As the medical establishment begins to find out more about Vitamin D, the daily recommendations continue to go up as well. With some nutritional experts recommending upwards of 20,000 IU per day, it is hard to keep up with the growing requirements – especially in the winter months that many of us are now experiencing. Sometimes actually taking in the vitamin D proves to be the hardest part.
That’s why this article was put together, to help you determine the best source of vitamin D for you. Everyone’s location and schedule is different, and that’s why there needs to be an equal amount if diversity when it comes to getting enough of this life-saving vitamin.
This is an obvious one. When it comes to getting vitamin D, this is simply the best way. Remember that your body cannot generate vitamin D behind glass, as the sun’s rays cannot penetrate glass. Read more about what vitamin D is and how it works in the article What You Need to Know About Vitamin D. In order for your body to make vitamin D, you might be directly exposed to the sunlight. At least fifteen to thirty minutes of sun is recommended in the summer months.
The amount of vitamin D that your body will generate from such sun exposure is extremely dependent on your geographical location in addition to the time of year. Some reports indicate that 15 minutes in the summer sun could generate as much as 10,000 IU. While this may be accurate in some areas of the world, it simply does not cover everyone’s location.
In the winter months it becomes much harder to get enough sunlight, especially for those with a job that revolves around a hectic schedule. Luckily, there are other similarly-powerful ways to optimize your vitamin D intake.
Supplementation is considered by many to be the next best thing in comparison to sunlight for taking vitamin D. It is important to remember, however, that the vitamin D you are taking should be in the form of vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). The body can utilize vitamin D3 much better than it can D2, and there have also been negative side effects reported with the intake of vitamin D2.
Even if vitamin D2 was only slightly worse, it makes no sense to choose vitamin D2 over vitamin D3. There is virtually no price difference at most stores, and vitamin D3 has been studied to a much further extent.
It would require ten tall glasses of vitamin D fortified milk to reach the minimum daily levels of vitamin D into your system. Food fortified with vitamin D tends to contain the low quality form, vitamin D2. Dairy products and fatty fish contain vitamin D3, but even adding them in your diet may not be enough.
Fish also tends to contain mercury, so eating it on a regular basis could do more harm than good. Eating some foods with vitamin D can pay off, and usually the best source of any vitamin is your diet, but vitamin D is unique in the sense that most people will need to be taking a vitamin D supplement to make up for what their diet lacks.
Which works for you?
Just as the best diet is a balanced one, the best method of vitamin D intake is a balanced one. Eat food sources containing vitamin D, get enough sunlight, and take a high quality vitamin D3 supplement. You simply cannot go wrong if you utilize every method available to you.