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Q. Do I need to take vitamin D supplements too? Can't I just get enough from the sun?

A. “It’s true that your body manufactures vitamin D after being exposed to sun. But it’s hard to produce vitamin D in the skin during the winter—even on a beautiful sunny day—because of the angle of the sun. The recommended intake for women 50 and under is 200 IU per day. For women 50 to 70, it’s 400 IU and if you’re over 70, it’s 600. [Many experts are starting to call for even higher intakes.]

“It’s almost impossible to get enough vitamin D from our diet: milk, our main dietary source, has only 50-100 IU per cup. It’s also difficult to get enough from the sun without exposing our skin to damaging rays. Vitamin D and calcium are two nutrients where a little bit more is probably better, and we have a hard time getting it in diet—so I do recommend that most women take supplements.”

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