In our quest to prevent skin cancer and wrinkles by wearing hats, daily sunscreen and sitting in the shade we have caused Vitamin D deficiency in our children and adults. Adequate levels of Vitamin D are essential for the proper development of bones and to absorb calcium from our diet. Low levels of Vitamin D or Vitamin D Deficiency has been linked to: depression, propensity to gain weight, cognitive decline, heart disease and stroke, colon cancer and breast cancer. How can we insure that we are getting enough of this “sun vitamin” to enhance our overall health.
The number one way to get Vitamin D is from the sun! For a fair-skin person this means 15 minutes in the sun without sunscreen. Individuals with darker pigment may require more time in the sun to receive this benefit.
Examples of dietary sources that include vitamin D are:
Fatty fish, like 3 ounces of Salmon contain 600-700 IU of Vitamin D
1 cup of milk-120 IU of Vitamin D
1 egg-40 IU of Vitamin D
If your diet is lacking or if you live in areas where the sun doesn’t shine year round like in Sunny Southern California you can take a supplement. Most supplements contain the active form of Vitamin D called D3
Infants<1 year: 400 IU
Children and adults from age 1-70:600 IU
Adults over the age of 71:800IU
Vitamin D levels can be checked by a simple blood test which measures the amount of Vitamin D in the blood called 25-hydroxy Vitamin D.
Deficiency is <10 ng/ml
You cannot get Vitamin D toxic from the sun, the body regulates how much Vitamin D it can absorb at one time.