How To Make Sure You’re Getting Enough Vitamin D
UVB rays are strongest during summer, especially during midday. Keep in mind that skin color affects the ability of a person to create D3 in the skin.
In other words, the darker your skin, the more you should be exposed to sunlight for production of vitamin D3.
People with light skin are recommended to be exposed to sun from 10 to 45 minutes while dark skinned people from 2 to 2.5 hours.
You can also obtain small amounts of vitamin D from your diet through animal based sources such as:
-Fish, such as salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines
-Raw milk ( Cow’s milk)
There are numerous plant sources of vitamin D and thus there are sample ways of including this particular vitamin in a vegetarian’s diet:
Tests for Vitamin D Deficiency
The most accurate way to measure how much vitamin D is in your body is the 25-hydroxy vitamin D blood test. A level of 20 nanograms/milliliter to 50 ng/mL is considered adequate for healthy people. A level less than 12 ng/mL indicates vitamin D deficiency.
Treatment for Vitamin D Deficiency
Treatment for vitamin D deficiency involves getting more vitamin D — through diet and supplements. Although there is no consensus on vitamin D levels required for optimal health — and it likely differs depending on age and health conditions — a concentration of less than 20 nanograms per milliliter is generally considered inadequate, requiring treatment.
Guidelines from the Institute of Medicine increased the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of vitamin D to 600 international units (IU) for everyone ages 1-70, and raised it to 800 IU for adults older than age 70 to optimize bone health. The safe upper limit was also raised to 4,000 IU. Doctors may prescribe more than 4,000 IU to correct a vitamin D deficiency.
If you don’t spend much time in the sun or always are careful to cover your skin (sunscreen inhibits vitamin D production), you should speak to your doctor about taking a vitamin D supplement, particularly if you have risk factors for vitamin D deficiency.