What’s the Recommended Daily Dosage of Vitamin D?

While the benefits of vitamin D supplementation are quite extensive, this doesn't mean that we can consume the vitamin in excess. Experts suggest we adhere to recommended daily doses to maximize supplementation benefits while maintaining safety. So, let's find out what the recommended daily dosage of vitamin D is:

Key Findings

  • Research suggests exposure to the sun daily for 5–30 minutes will help us receive required amounts of vitamin D.
  • The National Institutes of Health categorizes recommended daily doses according to age .
  • Recommended doses can be altered if certain factors are present.

Recommended Daily Dose of Vitamin D Explained

Unlike other vitamins, which have a pretty straightforward recommended daily dose, vitamin D doses differ depending on several factors, one of the primary ones being the source of the vitamin D and the user's age. 

One of the most common sources of vitamin D is the sun. Research suggests exposing the face, arms, hands, and legs to the sun daily for around 5–30 minutes between 10am and 4pm will help us get required amounts of vitamin D.

However, these times may differ depending on the season, skin tone, and age. The data shows that dark-skinned and older individuals require longer hours in the sun (the uppermost time frame) in general. In dull months like winter, everyone using the sun as a source of vitamin D would need longer exposure. 

The exact amount of vitamin D gained in these time frames varies from study to study, so we are unsure of the exact milligram amount received here. However, experts pin it down to being a safe and effective dose.

If sun exposure isn't your ideal fit, you can get the recommended doses of vitamin D from supplements and foods. These sources typically have the amount of vitamin D they contain listed on the back of packages making dosing easy. 

The NIH (National Institutes of Health) recommends the following daily levels of vitamin D:

  • Infants (0-12 months)—The American Academy of Pediatrics (APP) recommends a daily intake of 10 micrograms (mcg) which equates to 400 International Units (IU)
  • Adolescents (1-18 years)—The AAP recommends a daily intake of 15mcg-25mcg (600IU-1000IU) of vitamin D for children and adolescents. 
  • Adults (19-70 years): The National Institute of Health recommends a daily average of 10mcg-20mcg (400IU-800 IU)
  • Older adults (71 years and older): Aging affects the body's ability to produce and utilize vitamin D efficiently. Therefore, the recommended daily dosage increases to 20mcg-25mcg (800IU-1000IU) for older adults.

MCG and IU are common units of measurement seen when discussing vitamin doses. As I mentioned earlier, these would be present at the back of vitamin D food and supplement sources. So, you can refer to this when aiming to fulfill your recommended daily dose.

When Would Recommended Daily Doses be Altered 

While the NIH clearly outlines recommended daily doses according to different age groups, these numbers can be slightly altered depending on certain factors. Let's look at some of them below:

Sunlight Exposure

People living in regions with limited sunlight or minimal sun exposure may require higher vitamin D doses.

Body Weight and Body Fat

Those with higher body weight or body fat (overweight or obese) typically require higher daily doses of vitamin D.

Health Conditions

Certain medical conditions (like malabsorption disorders, liver or kidney diseases, and gastrointestinal surgeries) can impact how the body absorbs and uses vitamin D. People with such conditions may require higher vitamin D doses or specific supplementation strategies (Vitamin D infused diet+supplements).


Individuals taking medications like anticonvulsants, glucocorticoids, and antifungal medications, may require higher vitamin D doses to compensate for the interference.

The Final Word

Adherence to recommended daily doses is a surefire way to get the best results from vitamin D supplementation. It's important to remember that excessive dosing does not equate to quick results. Instead, it triggers side effects that can be most uncomfortable and unbeneficial. We should stick to recommended doses unless certain factors warrant dosage alterations.

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About the Author

Sam is a passionate health and fitness enthusiast who has been interested in supplements, fitness, and wellness for over 10 years. He is the founder of Great Green Wall - the health and wellness brand and has completed multiple fitness certificates, including personal training and nutrition certifications. Sam has been working as a personal trainer for the past three years and is dedicated to helping his clients achieve their fitness goals and lead healthier lifestyles. He believes that a healthy lifestyle is crucial to a happy and fulfilling life and is committed to sharing his knowledge and passion with others.

  • Very good article. I understood why the doctor said to me that ‘am I taking vit d supplements? As my last blood test showed too much of d . And now I know what that means.
    I took it to start with (1) hardly ever went outside re: mobility problems.
    (2) was advised to during pandemic.
    I do take a general multivitamin plus minerals. And effervescent vit c but I think it’s safe as the body can’t store vitamin c . I read 24 hours.
    So I’m always aware of vitamin supplements. But would like to know more about vitamin b supplements especially vitamin b12 for energy. I have fibromyalgia and sleep deprivation. Plus other conditions.
    Dee Woodvine

    • Hi Dee,

      Thank you for reaching out and sharing your experiences. It sounds like you’re really proactive in managing your health conditions, which is commendable.

      We have an article on B vitamins and their relationship with weight loss, which may offer some useful insights. You can find here.

      We also have an article discussing the relationship between vitamins B6 and B12 and cognitive function, which you can find it here.

      We’re constantly working on creating and updating content based on the latest research. So, please keep an eye out for new articles that might address your questions and concerns in more depth.

      Thank you again for your interest and take care!

    • Hi Norma,

      Great question! Yes, it’s usually okay to take vitamin D even if you’ve been in the sun. The sun is a great natural source of vitamin D, but depending on where you live, the time of year, and how much skin you have exposed, you might not always get enough from sunlight alone.

      However, it’s also important not to get too much vitamin D, which can happen if you take a high-dose supplement on top of getting a lot of sun. So, it’s all about finding the right balance!

      Remember, everyone’s needs are different, so it’s always important to talk to your healthcare provider if you’re unsure.

      Stay healthy,

  • Sam, I realize this article was about the vitamin D supplement which is very informative but I’m thinking I might want to take vitamin K also. Do you have an article on vitamin k?
    I’m in my late sixties and not on any medications.

    • Hi Paula,

      Thanks for your comment and interest in our content! I am glad you found this article informative.

      As for Vitamin K, we don’t have a dedicated article on this topic yet. However, we’re always updating and expanding our content to cover a wide range of health and nutrition subjects so stay tuned for future updates!

      In the meantime, I can share that Vitamin K plays crucial roles in our bodies, including promoting proper blood clotting and contributing to bone and heart health. It’s found in various foods, including leafy green vegetables (Vitamin K1) and some animal-based and fermented foods (Vitamin K2).

      Always remember that it’s important to consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen, especially as each persons needs can vary based on age, lifestyle, and overall health.

      Kind regards,

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