Here are a few questions about Vitamin D that I hear on a regular basis.
Is sun exposure the only way to get Vitamin D?
No, there are a few foods that naturally contain Vitamin D. Among these are:
- Cod liver oil
- Some fatty fish (such as some types of herring, mackerel, and salmon)
- Sun-exposed mushrooms
Doesn’t Vitamin D occur naturally in milk?
No, calcium occurs naturally in milk. Milk is fortified with Vitamin D.
Are there different kinds of Vitamin D?
Yes, there are several types of Vitamin D that have been identified ranging in number from 1 to 5. Each has a slightly different chemical makeup. The type of Vitamin D that comes from sun exposure is D3 and the type found naturally in plants and animals as well as in nutritional supplements is D2.
Is one type of Vitamin D better than another?
Vitamin D through skin exposure to the sun is considered the best way to get the vitamin. However, supplements and food sources are adequate for those who cannot or do not wish to be exposed to the sun.
How much sun exposure is enough?
For most people 10-20 minutes of sun exposure, a couple times a week during sunny months is enough to carry for adequate levels of Vitamin D. A person should use sunscreen if prolonged exposure to the sun occurs.