Vitamin D

Vitamin D


Key Findings

• The best source of vitamin D is exposure to sunlight, but it can also be obtained from protein-rich foods and nutritional supplements.
• Vitamin D keeps your skin looking youthful as it destroys free radicals that can cause premature aging, wrinkles and fine lines; it also optimizes the immune system.
• Vitamin D should be combined with vitamin K2 because the two work together for proper distribution of calcium in the body.

Vitamin D is an award-winner among essential vitamins. This fat-soluble vitamin has many positive health effects and stands out as the only vitamin your body can make using the sun’s rays. In the skin, ultraviolet radiation B (UVB) rays from the sun interact with a chemical called calcitriol to synthesize active vitamin D.

Vitamin D helps to build strong bones and teeth. It adjusts the calcium and phosphorus balance in the body by regulating absorption in the intestines and excretion in the kidneys. Vitamin D deficiency weakens bones and muscles, resulting in as osteomalacia (soft bones) and osteoporosis in post-menopausal women.

Vitamin D plays a vital role in boosting the immune system. A 2010 study showed that vitamin D3 reduced the chance of catching the flu by more than 40 percent. The vitamin also balances insulin levels, assists weight loss by suppressing the appetite and improves mood. Vitamin D can reduce your chance of getting cancer, multiple sclerosis or heart disease. As a powerful antioxidant, it can reduce fine lines and wrinkles and help in the treatment of acne and eczema.

The best source of vitamin D is sunlight. To get enough vitamin D, you need about 10 minutes of direct sun exposure on bare skin of the face, arms and legs several times a week (without sunscreen) – but not so much that you get sunburned.

Several factors increase the amount of time you need to get an optimal vitamin D dose: exposing less skin, having skin with high melanin levels (darker skin), and living in a high-pollution area or being in the northern latitudes. In wintertime, the sun’s rays don’t have enough UVB to produce vitamin D if you are north of the 37th parallel (Newport News, Virginia or Santa Cruz, California).

Vitamin D works best when your body has adequate levels of vitamin K2. Vitamin D helps you absorb calcium from your food, and vitamin K2 directs the calcium to where it’s most needed. Vitamin K2 balances calcium levels in the body and reduces the chance of heart attacks and strokes by preventing calcium deposits in tissues and arteries.

Vitamin D in food

If you can’t get enough vitamin D from the sun, don’t worry, it is found in natural and fortified foods, including (in alphabetical order):

  • Cod liver oil
  • Cereal
  • Egg yolks
  • Herring
  • Maitake mushrooms
  • Milk
  • Orange juice
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Shrimp
  • Tuna
  • Yogurt

If tests show you need more vitamin D, a physician or holistic practitioner can prescribe supplements to help you get your required daily dose.


Vitamin D is an essential nutrient with a strong positive impact, both inside and outside. Externally, it protects and rejuvenates skin by destroying the free radicals that cause premature aging. It minimizes age spots, wrinkles and fine lines and helps optimize the skin’s defenses against invaders. Inside the body, its benefits include strong bones and teeth and improved cardiovascular health, particularly in the presence of vitamin K2.