Prevention is the key. And one of the pillar of the prevention of osteoporosis are Vitamin D levels. But, how much Vit D we need? According to different studies, we need between 800 and 1,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D — preferably D3 — per day. Unfortunately, we don’t get enough from the foods we eat, (it is a bit better if the food is fortified) and thanks to the use sunblock and our preference (of course not everyone) with indoor entertainment, we rarely absorb enough from the sun.
Sunblock blocks up to 90% of the rays we need to get vitamin D. Glass filters out the beneficial UV rays, so sitting in the window while playing on your smart phone isn’t going to do it either.
So, myu advice, get out! Seriously, get outside, particularly if you live in a sunny climate and it’s summer, when the sun’s rays are at the right wavelength. For the fairer skinned, 10 to 15 minutes in the midday sun is probably more than enough. Those with darker skin may need considerably longer — up to six times as long, depending on skin pigmentation (as a darker skin tone prevents partially the absorption) If you can’t get outside more, or if it’s winter and there’s no sun out there, there are some foods that provide a good amount of vitamin D. For example, mostly fatty fish like salmon, herring, and sardines. Cod liver oil, if you can get it down, also has vitamin A and Omega 3s; tuna, oysters, shrimp, mushrooms and egg yolks. Because Vit.D can be tough to get, and not everyone can eat all the foods containing Vit D, many other foods are fortified with it. Milk, milk substitutes like almond or soy milk, some cereals, some varieties of yogurt, and orange juice may contain vitamin D, but be sure to check the label. Moreover, supplements are a good way to get your D supply. Many experts believe D3 is more bioavailable (you absorb more of the nutrients).
How do you know if you are deficient? Beside getting blood test, there are some signs that may indicate you are not getting enough Vit D.
Common signs of D deficiency include:
- Getting sick more often.
- Feeling fatigued.
- Various amount of pain, particularly in the back, legs, ribs, joints, and/or muscles.