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Surf’s up, sun’s up, Vitamin D’s up!

August 25, 2015
Sunrise over Bethany Beach

    Not too late to stock up on Vitamin D!

Having just returned from vacation, I probably got too much sun. I often counsel people not to overdose on vitamin D, as everyone is really concerned about having low vitamin D levels lately. They buy vitamin D supplements, eat food fortified with vitamin D, and drink milk with vitamin D. They also get vitamin D by being exposed to sunlight. However, the human body has a nice mechanism for not allowing us to convert too much vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. Even if we can produce 10,000 Units when exposed to sunlight, we don’t make much more than that.

The National Institutes of Health states that 25-OHD levels over 200 ng/mL could be toxic to people.

Indeed with vitamin D, the dose makes the poison; the Institute of Medicine, pressed to increase it’s upper boundaries from 2,000 international unites a day, did not agree that increased vitamin D levels  increased health benefits. They increased the boundary only to 4,000 IUs a day in adults.

Kotz, D. Time in the Sun: How Much Is Needed for Vitamin D? Us News & World Report. June 23, 2008.

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