Hayley's Healthy Habits: Vitamin D and Your Health

March 13, 2024

The following article was written by Hayley Jackson, DNP, MSN, FNP-BC. A board-certified family nurse practitioner, Hayley provides Express Care Services at Wood River Health. She is passionate about holistic patient-centered care, lifestyle medicine and women’s health.

Vitamin D is unique. It’s not only part of a healthy diet but is involved in many processes of the body and has enzyme-like qualities. As a short list, vitamin D is involved in structuring healthy bones, balancing calcium and phosphorus levels, and regulating the immune system (Dominguez et al., 2021).

Low vitamin D levels have long been found to negatively impact overall health in many ways. For this reason, it is important to include it in your daily diet.

Good dietary sources of vitamin D include eggs, mushrooms, and certain types of fish to name a few; also, many dairy products are now fortified. Another unique fact is that vitamin D can be created within the body through the skin—called vitamin D synthesis. This process occurs when bare skin is exposed to sunlight during warm months for about fifteen minutes (Dominguez et al., 2021). While adequate vitamin D levels are very important, as is discussing the risks.

In addition to vitamin A, E, and K, vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin meaning the body stores it to some degree within fatty tissue. This is unlike water soluble vitamins that are balanced and excreted in part from the kidneys. Due to this, it is possible to have too much vitamin D which can be dangerous. Also, there are many factors in one’s skin that can drastically impact the amount of vitamin D that is made through sun exposure which vary from person to person.

Additionally sun exposure on bare skin carries its own risks such as sunburn and increasing one’s risk for skin cancer. Currently there are no standard recommendations for routine vitamin D testing meaning this is not currently recommended as a routine part of healthcare such as during a physical. However, blood testing and supplements are an option that you can discuss with your healthcare provider at your next visit.


Dominguez, L. J., Farruggia, M., Veronese, N., & Barbagallo, M. (2021). Vitamin d sources, Metabolism, and deficiency: Available compounds and guidelines for its treatment. Metabolites, 11(4), 255.