How Do You Get Your Vitamin D?


Girl in fieldVitamin D is officially having a moment. To date, there is some research that suggests D can help build bones, strengthen your immune system, and lower the risk for diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, and heart and kidney disease. Yet, as has been widely reported, half or more of all children and adults may be vitamin D deficient. (You can read more about vitamin D and its effects in Vitamin D: Sunshine and So Much More, and in Vitamin D, Miracle Drug: Is It Science or Just Talk?) As a result, interest in vitamin D is at an all-time high — which is great news. Public interest and media coverage have led to increased individual vitamin D testing, increased discussion among medical professionals and, perhaps most important, to more funding for reliable studies to determine just how important, effective and safe it really is. In the meantime, there are at least a dozen new vitamin D books out this year, and there's much discussion about how exactly to get more of this currently in vogue vitamin. (In addition to supplements, the easiest way to get vitamin D is from sunshine. You can also get it from fortified milk; oily fish such as salmon, sardines and mackerel; eggs (free-range have more D); and shiitake mushrooms.)

Have you been tested for vitamin D and/or increased your intake? How do you get your vitamin D?

Photo: Istockphoto 

7/6/2010 7:45:39 PM

I was tested for Vitamin D for the first time this year. Because it was "15" I was put on mega doses for 3 months. Going back in a couple weeks to see the current numbers. The challenge: I have a very fair complexion and go straight to lobster colored with minimal sun exposure. There must be a happy medium somehow.

6/1/2010 2:13:39 PM

I have been very healthy over the years, but this year I decided I really should have a physical just to check things out. It was in January, after a winter of little outdoor activity. I love gardening but winter even this far south (Houston area) is pretty dull for gardeners (unless you are starting seeds - indoors!) I have a desk job so I don't spend much time outside but when I get home I almost go from front door to back door when the weather is nice. I too was surprised to see the Vitamin D test on the blood work and glad that it was there. The medical community seems to be promoting this, and the fact that the recommendation is a vitamin that can be purchased without a prescription sort of validates that it is not just a push to make more money from us with a new prescription drug. My chiropractor said you would just about have to spend all day outside with no clothes on to get enough D from the sun. I am taking 5000 IU a day on the advice of my physician, and I will keep taking it during summer because I just can't spend as much time outside - much less naked - as I would like.

5/24/2010 8:20:28 PM

Doodledmc...When was your 25 Hydroxy (liver store) vit D level checked (fall/summer or spring/winter)? Even in the warmer parts of the country, your ability to receive vit D from the sun make be reduced or impossible during the winter months. If you have not already done so, get tested in the summer months to find out if you still have a deficiency. If yes, then you might want to seek the advice of an endocrinologist who specializes in Vit D. If you were able to absorb vit D from the sun during the summer months, you might want to take a Vit D supplment in the winter months to maintain your levels. You may also want to look into tanning beds which, if you can find an effective bed, should help you maintain and/or increase your levels during the winter. See for additional info on how to build your vit D liver stores using the above methods.

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