START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good

Vitamin D Quiz and Guidelines

Vitamin D Quiz and Guidelines

Vitamin D is the most common vitamin deficiency in the United States. Present and future, this deficiency is a threat to your health span. In addition to keeping bones strong, vitamin D may play a role in preventing cancers of the breast, prostate, and colon. Low levels of D have been associated with risk for these diseases.

Vitamin D transports calcium from the intestine into your bloodstream. Without it, you would absorb a mere 10 percent of the calcium you ingest, which is why we now fortify milk with D.

Misnamed long ago, “vitamin” D is actually a hormone. Like other hormones, your body can manufacture D, but only with a little help from the sun.

Your skin contains a precursor to vitamin D. When the ultraviolet-B photons in sunlight penetrate the skin, they set off a series of chemical reactions that ends with the formation of the active form of vitamin D.

Quiz: Are you getting enough vitamin D?
Tabulate your points as the accumulate.

If you are 65 and older:
1 point: For each 5 minutes you spend each week outdoors in sunshine without sunscreen and with face, arms, and hands exposed.
1 point: For each hour you spend each week outdoors in sunshine with sunscreen and with face, arms, and hands exposed.

If you are 21 to 64:
4 points: For each 5 minutes you spend each week outdoors in sunshine without sunscreen and with face, arms, and hands exposed.
4 points: For each hour you spend each week outdoors in sunshine and with sunscreen and with face, arms, and hands exposed.

All ages:
8 points: If you take daily supplements containing 1,000 vitamin D.
3 points: If you take a daily multivitamin or separate supplement containing 400 IU vitamin D.
1 point: For each glass of vitamin D-enriched milk you drink per day.

If you arrive at 8 or more points, your vitamin D is most likely adequate. But getting your vitamin D from the sun is the optimal way of receiving it.

Weekly Sun Exposure Recommendation for Vitamin D
This author’s recommendation is to get 1,000 IU of vitamin D a day from supplements and/or sun exposure. Do not exceed 1,000 IU a day from supplements.

Use these guidelines for getting your vitamin D from the sun. Weekly sun exposure should be without sunscreen, with face and arms exposed. Keep in mind that the sun isn’t strong enough to trigger vitamin D production during the winter at high latitudes.

Under 65: 3-5 minutes, 2-3 times a week.
65 and above: 5-15 minutes, 2-3 times a week.

How much vitamin D do you think you get from the sun?

Read more: Health, Diet & Nutrition

Adapted from The Longevity Quotient by Edward L. Schneider, M.D. ( Rodale, 2003).

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love

Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.

Go to the Source

The Longevity Quotient

Calculate Your Odds of Aging Well--and Take Steps Now to Stay Youthful for Lifebuy now


+ add your own
11:45PM PDT on Apr 12, 2013


1:29PM PDT on Mar 15, 2013


4:19AM PDT on Mar 14, 2013

Thanks for the article

2:48AM PST on Nov 27, 2012

thanks for the info

1:56AM PST on Nov 22, 2012

Thank you

2:30PM PST on Nov 4, 2012

No, going outdoors at 58 degrees north for most of the year does not create vitamin D in our bodies.

5:49AM PDT on Sep 28, 2012


1:08AM PDT on Aug 22, 2012

I always understood that according to my lifestyle I shouldn't have a problem with Vitamin D levels but I was very surprised to find I had to take supplements. We should all have our Vitamin D levels checked, especially as we grow older. Thank you for the information.

5:05PM PDT on Aug 21, 2012

Also must note that I take 50.000 IU's a week.

5:03PM PDT on Aug 21, 2012

Now as far as Vitamin D goes...being as I have a thyroid issue and when diagnosed, had zero vitamin D in my system (Very dangerous) but, most Dr.s will prescribe vitamin D-2 for bringing up your D levels when in fact, what thyroid patients need is Vitamin D-3 instead.

add your comment

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

Funny,thanks. So nice they were taking turns. Hope nobody took the last ones bone while he was vis…

kinda glad we don't have one, though i enjoyed watching the video

I still say moderation is the key. If I splurge on lunch, I usually have oatmeal for dinner. My 's…

Thanks for sharing.


Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.

site feedback


Problem on this page? Briefly let us know what isn't working for you and we'll try to make it right!