Improve your health by learning
Wellness Blog
< Go back

What's the Deal with Vitamin D?

Alyssa Snyder, MS, RDN
December 15, 2022
February 3, 2023

Your body requires many vitamins and minerals to function and keep you feeling healthy. Vitamin D is one of them! Vitamin D is found in food, made from sunlight, and is also sold as a supplement. If you’re wondering about Vitamin D, or how to boost it, this article is for you.

Am I Getting Enough Vitamin D?

Research has shown, 18% of people in the U.S. are at risk of inadequate vitamin D, and 5% have a vitamin D deficiency. You are most at risk for low vitamin D if you:

  • Have a milk allergy or lactose intolerance
  • Are vegetarian or vegan
  • Are aged 65 and up
  • Have dark skin
  • Don't go outside or do not expose your skin to the sun
  • Live in a cold climate with cloud coverage

Check with your dietitian about how to get more vitamin D from your diet, ask your doctor to test your vitamin D levels, and talk with your doctor before starting any supplements. Having adequate vitamin D is important for keeping you healthy, happy, and active.

Benefits Of Vitamin D

Adequate Vitamin D reduces your risk of:

  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Osteoporosis
  • Cancer

Vitamin D also promotes healthy bones, fights off infections, reduces inflammation, and helps to regulate blood glucose levels.

Risks Of Low Vitamin D

If you don’t have enough Vitamin D in your body, you may be at risk of :

About Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin found in food, available as a dietary supplement, and produced when sunlight hits your skin. In the U.S., most people consume less than the recommended amount of vitamin D. A 2013–2016 survey found that 94% of people consumed less than the estimated vitamin D requirement from food and beverages.  Since most people do not eat and drink enough vitamin D, they must also meet their needs with sunlight.

How To Meet Daily Needs


  • 5–30 minutes of sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., 2-7 days a week
  • Exposure to the face, arms, hands, and legs without sunscreen is needed
  • Exposure to sunshine through windows does not produce vitamin D


  • Including a few servings of foods high in vitamin D can help meet your needs
  • Check the nutrition facts label for the amount of vitamin D in food!
  • Best sources of vitamin D include:
  • Seafood
  • Lean Meats
  • Eggs
  • Legumes - beans, peas, lentils
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Fortified foods - milk, cereal, yogurt, and orange juice


  • Check your current multivitamin supplement; yours may already contain vitamin D!
  • Read the label and examine the dosage
  • Too much vitamin D - vitamin D toxicity - can have serious health risks
  • Exceeding 4000 IU of vitamin D daily may cause:
  • headaches, thirst, nausea, dizziness, vomiting, muscle weakness, kidney stones, and more
  • Tell your doctor, pharmacist, and other healthcare providers about any dietary supplements, prescriptions, or over-the-counter medicines you take to help determine if there are any interactions

You may be wondering how much vitamin D you need. The recommended daily intake is 15 mcg/d or 600 IU for ages 1-70. If you are pregnant or nursing you may need more.


Your body needs vitamin D to maintain bone and muscle strength, and also fight infections. Increase this essential nutrient by going outdoors and staying active. Eat a balanced diet, including vitamin D rich foods. Not all supplements are safe, and most nutrients occur naturally in foods! Have your vitamin D levels checked regularly, and speak to your doctor and registered dietitian if your levels are low.