Top of the page
Your body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium. Calcium keeps your bones and muscles, including your heart, healthy and strong. If your muscles don't get enough calcium, they can cramp, hurt, or feel weak. You may have long-term (chronic) muscle aches and pains.
If you don't get enough vitamin D throughout life, you have an increased chance of having thin and brittle bones (osteoporosis) in your later years. Children who don't get enough vitamin D may not grow as much as others their age. They also have a chance of getting a rare disease called rickets. It causes weak bones.
Vitamin D and calcium are added to many foods. And your body uses sunshine to make its own vitamin D.
The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for vitamin D ranges from 400 IU to 600 IU (international units) every day for people ages 1 through 70. The RDA for adults 71 and older is 800 IU every day.
Most Canadians do not get enough vitamin D from food or sun and need supplements. Alberta Health Services recommends:
Do not take more than 4,000 IU of vitamin D a day as a supplement without talking to your healthcare provider first.
Foods that contain vitamin D include:
Some people don't make vitamin D as well as others. They may have to take extra care in getting enough vitamin D.
Things that reduce how much vitamin D your body has include:
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter V530 in the search box to learn more about "Learning About Vitamin D".
Adaptation Date: 1/4/2023
Adapted By: Alberta Health Services
Adaptation Reviewed By: Alberta Health Services
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 2006-2023 Healthwise, Incorporated. All rights reserved. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.