Vitamin D is crucial for bone health. Although there have been numerous reports of various health conditions associated with low vitamin D levels, the findings of the Institute of Medicine (known as the National Academy of Medicine) show that there is not conclusive evidence showing that increasing vitamin D levels as associated with other health benefits. More and more studies are linking low vitamin D levels to colon cancer, heart disease and other cancers such as breast cancer.
There are many ways for us to obtain vitamin D. Foods, vitamin supplements and the sun are the most common sources for supplying our bodies with the vitamin D that it needs.
Ideally a diet rich in vitamin D is the best place to start. Fatty fish such as tuna, mackerel, salmon, herring, and sardines are a good source. Shrimp and oysters are also common seafood sources. Cheese, mushrooms, and egg yolks can be incorporated into many recipes to increase your vitamin D consumption.
Many foods are also fortified with vitamin D such as dairy products, orange juice, soy milk, and cereals.
The recommended daily allowance for vitamin D based on a person receiving minimal to no sun exposure is:
· 400 International Units for infants/children 0-1 years
· 600 IU for children, teenagers and adults 1-70 years
· 800 IU for adults 71+ years
Of course, the sun is also an important source for vitamin D in a person who does not have a diet rich in these foods or that takes supplements. The key to remember with sun exposure, however, is that you do not need a sunburn to get a healthy amount of vitamin D!
The sun is at its peak when you look down and see that your shadow is shorter than you. During these hours, 3 days a week obtaining about 15-20 minutes of sun exposure for people that tend to burn easily, and slightly longer in those that tend to tan easier than they burn.
The key is always everything in moderation. What is great about sun protective adaptive clothing is that it allows us to cover up quickly when we know we are risking getting too much sun that could lead to a risky sunburn!