While it may be called a vitamin, vitamin D it is actually a hormone which the body naturally produces when healthy skin is exposed to moderate amounts of sunlight. Ensuring you maintain normal vitamin D2 levels, however, does not mean spending lots of time in the sun. Instead, it requires a healthy diet and perhaps even a vitamin-D supplement. It is also extremely important to recognize that normal vitamin D2 levels are different for everyone before increasing your intake, as too much vitamin D can cause toxicity.
Before deciding to make an adjustment in your diet, supplements, or sun intake, it is a good idea to determine what “normal vitamin D2 levels” mean for your body. The recommendation by many scientists and medical professionals is around 200 to 1,000 International Units (IU) for children under the age of 12 and 400 to 2,000 IU for adults per day. The amount your body needs depends on factors such as activity level, body mass and current diet. When determining how much vitamin D2 you should be getting, it may be useful to consult a nutritionist or other medical professional.
Most people can quickly improve their normal vitamin D2 levels by drinking and eating more things fortified with vitamin D. This can include fortified milk, juices and cereals and breads. Other good sources of natural vitamin D are fatty fish and eggs. Regularly consuming these products may even eliminate the need for any supplements.
Some choose to maintain natural vitamin D2 levels by using tanning beds. Lying in a tanning bed for about 10 minutes can give the body vitamin D2, but it is typically considered a harmful way to do so. It is far better to expose skin to natural sunlight for about 10 to 15 minutes a day than to use the artificial and potentially harmful rays of a tanning bed. This gives the body around 300 to 500 IU of vitamin D very quickly.
Finally, there are many supplements available around the world to help you maintain normal vitamin D2 levels. Vitamin D supplements usually come in a pill or even spray form and are available in many health food stores, pharmacies and even online. As with any supplement, it is necessary to be sure vitamin D will not interfere with current medications or conditions, so speaking with your doctor before taking them regularly is best.