The Scoop on Vitamin D

Posted on June 13, 2022

You may know vitamin D as the sunshine vitamin because our bodies can absorb it from the sun’s UVB rays, but that’s only half of the story. Vitamin D is important because it works with calcium and is necessary for strong, healthy bones. Without daily sufficient intake of vitamin D, our bodies cannot absorb calcium, no matter how much we have, which puts our bones at risk of deterioration as we get older.

Though prolonged exposure to the sun’s rays is well known to increase the risk of skin cancer, we don’t need to run from the sun. In fact, even fair people require some time outside without sunblock for enough Vitamin D absorption. Fairer complexions should aim for 5 minutes a day, while those with darker complexions should be unexposed for no more than 15 minutes in the sun, two to three times per week during the summer months.

Outside of those months (or on high UV-warning summer days), we have to get our vitamin D from other sources, such as foods and supplements, to prevent a deficiency. Very few foods contain vitamin D, which makes it necessary to supplement. Food sources of vitamin D include egg yolks and fatty fish, as well as fortified milks, cereals and orange juices.