The Sunshine Vitamin

The Sunshine Vitamin

Vitamin D has numerous possible advantages. Depending on your age and your nutritional intake, there is an increased probability that you may be deficient.

Northern Latitudes

Vitamin D or “Sunshine Vitamin” helps our body utilize calcium and phosphorus to build and maintain strong bones and teeth. It is a unique vitamin in that the body may produce it after being exposed to UV rays from sunlight. Since this does not occur for most of the year in Northern latitudes, obtaining appropriate vitamin D intake through foods is critical.

The Institute of Medicine's Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI) report includes vitamin D recommendations to help people maintain optimal bone health. This is based on data that vitamin D, along with calcium, is essential for bone health throughout life. Insufficient vitamin D can lower calcium and phosphorus levels in the blood, causing calcium to be drawn out of the bones to keep blood levels stable. This can result in rickets in children, osteomalacia (bone softening), or osteoporosis (fragile bones) in adults. However, too much vitamin D can cause extreme calcium deposits in the body, leading to the calcification of the kidney and other soft tissues such as the heart, lungs, and blood vessels.

Recommended Dietary Allowance Per Day

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamin D gives the daily amount required to maintain healthy bones and adequate calcium metabolism in healthy people. The RDAs for vitamin D were established on the assumption of minimal sun exposure.

Age Group and RDA per day:

  • Infants (0-12 months):   400 IU (10 mcg)/day
  • Children (1-12 years):   600 IU (15 mcg)/day
  • Teens (13-19 years):   600 IU (15 mcg)/day
  • Adults (19-70 years):   600 IU (15 mcg)/day
  • Adults (70+ years):   800 IU (20 mcg)/day
  • Pregnant & Lactating Women:   600 IU (15 mcg)/day

Food Sources

In Canada, cow's milk is a significant source of vitamin D. According to national regulations, cow's milk must be fortified with vitamin D to help Canadians achieve their vitamin D requirements. Similar to cow's milk, plant-based beverages may also be vitamin D-fortified to meet the recommended daily intake. Fatty fish meat, fish liver oils, egg yolks, yogurt, cheese, and beef liver are the other finest sources.

Drinking 2 cups (500 mL) of cow's milk each day and eating fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, or sardines contributes significantly to vitamin D consumption. Furthermore, because there are few food sources of vitamin D and exposure to UV rays from the sun is limited, Health Canada recommends that persons 50 and older take a 400 IU vitamin D supplement daily (10 mcg). However, it is strongly recommended to consult with your doctor prior to commencing vitamin D supplementation.

Vitamin D: A Nutrient of Concern in Canada

According to Health Canada, many Canadians do not get enough vitamin D from their diet. Almost all adults, including 98% of women and 94% of men, have inadequate intakes of vitamin D from foods, falling short of their Estimated Average needs. Furthermore, a national analysis of vitamin D blood levels showed that nearly one-third of Canadians had levels below 50 nmol/L, the cut-off considered adequate for healthy bones.


Vitamin D has numerous possible advantages. Getting adequate vitamin D improves resistance to certain diseases and lowers the risk of developing multiple sclerosis. It is also important in regulating calcium and phosphorus absorption and facilitating appropriate immune system function.

Make healthier choices in your wellness journey with ACE Nutrition. Speak with our experts to keep an eye on your vitamin intake. We analyze your food intake before developing a personalized diet plan that takes into account your food preferences and helps you reach your nutritional objectives.

Did You Know?
Unfortunately, catching the sun's rays at a sunny office, or driving in a car will not help you receive vitamin D because window glass totally blocks UVB ultraviolet light.
Home Office Sunshine
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