How Can I Increase My Vitamin D Level?

Medically Reviewed on 11/19/2021
Vitamin D
You can increase vitamin D levels in your body through your diet, direct sunlight, and supplementation.

Vitamin D can be obtained in the following three ways:

  1. Food
  2. Sunlight
  3. Supplements

If a person does not get enough vitamin D from their diet or spends much time outside, they may contact a doctor to learn how to take vitamin D supplements and in what dosages.

8 effective ways to increase vitamin D level

  1. Sunlight
    • Because the sun is one of the best sources of this nutrient, vitamin D is often referred to as "the sunshine vitamin."
    • A type of cholesterol found in the skin serves as a precursor to vitamin D.
    • When exposed to ultraviolet-B radiation from the sun, this compound transforms into vitamin D.
    • However, the amount of vitamin D the body can produce is determined by various factors, such as skin pigmentation, clothing, and time of the day.
  2. Seafood
    • Fatty fish and seafood are among the highest natural vitamin D sources.
    • Many kinds of seafood (tuna, mackerel, oysters, shrimp, sardines, and anchovies) are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for the heart.
  3. Mushrooms
    • Mushrooms are the only natural source of vitamin D that is entirely plant-based.
    • When exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light, mushrooms can produce their vitamin D like humans.
    • Humans produce D3 (cholecalciferol), whereas mushrooms produce D2 (ergocalciferol).
  4. Egg yolks
    • Egg yolks are a common source of vitamin D that can be easily incorporated into a daily diet.
  5. Fortified foods
    • Few foods contain high levels of vitamin D naturally. This nutrient is frequently added to staple foods in a process called fortification.
    • Some of the most common vitamin D fortified goods are
      • Cow’s milk
      • Plant-based milk alternatives, such as soy, almond, and hemp milk
      • Orange juice
      • Ready to eat cereals
      • Certain types of yogurt
      • Tofu
  6. Supplements
    • Taking a vitamin D supplement may be the best way for many people to ensure adequate intake.
    • According to research, the D3 form of vitamin D may be significantly more effective than D2 at raising and maintaining overall vitamin D levels. So, look for a supplement with this form to help maintain vitamin D levels in the body.
  7. Ultraviolet (UV) lamp
    • UV-B lamps may help increase vitamin D levels. UV lamps mimic the action of the sun and can be especially beneficial if the exposure to the sun is limited due to geography or time spent indoors.
    • It is recommended that exposure be limited to no more than 15 minutes at a time.
  8. Take vitamin D with calcium to increase its absorption
    • Because calcium aids in the absorption of vitamin D, it is best to take them together. Many vitamin D supplements already contain calcium, so read the labels carefully.

What are the signs and symptoms of low vitamin D?

9 most common signs and symptoms of low vitamin D

  1. Getting sick easily or often
  2. General fatigue
  3. Chronic pain (often in the bones)
  4. Mood changes
  5. Gut issues
  6. Wounds that don't heal
  7. Sweating
  8. Bones that break easily
  9. Hair loss

8 risk factors that put people at a higher risk of vitamin D deficiency

  1. Being older
  2. Having darker skin
  3. Being overweight
  4. Not eating dairy or being vegetarian
  5. Overly protecting the skin from the sun
  6. Not going outside often
  7. Having impaired kidneys
  8. Having digestive issues

If a person has any of these traits, they will probably need additional vitamin D to compensate for the risks.

How much vitamin D do I require?

A daily intake of 1,000 to 4,000 IU is usually considered acceptable to maintain healthy vitamin D levels. In other cases, people may require a substantially higher dose, particularly if their present levels are very low, or they have limited exposure to sunlight.

There has been a lot of discussion regarding how much vitamin D the body needs based on several variables.

  • According to the National Academy of Medicine in the United States, 600 to 800 IU of vitamin D per day is sufficient for the majority of the population. Besides, a daily vitamin D intake of up to 4,000 IU is safe for most people, whereas far greater dosages may be required in some cases to temporarily raise blood levels.
  • The body requires 1,500 to 2,000 IU per day according to the US Endocrine Society.
  • Adults need 600 to 800 IU of vitamin D per day according to the reference daily intake.


Next to red peppers, you can get the most vitamin C from ________________. See Answer

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Medically Reviewed on 11/19/2021
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Khan QJ, Fabian CJ. How I treat vitamin d deficiency. J Oncol Pract. 2010;6(2):97-101.

Dawson-Hughes B. Patient education: Vitamin D deficiency (Beyond the Basics). UpToDate.