Known as the “sunshine vitamin,'' Vitamin D is produced within the body when the sun hits the skin. But factors such as pollution, long winters, dark days are making people turn to supplements.
Vitamin D helps the gut calcium, which ultimately promotes strong and healthy bones. It also helps in reducing inflammation and boosting immune function and cell growth.
Vitamin D2 is the plant-derived form of vitamin D. It is naturally found in mushrooms. Food sources that contain vitamin D3 include fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel, fortified milk and other dairy products, fish liver oils, and egg yolk.
Very few foods have enough vitamin D. Therefore, it is recommended that daily exposure to sun for a few minutes and daily intake of such foods as sunshine can be unreliable in certain climates. Men and women relying on sourcing vitamin D through diet alone typically don't exceed 288 IU a day on average.
Vitamin D supplements have long been touted as beneficial to bone health. But studies have found that they don't live up to the hype. Vitamin D supplementation doesn't prevent fractures or falls, or have any effect on bone mineral density.