Intermountain Healthcare

Vitamin D Can Boost Health in Winter


Salt Lake City, UT -- (ReleaseWire) -- 01/19/2021 --Vitamin D plays a role in boosting immunity. Yet an Intermountain Healthcare study found many Utah adults have low vitamin D levels, Intermountain registered dietitian nutritionist Katie McDonald said.

In a study of over 41,000 Utah adults between 35 and 75 years old, Intermountain found that about 60 percent had low vitamin D levels, and as many as 20 percent were very deficient in Vitamin D.

People with high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity, among other health issues were more likely to have vitamin D deficiency.

Vitamin D can be manufactured in the skin with frequent, direct exposure to 20 minutes of midday sun, but that's hard to come by from November to March in winter, especially in colder climates such as Utah.

"Eating vitamin D-rich and fortified foods will help keep vitamin D levels up to boost health and wellbeing in the winter months," McDonald said.

McDonald recommends trying the following foods to get the recommended 600 international units of vitamin D for people ages 1-70 years, or 800 international units for people over 70 years old:

- Fatty fish such as trout, salmon or mackerel, beef liver, egg yolks, and ultraviolet-exposed mushrooms are among the few natural food sources containing vitamin D.

- Milk, some orange juices, and some cereals are vitamin D fortified. However, one serving of these fortified foods provides about one-third of the recommended daily value, so people need at least three servings of these each day.

"If you are concerned about vitamin D deficiency, speak to your health care provider about your risk factors," McDonald said. "However, eating a healthy diet that includes rich sources of vitamin D is always a good idea. If your dietary sources of vitamin D are limited or you have factors that put you at risk for vitamin D deficiency, a vitamin D supplement is an alternative to discuss with your health care provider."

About Intermountain Healthcare
Intermountain Healthcare is a not-for-profit system of 24 hospitals, 215 clinics, a Medical Group with 2,500 employed physicians and advanced practice clinicians, a health insurance company called SelectHealth, and other health services in Idaho, Utah, and Nevada. Intermountain is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare by using evidence-based best practices to consistently deliver high-quality outcomes and sustainable costs. For more information, see