Your bones get plenty of vitamin D from the Sun

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

vitamin D
Vitamin D helps calcium get to your bones (shown in orange).

Vitamin D’s not really a vitamin, because we get most of it from the sun, rather than food. Just 10 minutes of sunlight is enough to have your daily fill of the D, but if you like living indoors, some vitamin D enhanced foods are salmon, egg yolk, shrimp, and sardines. Some folks even like to pop vitamin D pills called “supplements,” to get extra D-licious goodness.

There’s a long list of benefits that vitamin D provides, like developing healthier bones, fighting heart disease, and gaining stronger muscles. However, a recent study from the University of Auckland, New Zealand, says that vitamin D supplements may do very little against osteoporosis – a disease where the bones become weak.

Researchers looked at 23 studies that involved over 4,000 healthy adults with an average age of 59. They focused on bone mineral density – how strong the bones are – and found that adults who took vitamin D supplements over 2 years didn’t really see any improvements!

The lead author, Ian Reid, said, “Most healthy adults do not need vitamin D supplements.” He added, “Our data suggest that the targeting of low-dose vitamin D supplements only to individuals who are likely to be deficient could free up substantial resources that could be better used elsewhere in health care.”

In other words, the health care industry would save tons of money if they just focused on giving vitamin D supplements to people who have low amounts. Well, how about for kids? Basically, as long as you’re getting 10-15 minutes of sunshine each day, you’ll be fine. Now, don’t go getting sunburned or anything!