How Much Vitamin D Should I Take Daily? Tips for Canadians

Jul 21, 2022Zahid Merali, B. Sc. (Pharm), R. Ph.
How Much Vitamin D Should I Take Daily? Tips for Canadians

If you've ever asked yourself "How much vitamin D should I take daily?" you're in the right place. Check out our top tips for Canadians!

How much vitamin D should you be taking? And what are some good options for making sure you're getting enough? We've got answers!

Most Canadians don't get enough vitamin D due to limited sun exposure and nutritional gaps. For this reason, it's important to understand how much of this nutrient you need during the different seasons—and how much of it you should take in supplement form.

Vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins you can take. It's an essential nutrient your body needs to function properly, and it's especially important for your bones and immune system.

In this article, we'll discuss the recommended daily amount of vitamin D for Canadians and some tips for increasing your intake through foods, supplements, and sunshine.

Keep reading to learn more!


What is Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that helps your body absorb calcium, which keeps your bones strong. It also helps boost your immune system, energy levels, and mood. Vitamin D can be made by the skin when exposed to sunlight.

But not all of us get enough sun exposure, which means that many people are deficient in vitamin D. If you live in Canada, you may need to take a supplement or eat more foods rich in vitamin D to meet your daily needs.


Why Do I Need Vitamin D?


Vitamin D is important for so many reasons, but here are some of the most important ones:

  • Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium and phosphorus, which are essential for strong bones.
  • It helps boost your immune system, which helps prevent colds and flu.
  • It can help prevent osteoporosis in women and men by helping build strong bones and preventing bone loss over time.
  • Vitamin D can improve your mood and help you feel your best.


What Happens When Your Vitamin D Is Low?

If you have a vitamin D deficiency, you are more likely to experience:

  • Osteoporosis
  • Frequent colds and infections
  • Low energy
  • Bone and muscle pain
  • Depression and anxiety

Let's take a closer look at 2 of these symptoms.


Increased Risk of Osteoporosis

When you don't get enough vitamin D, it affects your bones. When you're young, the effects aren't as noticeable. But as you age, things start to change.

One of the first things you'll notice is that your bones become less dense and more fragile. In addition, not getting enough vitamin D can increase the risk of fractures and falls in older adults.


Weak Immune System

Your immune system is complex and relies on several factors to keep you healthy. One of the most important factors is vitamin D, which helps your body fight infection and disease.

When you don't get enough vitamin D, your immune system can't do its job properly. As a result, you may be more likely to get sick and stay sick longer, leading to more health problems.

That's why it's important to know how much vitamin D you need for optimal health—and how to get more in your diet.


How Much Vitamin D Should I Take Daily?

One of the most common questions we hear is: "How much vitamin D should I take daily?"

The Canadian government recommends an intake of 600 IU of vitamin D per day for adults and 800 IU for older adults over 70.

You can see all of the daily recommended vitamin D intake levels for specific age ranges below:

  • Infants 0-6 months: 400 IU
  • Infants 7-12 months: 400 IU
  • Children 1-3 years: 600 IU
  • Children 4-8 years: 600 IU
  • Children and Adults 9-70 years: 600 IU
  • Adults > 70 years: 800 IU
  • Pregnancy & Lactation: 600 IU

There is a tolerable upper intake level (UL) of 4000 IU per day.


Seasonal Vitamin D Intake Levels

It's important to note that the recommendations above are based on the assumption that you are getting minimal sun exposure.

This means that during the sunnier months when you spend lots of time outside, you might decide to lower your intake.

On the other hand, during the winter when you primarily spend time indoors, you might increase your intake closer to 4000 IU per day.

If you think you may need to take higher doses, speak with your doctor first.


How Can I Get More Vitamin D in My Diet?

Vitamin D-Fortified Foods

You're probably familiar with the term "fortification" when it comes to food, but what does it mean?

Fortification is when a nutrient that isn't normally found in a particular food is added to increase its nutritional value.

For example, you might choose to add some vitamin D-fortified foods like cow's milk, margarine, orange juice, and plant-based milk into your diet.


Foods Naturally Rich in Vitamin D

If you're looking for foods that are naturally rich in vitamin D, here are some great options:

  • Fatty fish - Salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines are all great sources of vitamin D. Try to eat fatty fish at least twice per week.
  • Egg yolks - Egg yolks are another good source of vitamin D. However, it's important to remember that the yolk is where most of the cholesterol is found as well.
  • Mushrooms - Mushrooms contain small amounts of vitamin D too. They can be included in your diet if you're trying to get more of this nutrient from natural food sources.


So, Should I Take Vitamin D Supplements Every Day?

It's a question that many people ask, and the answer is: it depends.

Taking vitamin D supplements may not be necessary if you're getting enough vitamin D from food and sunlight. However, suppose you cannot get enough through your diet and lifestyle (which many people struggle to do). In that case, it's probably worth considering taking a supplement.

The best way to find out if you need supplements is to have your doctor test your blood levels of vitamin D and see where they fall within the recommended range.

Another simple option is to try a self-administered at-home vitamin D test to check your levels. The best part about these tests is that you get your results in 10 minutes or less!


Find the Best Vitamin D Supplement for Your Needs

The best way to get the right amount of this essential nutrient is to follow the vitamin D recommendations for Canadians or talk with your doctor. They can help you determine how much you need and which vitamin D source will work best for you.

If you aren't sure where to start, we've got a great solution: vitamin D supplements. We offer a wide range of vitamins and supplements that are tailored to your needs and designed to be easy to use.

Whether you're looking for something liquid, chewable, kid-friendly, or vegan, we've got something for everyone!

Some of our best vitamin D supplements include:

If you have any questions about which vitamin D supplement is right for you, our customer service team will be happy to help!




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