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Vitamin D For Goth Girls When Sunshine Is Too Much

I have a few friends that fear the sun. A few are afraid of wrinkles and skin cancer, and there are those serious goth gals who just dislike all things sunny – you know who you are. These fears, rationale or not, keep these ladies from getting enough Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin.

Your body produces vitamin D after exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun, as well as a handful of food sources. Many milk products, and even soy milk and some orange juices, are fortified with vitamin D, since deficiency in it can lead to rickets. Once synthesized by your skin (makes me think we humans are a little like plants), vitamin D works to maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus by promoting calcium absorption to form and maintain strong bones. This fat soluble vitamin also helps to maintain a healthy immune system and cell growth regulation.

To see how much you need and what foods contain this vitamin

If you are worried about skin cancer or live in a northern clime where UV rays don't reach you regularly in Winter months, you need to get your sunshine vitamin via food or supplements. The recommended daily intake is 400 IU (International Units). Here's a chart of food sources containing vitamin D.

Food Serving size IU per serving Percent of DV
Cod liver oil 1 tablespoon 1360 340
Salmon 3.5 ounces 360 90
Tuna (canned in oil) 3 ounces 200 50
Milk 1 cup 98 25
Egg 1 yolk 20 4
Liver 3.5 ounces 15


Most food labels do not list vitamin D content unless a food has been fortified with it. Many cereals are fortified with the the vitamin so check the nutritional information of your favorite brand. Most fortified cereals tend to have about 10% of your daily requirements.

If you want to go the sunshine route, the National Institute of Health recommends 10 to 15 minutes of sun exposure at least two times per week to the face, arms, hands, or back without sunscreen. Then protect your skin with sunscreen!


Join The Conversation
wackdoodle wackdoodle 9 years
You failed to mention the most important factor in Vitamin D production (there are many but being that you have Latino and Black readers they should be taken into account as well) - if you have darker skin you will not produce enough Vitamin D when exposed to the sun. Melanin, the natural pigmentation in a persons skin inhibits the production of Vitamin D when a person has more melanin. So the more melanin you have the less Vitamin D you produce from sun exposure. I can go stand outside from dawn to dusk and I will never manufacture enough Vitamin D from exposure to the sun - its the same for most brown to dark brown people. I will however develop a horrible sun-rash and sunsickness as I happen to have photo-allergic dermatitis. Both the NIH and CDC state this as advisories. Also sunscreen will prevent production of Vitamin D. And so on. From: Who may need extra vitamin D to prevent a deficiency? Persons with greater skin melanin content Melanin is the pigment that gives skin its color. Greater amounts of melanin result in darker skin. The high melanin content in darker skin reduces the skin's ability to produce vitamin D from sunlight. It is very important for African Americans and other populations with dark-pigmented skin to consume recommended amounts of vitamin D. Some studies suggest that older adults, especially women, in these groups are at even higher risk of vitamin D deficiency [16,30]. Individuals with darkly pigmented skin who are unable to get adequate sun exposure and/or consume recommended amounts of vitamin D may benefit from a vitamin D supplement. As someone with more melanin in my skin my RDA for vitamin D to maintain a healthy level - per my RD and doctors is no less than 1600 IU daily. RDA varies person by person and must take into account the variables in the person's life as well as their body.
Spectra Spectra 9 years
I'm fair-skinned and I don't go out in the sun much because I burn easily. I take a daily Calcium/Vitamin D supplement and I try to get out in the sun as often as possible.
Allytta Allytta 9 years
i went to the tannign salon this winter two times just to get my vitamin d level up :) and i think that's enough and not harmful yet. i can't get through real tanning in the sun, even though i grew up on the beach :D so strange, it's a phenomena - a lot of my friends hate the beach because it was so available to us.
xoswiss xoswiss 9 years
Everybody should know that it's not just goth girls who are extremely deficient in vitamin d - it's everyone. people are spending far more time inside in front of their computers rather than getting sunshine. it's good for you in small amount!
Novaraen Novaraen 9 years
Arrrgh..why is it that when a girl is pale she is "goth"?? ridiculous. I get called that all the time because my hair is dark, my skin is "fair"(not pale!!) and i wear a lot of black. That is NOT goth...thank you. ;) Anyway...i have definitely been feeling the effects of sun-deprevation lately...mainly because its been so gloomy and rainy here. We finally have been getting a little bit of sun, even though its cold. I'm taking advantage of it by stepping outside on my break and letting my face soak up some long-needed rays. It sure lifts the mood and makes me feel wonderful!! :D I'd rather do that than have to take more Vitamins...personally.
ElissaM ElissaM 9 years
I miss summer sun this time of year! Even when the sun is out it just isn't as intense and my skin craves it. I do drink at least a cup of skim milk a day and eat salmon about once a week but I'm not eating tuna in oil or liver...gross!!!
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
Wow! I didn't know you were suppose to have so much!
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
Does the tuna HAVE to be in oil?? I only buy water packed.
gigill gigill 9 years
I take a daily multi-vitamin. Would I get some (enough?) vitamin D from taking one?
Canned Tuna Recipes For Vitamin D
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