/postpartum as well.
The supplement I’m talking about? Vitamin D.
Vitamin D is a vitamin with hormone-like properties in the body. We classically hear about the benefits of vitamin D for bone health: we need to have vitamin D in order to absorb calcium and phosphorous and build strong bones. (Seriously – if you’re worried about your bone health and you’re only focused on calcium, get yourself some vitamin D and magnesium first).
Vitamin D is also important for the health of our immune system (studies are even suggesting that high vitamin D levels may help reduce the risk and severity of COVID!). Unfortunately, ~40% of adults in the US are deficient in vitamin D, and that number is higher if you have darker skin, are older, or live further away from the equator.
So why am I recommending that you get your vitamin D levels tested and potentially supplement?
Studies are showing that vitamin D plays a role in mood regulation as well as inflammation in the body, both of which play a role in PMS and perinatal mood disorders.
How much vitamin D should you be taking?
Well – it depends. The first step before beginning any supplementation program is to get your blood levels tested. This lets you know if you’re deficient in the first place or if you’re actually all clear!
The recommended dose by the Institute of Medicine is 600 IU per day for adults aged 19-70. That being said, recent research suggests that 1000 IU may be a more accurate recommendation.
Which vitamin D supplement should you take?
You want to be sure that the vitamin D you’re taking is vitamin D3, not vitamin D2. Studies have shown that vitamin D3 is more efficient than vitamin D2 at raising active vitamin D levels in the blood. So be sure to check the back of your supplement label.
Typically, vitamin D3 is derived from sheep’s wool and isn’t considered a vegan product. If you’re interested in a plant-based alternative, you’ll want to look for Vitashine, a lichen-based vitamin D3. My favorite vitamin D supplement comes from Ora. Please note that this supplement has 2,000 IU, so you may want to take it every other day or every 3 days based on what your supplement needs are.
So there you have it – a supplement I do recommend investigating and using to support a better period and mood during the pregnancy/postpartum periods.
I’m curious – have you ever gotten your vitamin D levels checked? Were they low or normal?
By the way, if you’re interested in more womxn’s health news like this, scroll down and subscribe to my newsletter! I have a bi-weekly womxn’s wellness newsletter that has information on a happier period as well as support during pregnancy and postpartum!