Naturopathic Physician Questions Vitamin D

How much sunlight do we need?

I have heard that natural sunlight is the best source of vitamin D. What is the recommended about of sunlight one should get every day for adequate vitamin D in the body?

5 Answers

Depends on where you are but generally 20 minutes is a good rule of thumb with as much of the body exposed as possible.
It is recommended that you get 20 minutes of sunshine each day to get 80% to 100% of your vitamin D requirement.
Brief/casual exposure of sunlight to the face, arms, and hands is thought to equal about 5 mcg (about 200 IU) of vitamin D.
Approximately 15 minutes of direct sunlight daily, however darker complexion individuals will absorb less vitamin D from the sun due to the amount of melanin present in the skin.
Sunlight is the only way our bodies produce Vitamin D, however the UV rays also raise the risk of developing skin cancer. Furthermore, Vitamin D3 is available in a simple inexpensive capsule to take daily to cover any potential deficiency. So no need for sunlight to make Vitamin D when supplementing, but sunshine is great for about 20-30 minutes per day.