Kudos for Avoiding the Sun - But Are You Getting Enough Vitamin D?

Deficiency of Vitamin D due to indoor tanning

Indoor tanning leads to the body not being able to produce enough Vitamin D, because of insufficient sunlight exposure. No need to panic, though, you can actually obtain Vitamin D from other resources, such as foods and supplements. Research has shown that in the long run, both oral and solar exposure of Vitamin D will travel down the same pathway, and result in the same benefits. The only difference is the dosage we get.

According to the Food Nutrition Board at the Institute of Medicine of The National Academies, which created the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs), people should be in-taking the minimum amount of vitamin D each day if nothing is being synthesized (no sunlight exposure):

 Children up to 13 years - 5 mcg (200 IU)
 14-18 years - 5 mcg (200 IU)
 19-50 years - 5mcg (200 IU)
 51-70 years - 10 mcg (400 IU)
 71+ years - 15 mcg (600 IU)

Vitamin D sources from food:
There aren’t many foods that contain Vitamin D, but here are some foods that are considered to be the best sources; some fish, such as salmon, tuna and mackerel, as well as fish liver oils. You can also find Vitamin D present in beef liver, cheese and egg yolks. Some mushrooms provide variable amounts of Vitamin D2.

There are also other sources that contain artificial Vitamin D, such as milk, yogurt, margarine, oil spreads, breakfast cereal, pastries and bread, can all be found fortified with Vitamin D. In the US, typical diets provide about 100 IU/day.

Vitamin D sources from supplements:
Choose a good D3 supplement, and as long as you follow the correct daily dosage needed, you’re good to go. It’s always easier to just let nature take its course, but it isn’t always realistic.

Causes of Vitamin D deficiency:
Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with increased risk of common cancers, autoimmune diseases, hypertension and infectious disease. Vitamin D deficiency can also result in thin, brittle, or misshapen bones.

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