Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin produced by the body. It has many roles such as calcium absorption for bone strength, regulating cell growth, neuromuscular and immune function, and decreasing inflammation1. Due to these benefits, vitamin D has been used as a supplement to reduce a person’s risk for multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis, heart and lung disease, flu prevention and managing fibromylagia2.
The body naturally produces vitamin D when exposed to sunlight, however many factors prevent UVB rays from penetrating the skin including pollution, cloud cover, clothing and sunscreen. Even with Colorado being one of the sunniest places in the country, we do not always absorb enough rays to stimulate sufficient amounts of vitamin D. In order to achieve the recommended amount of sun exposure, we would have to be outside wearing a bathing suit at two o’clock in the afternoon for 10-15 minutes year round. Thankfully, there are other ways to get vitamin D into our system. Certain foods such as fatty fish, fish oils, fortified milk, cheese, eggs yolks and orange juice are good sources of vitamin D. Vitamin D is also available as a supplement and can be purchased from your local pharmacy or nutritional supplier.
- National Institutes of Health (NIH). (2018) Vitamin D – fact sheet for health professionals. US Department of Health and Human Services.
- Rose, D. (2017). The benefits of vitamin D. Healthline.com