It’s called the sunshine vitamin for a reason. Our bodies synthesize vitamin D from sun exposure during the summer months. But because of our northern latitude, and the potential health risks of sun exposure, we need to rely on other sources. Currently, about one in ten Canadians isn’t getting enough of this nutrient. That’s about three million people in this country alone, and that’s not good, considering its health benefits. Vitamin D helps with the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, so this is beneficial in terms of bone health and the health of our teeth. It can also help prevent osteoporosis and infections. And right now there’s a lot of research looking at vitamin D and reducing the risk of chronic diseases, such as MS and cancer. That’s why it’s important to get vitamin D from other sources. Health Canada currently recommends supplementation, generally 600 international units per day for most adults and children over one year, 400 international units for children under one year, and 800 international units for adults over 70. But Maniatis says, you can also eat and drink your vitamin D. You can get vitamin D from food sources like milk, egg yolks and fish. And there’s also vitamin D fortification in a lot of food products like fortified orange juice or fortified soy beverages as well. Fatty fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel are great sources, and one serving will provide you with about half of your recommended daily intake. Small amounts of vitamin D are also found in beef liver and cheese. You can always check out Dietitians of Canada and Health Canada for some tables that will list specific food items and their vitamin D content as well. While some vitamin D is good, don’t overdo it. Too much can negatively affect your heart, tissues and kidneys. And remember that many multivitamins also contain vitamin D and every bit counts towards your daily intake. With Sunnyview, I’m Monica Matys.