Did you know that 95% of Americans don’t get enough Vitamin D from their diet?1 This is shocking because Vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins that we need every day. Read on for answers to your most common Vitamin D questions provided by Nature Made® expert Dr. Susan Hazels Mitmesser.
Question 1: What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that can be absorbed by the fats and oils in the body. The benefits of Vitamin D include supporting bone, teeth, muscle and immune health.†
Question 2: How Do You Get Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is unique from the other vitamins in that your body can make Vitamin D from the sun. However, if you’re going outside in hopes of getting this vitamin from the sun but you first put on sunblock to protect your skin…you’ll need to think of a better route. That’s because you need between 10-15 minutes a day of direct sun exposure without sunscreen to convert the sun’s rays into Vitamin D in the skin. Wearing sunscreen will limit that ability.
Question 3: Besides the Sun, What are Good Sources of Vitamin D?
Vitamin D can be obtained from food. Some good Vitamin D foods include egg yolks, fortified milk, fatty fish, and mushrooms. If you have a diet low in these foods, you may also consider a Vitamin D supplement.
Question 4: Should I Take Vitamin D2 or D3?
There are two different forms of Vitamin D: D2 and D3. The difference is that one is plant-derived (D2), and one is animal-derived (D3). What are the Vitamin D3 benefits? Well, we now know that Vitamin D3 does a better job of increasing Vitamin D levels throughout the body.2 So, if you’re in the vitamin aisle, you should look for a Vitamin D3 supplement, such as Nature Made® Vitamin D3 in either tablets, softgels, or tasty gummies.
Question 5: How Do I Know If I’m Getting Enough Vitamin D?
The amount of Vitamin D an individual may need is based on that person’s age, gender, and life stage. However, your healthcare provider can perform a simple test to check the Vitamin D levels present in your blood. It is estimated that 29% of American adults have a Vitamin D deficiency and about 40% have insufficient levels.3 The Endocrine Society recommends between 1,500 IU to 2,000 IU per day for most adults, although up to 10,000 IUs a day may be needed to correct a Vitamin D deficiency. †4
Question 6: Why is Vitamin D Exciting to Scientists Right Now?
From a research perspective, there are a lot of interesting things going on with Vitamin D. Partly why that research has increased is because scientists are finding there are a lot of Vitamin D receptors throughout the body. When scientists find out there are receptors that can bind to a compound like Vitamin D, they get excited to research it further and find out the role that nutrient has on the body.
† These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Reider CA, Chung RY, Devarshi PP, Grant RW, Hazels Mitmesser S. Inadequacy of Immune Health Nutrients: Intakes in US Adults, the 2005-2016 NHANES. Nutrients. 2020;12(6):1735. Published 2020 Jun 10. doi:10.3390/nu12061735.
Tripkovic L, Lambert H, Hart K, et al. Comparison of vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 supplementation in raising serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D status: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Clin Nutr 2012;95:1357-1364.
Liu X, Baylin A, Levy PD. Vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency among US adults: prevalence, predictors and clinical implications. Br J Nutr. 2018;119(8):928-936. doi:10.1017/S0007114518000491.
Dr. Mitmesser provides scientific leadership at Pharmavite to advance innovation and new product development strategies, and to ensure the scientific integrity of all products made under its brand portfolio. She has a passion for nutrition and wellness and leverages her ability to communicate scientific findings to consumers and the marketplace.
She brings extensive experience in research and nutritional biochemistry across various industries and sectors, including food, dietary supplements, academia and clinical settings. She serves on the Editorial Board of four peer-reviewed journals: Advance Journal of Food Science and Technology, Journal of Pediatric Intensive Care, World Journal of Clinical Pediatrics, and Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. In addition, she has published in many peer-reviewed journals and is a contributing author for book chapters relating to nutrition in adult and pediatric populations.
Dr. Mitmesser is an active member of the American Society of Nutrition, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the New York Academy of Sciences. She also serves on the Senior Scientific Advisory Council for the Council for Responsible Nutrition.
Currently, Dr. Mitmesser is an adjunct professor in the Department of Nutrition Sciences at the University of Connecticut and in the Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. She holds a PhD in Nutritional Biochemistry from the University of Nebraska and a Master’s degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center.
Amy has an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University in Los Angeles and is a credentialed English teacher, though she left the classroom to write full time. She especially enjoys creating educational content about health, wellness, and nutrition. Her happy place is in the kitchen, and when not writing, you can find her trying out “kid-friendly recipes” and “healthy desserts for chocolate lovers” from her Pinterest board.