As more Vitamin D facts are being discovered by researchers, this vitamin is being found to be imperative to our health in many different ways, from bone health, to the immune system, to cancer. But many of us, it seems, no matter how active and diligent we are about health, don’t get enough Vitamin D.
The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends 400 to 800 IU of Vitamin D daily for adults younger than 50, and 800 to 1,000 IU for adults 50 and older. But many experts now agree that most of us need even more—up to 5,000 IU a day. Plus, a shocking 70% of American’s are currently deficient.
The most significant source of Vitamin D is sunlight, and that’s where the trouble lies. We produce Vitamin D with exposure to ultraviolet radiation, but unprotected sun exposure can damage the skin. Regular use of sunscreen protects the skin, but also decreases absorption of the ultraviolet B (UVB) sunlight that is needed to produce Vitamin D by the skin. This can lead to a person having low Vitamin D levels.
Fortunately, there are smart and safe ways to increase your intake of Vitamin D:
1. Eat Foods Rich in Vitamin D
- Salmon (fresh, wild): 600-1000IU in 3.5 ounces
- Sardine:250 IU
- Cod liver oil: 400-1000IU in 1 teaspoonful
- Milk and yogurt(fortified): 100IU in each 8 ounce cup
- Breakfast cereals(fortified): about 100IU in each serving
2. Careful, Limited Sun Exposure
How much time in the sun does it take to get enough Vitamin D? The length of time varies for each person. A fair-skinned person’s body could make about 3000 International Units (IU) in 5-15 minutes during the spring and summer. The legs and arms would need to be exposed to the midday sun without sunscreen or clothing on them. The good news is that your body will never allow you to make too much Vitamin D from sunlight. Keep in mind you need to limit your time in the sun and take precautions to prevent burning.
Also keep in mind some people may not be able to get enough Vitamin D from the sun due to any of the following reasons:
- Regular use of SPF15 can decrease Vitamin D formation by the skin by more than 98%.
- The skin of people over age 65 has less of the component that is needed to convert sunlight into Vitamin D.
- Dark skin blocks UVB light from being absorbed so 5-10 times more sun exposure is required than for fair-skinned people.
3. Take a Vitamin D Supplement.
Taking Vitamin D supplement is a safe and convenient way to supplement your intake. Look for one that contains at least 2000IU of Vitamin D3 which is an active form and has similar properties to that formed in the skin when exposed to the sun.
Our Healthy Choice Nutritionals Vitamin D-3 Complex provides you with benefits beyond any ordinary Vitamin D-3 supplement available elsewhere. Each 1 capsule dose delivers your body with 5000 IU of Vitamin D-3.