A helpful guide to maintaining healthy vitamin D levels
Vitamin D plays an important role in our body’s regulation of calcium and phosphorous, factors which are essential for maintaining healthy bones. Our bodies produce vitamin D as a response to sun exposure. As we are in the midst of winter, a season when days are short and sunny days are less common, it is always important to remember that our bodies may need help to have enough vitamin D. Here are a few simple ways to make sure your body is getting a good source of vitamin D.
Eat more foods that contain vitamin D.
Plentiful food sources of vitamin D include fatty fish (such as salmon, mackerel and tuna), egg yolks, cheese and fortified milk, cereal and juices.
Consider vitamin D nutritional supplements.
Check with your health care provider first to make sure that over-the-counter vitamin D supplements are appropriate for you.
Prescription vitamin D.
Your provider may prescribe a higher dose prescription formulation if your bloodwork reveals low levels of vitamin D.
Get sufficient sunlight exposure.
There is not a lot of data on how much exposure is needed, but most health care organizations state that 10-15 minutes of sun exposure two to three times a week may be all that is needed to help our bodies produce enough vitamin D. More exposure may be needed in early spring, winter or late fall if you live in a northern climate, are older or have a darker skin color.
It is always important to remember to consult with your health care provider if you have any questions or concerns about your health care needs.