Written by Vera Coetsee, Health and Nutrition Coach

11 July 2023

Vitamin D is synthesised in the body when exposed to sunlight, and hence, is called the sunshine vitamin. It plays a crucial role in maintaining overall health and well-being.

This vitamin is essential for the body to effectively absorb calcium and promote strong bone development. Adequate levels of vitamin D have also been linked to a reduced risk of chronic diseases such as osteoporosis, heart disease, and certain types of cancer.  Additionally, vitamin D plays a vital role in supporting the immune system, promoting muscle function, and regulating mood and mental health. 

Due to our indoor lifestyles, many people nowadays are deficient in vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency can happen when, over time, people are not getting enough safe sun exposure, or are not eating enough foods containing vitamin D. It can also happen if vitamin D is not absorbed properly in our bodies. If we are not spending enough time outside, it’s important to make sure we  include food sources or supplementation in our diet.

Food sources of vitamin D:

Vitamin D and sunlight:

While the foods listed above do contain vitamin D, the best source of this vitamin is sunlight. Our bodies can produce vitamin D when our skin is exposed to sunlight, specifically UVB rays. It is important to note that overexposure in the sun can be harmful, therefore, we recommend no more than 20 minutes of direct sunlight every day.

Supplementation of vitamin D:

Many individuals may struggle to obtain sufficient levels of vitamin D through diet and sun exposure alone (especially during the winter months), making supplementation crucial for maintaining optimal vitamin D levels. We highly recommend testing your blood levels before deciding on supplementation since taking too much vitamin D can be harmful.

If you would like to test your vitamin D levels, or would like more information on supplementation, make a booking at our clinic here.



Macdonald HM. Contributions of sunlight and diet to vitamin D status. Calcif Tissue Int. 2013 Feb;92(2):163-76. doi: 10.1007/s00223-012-9634-1. Epub 2012 Sep 22. PMID: 23001438. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23001438/

Kulda V. Metabolizmus vitaminu D [Vitamin D metabolism]. Vnitr Lek. 2012 May;58(5):400-4. Czech. PMID: 22716179. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22716179/