Vitamin D

Julia Barber

Julia Barber

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Vitamin D

What is Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that is crucial to your health. It helps your body absorb calcium which is important for strong bones and helps to prevent osteoporosis. Vitamin D also supports your immune system, brain, nervous system, lung function, and cardiovascular health. 

How much Vitamin D do you need?

The amount of Vitamin D you need is different for everyone and based on your age. Below are the daily average recommended amounts of Vitamin D depending on your age; Micrograms (mcg), International Units (IU)


Recommended Amount 

Birth-12 months 

10 mcg (400 IU)

Children 1-13 years 

15 mcg (600 IU)

Teens 14-18 years

15 mcg (600 IU) 

Adults 19-70 years

15 mcg (600 IU)

Adults 71 and older 

20 mcg (800 IU)

Pregnant & Breastfeeding women

15 mcg (600 IU)

Sources of Vitamin D


You may have heard Vitamin D referred to as “the sunshine vitamin,” this is because your body creates Vitamin D from direct sunlight. Most people can get their recommended amount of Vitamin D from sunlight between the months of March through September. However, due to the weather change, during the months of October to early march other sources of Vitamin D should be taken. 


Vitamin D is also found in limited amounts of food. 

  • Milk- Almost all milks in the US are fortified with some Vitamin D. These may include cow’s milk, almond milk, oat milk, and soy milk. Check the nutrition facts label for the Vitamin D amounts. 
  • Salmon- Salmon and other fatty fish such as tuna, trout, and mackerel are great natural sources of Vitamin D. 
  • Mushrooms- Mushrooms are one of the only plant sources of Vitamin D. Like humans, mushrooms create Vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. 
  • Oatmeal and Cereals- Certain cereals and oatmeals are fortified with Vitamin D. While they provide less Vitamin D than natural sources, they are still a good option for boosting intake. 

What happens if you don’t get enough Vitamin D?

Vitamin D deficiency in children can cause rickets, which causes bones to become weak and soft. 

In teens and adults, not getting enough Vitamin D can result in extreme fatigue, mood changes, bone and joint pain, muscle cramps, and bone loss. 

Over time weak bones can lead to osteoporosis which is the loss of bone density. This can also lead to fractures. 

Take Away

Vitamin D is an essential vitamin that we need to maintain healthy bones. It could also reduce your risk of heart disease, chronic illness, cancer, and some autoimmune conditions.

Spending time in the sun is a fun, relaxing, and easy way to get your daily dose of Vitamin D. This may be a challenge in the colder months which is why it is a great idea to implement some Vitamin D rich foods into your diet. 

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