Do our vitamin D requirements change with the season?

December 23, 2016

Myth-busting

It is a common misconception that our bodies require different dosages of vitamin D depending on the season. Not true! Your life stage and geographical location can play a role in how much vitamin D you should be receiving. These daily recommended intakes do not change whether it is spring, summer, winter, or fall.

Why all the hype?

While our bodies require the same amount of vitamin D throughout the year, it is harder to get naturally during the winter months, leading some to think that we need more at this time. Why is it more difficult to get in the winter? This is because our bodies make vitamin D when our skin is exposed to sunlight and we are less exposed to sunlight in the winter months. This means our bodies will naturally make less vitamin D than in the summertime. Regardless of our sun exposure, our bodies ’ needs do not change.

The fix

You can compensate for the lack of vitamin D received through sunlight by increasing our intake from other sources, like our diet and/or a daily vitamin D drop supplement (like Ddrops). Aim to eat a diet that is rich in fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel, shellfish like shrimp and oysters, egg yolks, fortified dairy products like plain Greek yogurt, cheese, and cow’s milk, fortified soy milk, and fortified plain oatmeal. It can be hard to meet our vitamin D requirements from food alone, which is why it is very important to also supplement daily with vitamin D. Keep your vitamins by your morning coffee maker or on your nightstand, so it is always visible, and remember to take them.

  1. National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements. Vitamin D. Accessed on December 15, 2016. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional/
Tags: autumn, bone, fall, spring, summer, sun, teeth, vitamin D, winter

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Brigitte Zeitlin

Brigitte Zeitlin, MPH, RD is a registered dietitian-nutritionist and owner of BZ Nutrition, a private nutrition counseling practice. She has been featured in Us Weekly, Women’s Health, SELF, and Well+Good. Become a client and work with Brigitte by visiting bznutritionny.com.

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