Recommendations to prevent Vitamin D deficiency
Where sun exposure is minimal, Vitamin D intake is required from dietary sources to prevent deficiency:
- At least 600IU per day for those aged up to 70 years, and 800 IU per day for those aged more than 70 years
- Those in high-risk groups or with substantial sun avoidance may require higher doses
- Also, Vitamin D supplementation of 1000IU per day, combined with adequate calcium intake, is required to reduce fracture risk in older people.
Minimum sun exposure to prevent deficiency:
- For moderately fair-skinned people, a walk with arms exposed for 6–7 minutes mid-morning or mid-afternoon in summer, and with as much bare skin exposed as feasible for 7–40 minutes (depending on latitude) at noon in winter, on most days, is likely to be helpful in maintaining adequate vitamin D levels in the body
- People with dark skin are likely to need 3-6 times longer sun exposure
- People at high risk of skin cancer may need to discuss with their medical practitioner if supplements may be more appropriate than sun exposure.
Source: Nowson, C. et al. (2012). Vitamin D and health in adults in Australia and New Zealand: a position statement. The Medical Journal of Australia, 196(11), 686-687.