Life has moved indoors. Admit it — you spend way more time inside than outside. That means, like most people around the world, you’re probably not getting enough sunlight to provide your body with the vitamin D it needs to thrive.
Why is vitamin D so important?
Vitamin D enables normal mineralization of your bones, supports normal function of the cardiovascular system and contributes to the normal function of the immune system. †
Reports actually suggest that over half of the world’s population suffers from a deficiency of vitamin D.
“The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in the general population is significant in many regions of the globe,” says Alli Klosner, a clinical research scientist for Nutrilite. “Very few foods in nature contain vitamin D, and most of us don’t get enough sunlight to provide us with the vitamin D our bodies need.”
Sources of vitamin D
Sunshine generates vitamin D in your skin. The National Institutes of Health recommends 5 to 30 minutes of sun between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. at least twice a week on the face, arms, legs, or back without sunscreen.
But that’s just a rough estimate, since it doesn’t take into account cloud cover, shade, pollution or sunscreen use, all of which block the UVB rays from the sun that start the process of vitamin D synthesis in the skin.
Milk contains about 100 IU vitamin D per 8-ounce glass — clearly not enough to realistically achieve the optimal supplement level of 2,000 IU/day. Of commonly consumed foods, the highest in vitamin D is oily fish like salmon, which provides about 100 IU vitamin D per ounce.
For people with dark pigmented skin, greater amounts of melanin in the epidermal layer reduce the skin’s ability to produce vitamin D from sunlight.
Now for some good news
Taking supplemental vitamin D is an easy way to ensure that you’re getting the optimal amount, 2,000 IU/day, without increasing your risk of skin cancer or skin aging from excessive sun exposure.