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Vitamin D - Part 2

If you didn’t catch part one of our discussion on vitamin D, now is your chance to go catch up! Last week we covered the importance of vitamin D and how common it is to not intake adequate amounts. Coincidentally, we will talk about several ways to make sure you and your family are reaching their daily recommended values. As we know, the best way to get vitamin D is to be out in the sun; however, there are a few obstacles in the way. The first being the limited window available to make vitamin D, which we touched on last week (1). Another issue standing in the way is the dangers of the sun itself. As current research has shown, chronic, prolonged ultraviolet radiation exposure is linked to an increased risk for various forms of skin cancer (2). This can drive people to want to avoid the sun in order to limit their exposure and in turn limit their increased chance for skin cancer. One study found people who actively avoid the sun by staying out of it or wearing clothes to cover up their skin had lower concentrations of vitamin D than those who did not avoid the sun (3). Luckily it does not take a long time in the sun to make an adequate amount of vitamin D, only 5-10 minutes per day, two to three times per week during the summer months (2).

That leaves us with an unsolved problem during the colder parts of the year though. During this period where we cannot make our own vitamin D from the sun, it is vital that we supplement. Depending on your age group, it is recommended you take 400-800 IU (international units) of vitamin D3 daily, during the season where it is not feasible to produce our own (2). There are also other ways to try and bolster your vitamin D levels such as eating foods that have been fortified with vitamin D. Unfortunately, these foods alone usually do not contain enough vitamin D for them to be your sole source (2). Like most things in life, it is hard to be perfect and the same goes for your diet. Hopefully this look at vitamin D gave you a few tips on how to best secure your vitamin D throughout the year. As always, if you have any questions about anything you have read, feel free to ask Dr. Kennedy at your next appointment.


  1. Cashman K. D. (2020). Vitamin D Deficiency: Defining, Prevalence, Causes, and Strategies of Addressing. Calcified tissue international, 106(1), 14–29.

  2. Kannan, S., & Lim, H. W. (2014). Photoprotection and vitamin D: a review. Photodermatology, photoimmunology & photomedicine, 30(2-3), 137–145.

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