Vitamin D is an important nutrient for building and maintaining healthy bones, which can be important as we age! Not only is Vitamin D good for your bones, but it helps manage other bodily functions. It’s an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and supports immune health, muscle function, and brain cell activity. Studies on Vitamin D provide evidence to suggest that Vitamin D can help prevent cancer, supports cognitive health, reduces the risk of multiple sclerosis, can treat osteomalacia, can treat psoriasis, and slows osteoporosis. Now that’s a powerful nutrient!
It’s created in our bodies when we are in direct sunlight, and it can be found in certain foods.
Direct sunlight can stimulate natural Vitamin D production in our bodies, but that can vary depending on how cloudy it is, the time of day, and even if you’re wearing sunscreen. Fair-skinned people, for the most part, will product about 10,000 IU of Vitamin D in 10 minutes of the mid-day sun. People with darker skin will need longer time in the sun for their body to produce the nutrient. As long as it’s safe for your skin, aim to do this several times a week.
Vitamin D can also be found in certain foods, including mushrooms, eggs, milk, fatty fish, and fortified yogurt. Vitamin D is not found naturally in many foods, so fortified foods are a good way to get the nutrient. Nothing beats a few minutes in the sun each day, though!
The need for vitamin D also increases with age. You can learn about specific recommendations on how much vitamin D you need based on blood work, but a general recommendation is 600 IU of Vitamin D per day for adults 70 and younger, and 800 IU of Vitamin D per day for adults 70 and up. If you are suffering from muscle weakness, pain, fatigue, or depression, it may be worth the effort to have your Vitamin D levels checked by your doctor.
Stay healthy with Vitamin D: The Sunshine vitamin!