Vitamin D is necessary for important metabolic functions. It supports bone health by making it possible for the body to absorb calcium. A proper intake of vitamin D can lead to stronger bones, an improved mood, a boosted immune system, and can prevent future bone and joint diseases such as osteoporosis and psoriasis. A sufficient amount of vitamin D may also decrease a woman’s risk of breast cancer and fertility problems.
We get vitamin D from the sun, food (salmon, tuna, milk, and most dairy products), and sometimes dietary supplements like a multivitamin. Because skin cancer is a prevalent problem and people cover up with sunscreen or avoid direct exposure to the sun, people need to find vitamin D in food or dietary supplements.
An estimated two-thirds of women are vitamin D deficient. Without enough vitamin D, women are more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer, suffer problems during pregnancy, and have bone or joint diseases later in life. To avoid these problems to the best of our abilities, enough vitamin D needs to be absorbed daily throughout our lifetimes. Many medical studies vary on how much vitamin D is sufficient, but the average consensus is between 600 and 1,000 IU (international unit) every day for women under the age of 60. After 60, the recommended amount is higher, in the range of 800 to 1,200. However, be careful not to take more than 4,000 IU. As with anything, it is best to not overdo even vitamins that are necessary for growth and function. Check out the nutrition labels on the backs of your food or supplements to see how many IUs of vitamin D there are and keep track during the day.