Prevention & Recovery

Vitamin D: How much do you need?

Author: Canadian Living

Prevention & Recovery

Vitamin D: How much do you need?

This story was originally titled "Vitamin D: Don't Get Left in the Dark" in the October 2009 issue. Subscribe to Canadian Living today and never miss an issue!

With shorter days in the fall and winter, there's less sunlight for our bodies to use to make vitamin D, which keeps bones strong, protects the immune system against respiratory infections and reduces the risk of cancer. How much do you need?

Health Canada calls for 200 international units (IU) of vitamin D per day for men and women up to age 50, and 400 IU for people aged 51 to 70. But other experts feel this is not enough. The Canadian Cancer Society recommends all adults take a daily 1,000 IU supplement of vitamin D in the fall and winter months.

If you have concerns or questions about your vitamin D intake, or are wondering how much is enough for you, talk to your family doctor.

Tip: Get 360 IU of vitamin D from every 100 grams of fatty fish such as salmon, 100 IU per 1 cup/250 mL of fortified cow's milk or fortified soy beverages, and 30 IU per 2 tsp/10 mL of margarine.

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Vitamin D: How much do you need?

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