Nutrient Breakdown: Vitamin D

(Repost from previous Real Spotlight)

Spring is here and I’m looking forward to getting more of this vitamin found in nature!

Vitamin D is known as the “sunshine vitamin” because your body can make it after sunlight hits your skin. You only need about 10-15 mins in the sun for your body to make vitamin D. (Note that people with dark skin don’t make vitamin D as easily as light-skinned people when exposed to sunlight.) In case you don’t get enough from the sun, it’s also found in egg yolk and some fish like salmon and sardines. It’s also fortified in milk, cheese, and yogurt. Some cereals and orange juices are fortified with Vitamin D as well.

Recommended intake for adults is 600 IU. Be aware that vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin which means it is stored in your fat tissue. For this reason, it is possible to reach toxic limits if taken in excess.  Most doctors include a vitamin D test in routine lab work, so if you’re interested in knowing where you’re at, ask your doctor to order a lab test.

There are many reasons to be sure you are getting enough vitamin D. During cold and flu season, it’s ability to boost your immune system is key as it helps to fight off bacteria and viruses. Another main function of vitamin D has to do with bone health. Vitamin D promotes the absorption of calcium and phosphorous and helps deposit these minerals in our bones. Other promising benefits include cancer prevention, and diabetes and high blood pressure management.


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