Vitamin D has been the topic of extensive research in recent years which has increased our awareness of the benefits of this essential nutrient. Vitamin D is credited with maximising calcium uptake and improved bone health as well as playing an important role in immune function and reducing the risk of a range of chronic illnesses. It has also raised awareness of the surprising incidence of deficiency in a sunny country like ours.
Sources of Vitamin D include sunshine, diet and supplementation.
Dietary sources of Vitamin D are limited which makes it very difficult to get enough Vitamin D from food sources alone.
- Fatty fish such as herring, mackerel, salmon
- Fortified foods such as milk, margarine, some cheeses
- Mushrooms exposed UV-B light (great for vegans) If you are interested in how to do it go to: http://www.fungi.com/blog/items/place-mushrooms-in-sunlight-to-get-your-vitamin-d.html
- neonates need 400-1000 IUs daily
- children 1 year and older 600-1000 IUs daily
- all adults 1500-2000 IUs of vitamin Dt
- obese children and adults require 2-3 times more vitamin D to achieve vitamin D sufficiency with a targeted serum 25(OH)D level of at least 75 nmol/L.
The question of how much sunshine is needed to make adequate vitamin D is a tricky topic due to the increased risk of developing skin cancers with increasing sun exposure. See this information put out by the Anticancer Council for up to date recommendations.