Vitamin D gets a lot of hype in pop science articles and on the health and wellness scene, but there’s ambiguity surrounding the specifics. How much do we get from the sun? Do we absorb it the same way in supplement form? What foods contain vitamin D? And how much do we really need on a daily basis?
What is it?
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that promotes calcium absorption and is essential for bone growth and health. A lack of the vitamin can lead to misshapen or malformed bones, osteoporosis, and rickets. It is also known to help reduce inflammation, modulate cell growth, aid immune function, and even improve glucose metabolism.
How much vitamin D do we need?
If you get regular sun exposure, but still spend the majority of your time indoors (or outdoors with lots of sunscreen on!) experts advise getting 600 IU of vitamin D daily, whether from the sun, through food or supplement form. Individuals past their mid-seventies may benefit from increasing this to 800 IU.
How much do we get from the sun?
Unprotected sun exposure can be beneficial--in small doses. For fair-skinned people, just 10 minutes of unprotected sun exposure allows the body to produce 10,000 IUs of vitamin D, while a darker-skinned person might need up to 30 minutes in the sun to produce the same amount. However, if you live north of Atlanta, Georgia, the sun may not get high enough in the winter months to allow the production of Vitamin D, which means you should make sure to increase your intake through foods or supplements.
What foods contain vitamin D?
There are only a few foods that are high in vitamin D, which is likely why over 40% of American adults are deficient in the crucial vitamin. However, most milk in the United States is fortified with Vitamin D, and it can also be found in fish like salmon, sardines, cod, and trout, as well as mushrooms and egg yolks.
If those foods aren’t typically on your menu, don’t worry. Agape Nutrition offers a wide range of Vitamin D supplements, from kid-friendly gummies (and their adult version) to our bestselling Metabolic Maintenance capsules.