Vitamin D – How much?

Average adults including pregnant women need 200 IU of vitamin D daily while adults over 50 need 400 IU daily. The recommendation for vitamin D intake further increases to 600 IU for people over 70 years of age.

Vitamin D deficiency is most common in women over the age of 50. This is the age when most of us will be going through the menopause and when it’s absolutely vital to keep our bones and heart healthy due to the increased risk of osteoporosis and heart disease that menopause brings.  


Natural food sources of vitamin D are few.  It is found in oily fish.  A 100g of grilled salmon contains 7.1mcg (284ius) of vitamin D and a 100g of tinned pilchards contains 14 mcg (560ius) of vitamin D.

Diet alone, however, does not provide enough vitamin D and another great source of readily available vitamin D is from sunlight so aim to get at least 20 minutes of natural daylight.  Sunscreen will interfere with the production of vitamin D so go without any but in hot weather, avoid the hottest part of the day.  Australia, which has successfully campaigned against sun exposure for years, is now recording vitamin D deficiencies in 1 out of 4 people. Also check your cosmetics as many moisturisers will have in-built sun protection factors (SPF) and they will be blocking the vitamin D manufacture through your skin. 

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