Vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins that humans need. Unfortunately, it is also one of the vitamins that people do not get enough of. There has been speculation by some researchers that low amounts of this vitamin in the body can contribute to the development of certain diseases.
The recommended dose of vitamin D:
- Babies: 0-12 months - 200 IU
- 1-50 years - 200 IU
- 51-70 years - 400 IU
- 71+ years - 600 IU
- Pregnant and nursing women- 200 IU
As a supplement, this may not be enough. Even a low amount of vitamin D added to the diet is beneficial. But, for people who have limited outdoor time, it is important to add more of this vitamin to the diet.
The body manufactures vitamin D when we are exposed to the sun. UV rays have caused many people to limit their sun exposure quite a bit, but you can get enough of the vitamin by just exposing yourself to direct sunlight for 15 minutes a day.
About 15 minutes of sun exposure causes the body manufacture 10,000 IU of vitamin D! But for people who are unable to go outdoors or have sensitivities to sunlight, it is important to suplemment.
Even if you spend a lot of time in the sun there are factors that can inhibit the amount of vitamin D that your body can make. Skin color will dictate the amount of time you need in the sun, dark skinned people will need to be in the sun longer than light skinned people.
Air pollution blocks the amount of sunlight that can reach through the atmosphere. People that live in heavily populated areas will usually not make as much vitamin D as people who live in areas where there is less population and less air pollution.
Studies have shown that Vitamin D is essential to your health. So, no matter how you choose to increase your intake of this essential vitamin, you will reap lifelong benefits!