Vitamin D is a nutrient your body needs for building and maintaining healthy bones. Your body can only absorb calcium, the primary component of bone, when vitamin D is present. Vitamin D also regulates many other cellular functions in your body. Its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and neuroprotective properties support immune health, muscle function and brain cell activity.
Vitamin D isn’t naturally found in many foods, but you can get it from fortified milk, fortified cereal, and fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines. Your body also makes vitamin D in direct sunlight; however sunscreen, while important to prevent skin cancer, can decrease vitamin D production.
The recommended daily amount of vitamin D is 400 international units (IU) for children up to age 12 months, 600 IU for people ages 1 to 70 years, and 800 IU for people over 70 years.
Low levels of Vitamin D are associated with cognitive decline, and there is a link between severe deficiencies and the functions of our immune system. It is therefore a great idea to take daily supplements, especially in times of Covid!