Good Health and Vitamin D


Vitamin D has emerged as a "star supplement" because it is an essential vitamin that provides many nutritional benefits for both men and women. Vitamin D plays a key role in the proper absorption of calcium, helps support healthy bones and teeth, and helps support a healthy immune system. Unfortunately, too many Americans are not getting enough of this important nutrient. The 2015 USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans Committee identified vitamin D as a “nutrient of public health concern,” as 9 out of 10 Americans fail to meet their daily vitamin D needs.1"

Vitamin D is found in some food sources and is synthesized in the skin after exposure to sunlight. For most Americans, sunlight provides the main source of our vitamin D requirements because we eat few foods that naturally contain vitamin D, such as cod liver oil, oily fish (salmon, herring, and sardines in oil), egg yolks and fortified milk. However, many Americans don't meet the minimum requirement of sun exposure of 5-30 minutes a day/two times a week. Vitamin D deficiency is even more pronounced among people living in northern parts of the country, such as Seattle and New England, especially in the winter due to limited access to sunlight. Although rare, recent evidence has indicated a reemergence of vitamin D deficient rickets and an alarming prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency in particular segments of the population, including those with darker skin pigmentation, the elderly, obese individuals, and those living in geographical areas with limited sunlight. There is much debate as to the appropriate level of vitamin D to recommend. Studies are continuing to emerge in various geographical regions, physiological states, and ethnic minorities and using varying dosages of vitamin D. The Institute of Medicine recommends 600-800 IU of vitamin D daily to support bone health.2 The Endocrine Society has also released clinical guidelines that are routinely utilized by health care practitioners who are working with patients to raise their blood levels of vitamin D. These guidelines recommend 1,500-2,000 IU vitamin D daily for adults to support consistent blood levels of vitamin D and help those with inadequate vitamin D intake meet their daily nutrient needs.3 Chronic vitamin D deficiency cannot be reversed overnight. It may take months of vitamin D supplementation and sunlight exposure to rebuild the body's vitamin D levels. Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin whose primary role in the body is that it is necessary for the absorption of calcium and to support bone health. Without sufficient vitamin D, your body cannot absorb calcium effectively.

Supplements, fortified foods, and exposure to sunlight are effective ways of improving levels of vitamin D. Recognizing that vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency are major public health concerns for both children and adults in the United States, Nature Made offers vitamin D in a variety of dosage levels from 400 to 10,000** IU.

Vitamin D is available in two forms, vitamin D2 and vitamin D3. Nature Made® vitamins and multivitamins provide vitamin D in the D3 form, which is the body’s preferred form.* One tablet of Nature Made Vitamin D 1,000 IU is equivalent to the amount of vitamin D in 7 cans of tuna (3 oz. cans), or 8 cups of fortified milk, or 25 egg yolks, or 25 cups of fortified cereal. You will see vitamin D added to many supplements available today. The most common one is the vitamin D plus calcium combination, but you will also see it added to products like fish oil, magnesiumjoint support products and multivitamins.

If you currently have a health condition or have concerns about vitamin D, talk to your physician or healthcare provider before taking a vitamin D supplement.

*Vitamin D3 is more effective than vitamin D2 at raising and maintaining adequate levels of circulating vitamin D in the body.
**Maximum Strength D3 10,000 IU is designed for short-term use by adults diagnosed with vitamin D deficiency by a healthcare professional using appropriate biomarkers.

References 1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. 2015 – 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 8th Edition. December 2015. Available at
2. Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine (IOM). Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin D and Calcium. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2011.
3. Holick MF, Binkley NC, Bischoff-Ferrari HA, et al. Evaluation, treatment, and prevention of vitamin D deficiency: an Endocrine Society Clinical Practice Guideline. J Clin Endocrinol & Metab. 2011;96(7):1911-1930.