Why Does Vitamin D Make You Happier?

Maintaining optimal vitamin D levels is essential for your body to function at its best. 

While you may have heard of vitamin D being referred to as the sunshine vitamin, can it make your mood brighter?

Here we will explore whether vitamin D can make you happier and how to ensure you are getting enough vitamin D.

What is Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that helps regulate the amounts of phosphate and calcium in the body. 

Absorbing and retaining phosphate and calcium is essential to keep our bones, muscles and teeth healthy and prevent conditions such as Rickets developing in children. 

To ensure your body functions healthily, you need to ensure you follow the daily recommended intake of vitamin D, which can vary according to your age. The NHS recommends the following daily intakes of vitamin D:

  • 8.5mcg to 10mcg - Babies aged 0 - 12 months
  • 10mcg - Children and adults aged one year and over, including women that are pregnant or breastfeeding.

The body naturally produces vitamin D via sunlight absorbed through the skin, and is also found in certain foods. But getting enough vitamin D naturally is challenging even in the summer. 

You can find out more about how much vitamin D you need in the summer with our recent blog post here.

How to Get Enough Vitamin D

The National Diet and Nutrition Survey shows one in six UK adults has a vitamin D deficiency. 

With this in mind, you may be looking for ways to boost your intake of the sunshine vitamin.

Your body can create its own vitamin D when it is sunny outside using sunlight absorbed through the skin. However, the UK is known for its cloudy, rainy weather, so getting enough vitamin D through sunlight can be challenging, even in the summer months. 

As getting the required amount of vitamin D is impossible on dark, cloudy days, it is essential to look for alternative sources. 

Check out this post for more information on how to get more vitamin D on those rainy days

Certain foods are vitamin D sources, include 

  • red meat
  • egg yolks 
  • and oily fish. 

However, getting enough vitamin D through your diet alone is difficult and even more challenging for people following a vegan or vegetarian diet. 

For vegetarians, it is possible to increase vitamin D intake by eating foods fortified with the vitamin, such as some spreads and breakfast cereals. However, these are unlikely to offer the full intake needed. For more information on vitamin D and being vegetarian, check out our recent post here.

As it is difficult to get enough vitamin D through sunlight and diet alone, vitamin D supplements are recommended, especially during the autumn and winter. 

Taking a supplement is an easy way to get peace of mind, knowing that you are receiving the recommended daily intake of vitamin D. For added convenience and to stay healthy on the go, you could try our delicious vitamin D drinks to keep you feeling at your best.

How Vitamin D Affects Your Mood

While vitamin D is best known for its vital role in skin, teeth, and muscle health, studies also suggest that the vitamin’s benefits extend much further than this. 

Research is ongoing into the connection between vitamin D and its ability to reduce cancer cell growth, manage inflammation, and control infection. What is less well-known is the effect vitamin D has on mood.

We know that following the recommended daily intake of vitamin D benefits your physical health, but you may be wondering how it affects your mood. 

Well, a vitamin D deficiency may cause a range of symptoms, and low mood can be one of them. Studies show there is a connection between vitamin D deficiencies and the incidence of depression. 

Interestingly, as well as increasing the risk of developing depression, vitamin D deficiency can also increase the severity of depression. 

One of the reasons that vitamin D may affect mood is the vitamin’s connection to serotonin. 

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter, which means it carries messages from the nerve cells in your brain to other parts of the body. 

Serotonin levels can impact many of your body’s essential functions, but the connection between serotonin and mood is probably the most well-known. High levels of serotonin are associated with feelings of optimism and happiness. 

In contrast, low serotonin levels in the brain cells cause many issues that can impact mood. Low serotonin levels are associated with a range of symptoms relating to depression, anxiety, insomnia, aggression and low mood. 

But you may be wondering how vitamin D can directly impact serotonin. 

Well, your body needs adequate levels of vitamin D to encourage serotonin production and promote its release, which helps to boost your mood and keep depression at bay.

Scientists are still not sure exactly whether depression causes low vitamin D levels or whether vitamin D deficiency causes depression. However, either way, boosting your vitamin D levels to ensure you are receiving the recommended daily intake may be a helpful idea.


Vitamin D is essential for your body to function at its best. 

As well as being crucial for physical health, vitamin D can affect mood, particularly when a vitamin D deficiency is present. Despite being separate conditions, research shows there may be a connection between vitamin D deficiency and mood disorders such as depression and anxiety.

Getting enough vitamin D is essential to ensure you enjoy the health and potentially mood-boosting benefits it provides. 

However, achieving the recommended vitamin D intake throughout the year from natural sources is almost impossible. For this reason, taking supplements is an effective and convenient method of obtaining the correct amount of vitamin D.

Key Takeaways

  • Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that regulates calcium and phosphate.
  • Vitamin D is needed for healthy skin, teeth, and bones.
  • One in six UK adults has a vitamin D deficiency.
  • The body naturally produces vitamin D in the sunlight, but getting enough can be challenging.
  • Foods containing vitamin D include oily fish and some meats, but are unsuitable for vegetarians.
  • Vitamin D supplements are recommended as a reliable source of vitamin D.
  • Vitamin D deficiencies are linked to low mood, due to the vitamin’s role in serotonin production.
  • Boosting vitamin D levels can help to improve mood.


Becky Graham

Lead Nutritionist & Communications - Get More Vits

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