I've got a bottle of liquid Vitamin D and regularly take some.
Personally I supplement. Tanning is not an option for me right now, with 3 kids and being 45 minutes from nearest tanning salon. However my neighbor who used to experience severe depression in the winter, now tans through the fall and winter and is never depressed anymore. I know this worked for her, she is vegan but not on this diet.
Another suggestion would be to travel south in the winter to get some sunshine if possible.
I live in Houston, TX and spent my summer in the sun. I'm even tan right now and I just tested low in vitamin D. What the heck?
I'd get a test. If you are below 50 supplement. I was at a 27 and it gave me horrible bone pain.
I recommend getting out as much as possible even in winter. If not for the sun, at least for some fresh air and exercise.
A reptile light can help with skin and you might be able to find one @amazon.
This might be of help too...
I am confused when I continually see this recommendation. My understanding is that there are no UVB rays coming through the atmosphere at our latitude (I am in Northern Illinois, just south of Wisconsin) from late September through early April. Meaning that even if it is sunny and warm and I am outside naked, I ain't makin' no Vitamin D.
If you can point me to scientific evidence that refutes that, please do. It is difficult for me to afford the supplements for my whole family.
*Edit... I read your post more carefully and see that you are not saying that going outside will help with the Vitamin D. I do see the benefit of getting fresh air and light into your eyes myself. It does help my seasonal affective disorder even if my Vitamin D levels are not affected.
Perhaps vitamin D doesn't have to be taken everyday - perhaps several times a week would be sufficient. It's fat soluable. Also, there may be cheaper online sources for vitamins in bulk - I know the local drugstore products can be pretty marked up.
The reptile light is pretty economical and I got pretty excited. Then I got confused. There are a lot of different types of lights with different spectrums of UVA, UVB, infrared, etc. What should we get? And how to position this thing to actually get the right amount of exposure? How many bulbs?
If you have some ideas I'd love to hear them!
Kati - your body can also store vitamin D to last you some of the winter months. Plus a short trip mid-winter to soak up some sun, and top up your D stores. This is what I do (I've never supplemented Vit D except maybe in a multivitamin several thousand years ago). My levels were at 26 in early 2009 (cooked vegan). Just had them checked prior to WFF and they're now 100 :D
What were your levels before?