How much vitamin D in summer?

Hi all,

I'm taking vitamin D 3000IU every day. I was wondering now the summer is on it's way and we get more sunshine how much I should take.

I believe 3000IU and sitting in the sun will be too much. I can't make the choice between 1000IU and 2000IU.

*I take vitamin D since 2013 because of a deficiency, last time tested I took 2000IU and my result was 75.

32 Replies

Flower3, 75-200 is optimal. If you are able to get plenty of sun you could stop supplementing and resume 2-3,000iu October to April when ultraviolet light is too low to stimulate vitD.

Thanks Clutter, if the sun is shining I try to sit outside but always with sunscreen on. So I think I need to keep taking it. But maybe with a little bit sunshine 1000IU will be enough and then increase to 3000IU in October.

Could you sit in the sun for 10-15 mins without sunscreen on first? That is what I do. The amount of time needed to make vit D is portional to how quickly you burn.

I think that your advice is the best as I remember reading that 15 min is enough to sit in the sun for the skin to do its 'job'. The problem is that after a while, we get tanned and then we probably need a bit longer in the sun without sunblock.

I don't get tanned, wish I did! I just burn. 15 mins with arms and face uncovered should be fine. I combine my jog with my vit D exposure.

Hi There, My Doctor recommends 15 minutes in the sun only three days a week should give you the natural vitamin D needed. This does not need to be in direct sunlight slathered in sun cream in the middle of the day! Morning or mid to late afternoon just sat under a sunshade is enough. I am also on 800 iu (20mcg) per day of Fultium D (vitamin D) tablets, so I feel I am getting enough. If it falls downwards, I can tell, because I don't feel well, my body aches and my joints are sore, stiff and hurt.

My rhumey has me on 2000Iu of vitamin D..i was moderately low..I been taking it for a while now, maybe almost a year...Im cutting down to 1600...its my own doing...

I live in Aus and still have to take Vit D.Dont know why I get plenty of sunshine.

I came back once for a long stay in the Middle East and my vit D was low. I suppose is to do with MAYBE getting too tanned and then possibly the skin stops doing its job properly. I didn't ask my doctor the reason for the low reading. Did you ask a doctor? Not that they have all the answers either.

No didn't bother,am putting all these things down to old age.At least I've got there.

Hi I would have a vit D and calcium test, then you can evaluate properly.


Hi, I was diagnosed with vitamin D deficiency two years ago after a 17 year period of suffering with fibromyalgia - which I never had. I was disabled, barely able to move and in a lot of pain. I had been vitamin D deficient all the time.

I was prescribed 400iu daily initially. I complained immediately when I found that the packet advised 400 to 800 as a daily supplement. My GP then changed my prescription to 800iu daily. I find that is sufficient whilst on holiday in the sun or very sunny weather here in England. It is not enough for me at other times so I usually take 1800iu daily.

My problem is that my body can not store vitamin D, which is why it took so long to diagnose. I had considered it and ruled it out as I get more sun than most.

This means that when I return from a sunny holiday, I always suffer because my vitamin D level falls rapidly. To compensate for this I take 2200 iu for a few days on my return, which helps my body to adjust to less vitamin D. I buy my extra vitamin D over the internet.

I would also add that I have been a vegetarian for 40 years so get virtually no vitamin D from food.

I have to say that your intake of 3000 iu daily seems high compared with my prescribed dose of 800 iu and wonder why it was thought necessary for you and not me. I always thought of 3000iu as a weekly rather than daily dose - but maybe I got it wrong. My doctor uses a different test as I scored 8 when it should have been above 12, I believe.

I hope this helps you.

This is from Oliver Gillie's website, he is also selling D pills, but don't discard the advice because of that, he is absolutely honest and the research will be spot on - he is a journalist with a PhD in science from Edinburgh who became interested in vitamin D many years ago, before almost everyone else except some research scientist, and began to campaign to make it better known. He is very good at putting things clearly.

Thank you for the link! That's some very good information. I think I will reduce my dose to 1000IU.

I'm so sorry you had to suffer that long before they found out you were vitamin D deficient.

The reason I take 3000IU is because when I took 2000IU for a couple of months my result was 75. My doctor told me it is best when vitamin D is around 100 so that's why I was advised to take 3000IU. I didn't notice I had a vitamin D deficiency and I don't notice any improvement in symptoms with a good vitamin D level. But of course I want it to stay optimal.

I feel better over 100 nmol/l - not actually heard of a doc advising it! (apart from on-line). I only take D3 summertime if joint pain, my levels tend to lower even 'tho I try to get out as much as possible! Annoyingly the sun seems to hide at week-ends yet is out all working week - grr!

Just keep testing say every 6 months until you're confident - it takes a LOT to overdose - like 10,000iu a day for months - don't forget magnesium Vit A & K2 help too. I think I need and use more as I'm now overweight. J :D

I was reading recently that being hypothyroid, your cells can have problems with converting sunshine to Vitamin D, hence the reason hypothyroid people who live in sunny countries still test low for Vit D. Suzy Cohen mentioned it in her book, Thyroid Healthy.

Also, you need UVB rays to make Vit D, and controversial to the sunsmart message, these are strongest when your shadow is shorter than you (so midday). Morning and late afternoon is when its mostly UVA rays. UVB rays are very weak, unlike its aggressive counterpart UVA, so it can't pass through glass (windows etc), not even a tissue, so sunblock blocks it out, and there definitely won't be any exposure sitting in the shade.

Of course, sunBURN is still bad, and too much sun on your face isn't advised cos the skin is thinner, therefore increasing wrinkles, drying out the skin, etc. Our bodies can make 15-25,000IU within 15-20 mins of being in the sun, depending on the amount of melanin in your skin, so I wouldn't stress it over 1000IU or 2000IU. Choose whichever sets your mind at rest. I personally take 5000IU a day as an all year round maintenance dose, because I know I don't actually get as much UVB sun as I'd like to think I do. Being hypothyroid, I can't tolerate too much heat (although I love being warm for a change!!), and I don't like getting too much of a tan as my skin is dry enough as it is... Hopefully now that I'm finally on meds, that might all change. :-)

Here you go... This has been shared before on here, but its pretty invaluable viewing:

Hello Flower3

My endocrinologist prescribed me 3,000iu Vit D per day. As I understand it if the body has sufficient Vit D it will stop converting sunlight into Vit D. Therefore, as long as you Monitor your blood count you should be OK

It seems that GPs are as puzzled by Vit D as they are by you may have to push.

Do not assume you can take supplements without testing.

Those over 65 begin to loose the ability to convert sunshine into Vit D so as you get older it is important to get your Vit D tested via the GP.

At present Vit D is not automatically tested.

Both VIt D and thyroxine are the only two substances which every cell in the body needs.

Recent research States that low Vit D could be implicated in dementia, stroke, heart and lung disease, irritable bowel syndrome, ME and MS etc etc etc.

Vit D is vitally important. A blood test twice a year, in spring and autumn so that an accurate measure of your personal requirement is wise.

Hope this helps


There's an interesting new article on here

Basically he says that the Institute of Medicine made an error calculating the RDA of vit D and actually it should be ten times higher! So fill your boots!

Also if you are taking it for bone health don't forget you also need vit K2 to ensure your calcium ends up in your bones and not your arteries.

Hi Flower3 - when you say your last result was 75, were the units "ng/ml"? In which case that would seem like a good result.

If the units were "nmol/l", then this would indicate a deficiency (I can send a link if needed).

Also, I don't know if you're getting your tests done at the GPs or privately. I'm quite new to all this and, with the help of advice from the good folk on this forum, have recently had a private Vit D test done (finger prick test, at home). It only cost £28..... So if you wanted to check you Vit D at regular intervals (eg. in the summer, to see how the sun tops up your Vit D levels) but can't persuade your doctor to do this, then there is a not-too-costly private option :)

(Sorry if I am repeating things that others have already said! I haven't had chance to scroll down through all the replies!).

No reason to say sorry! It's very nice of you to share that. I will keep that in mind.

Yes it was ng/ml, it was good but not optimal.

Yes, true...... I've seen suggested levels of up to 100 ng/ml.

Good luck.... and enjoy your time in the sun this summer :) .


The problem seems to be that people with Hashimotos don't utilize vitamin D correctly. Sun may not be enough, altho that being said, i am not so sure thie Vit D thing is as important as they say it is. Actually, the studies are not complete and they are not conclusive. I have actually read that our bodies are keeping vitamin D low with autoimmune disease for reasons of self protection and not to supplement.

That's a good thing to always be careful. There are studies about vitamin D and it does play a role in diseases and bone health. The only thing I noticed is I didn't get a cold anymore. Before I was sick at least once a year and bad. Now I wasn't for two years.

The studies are not conclusive and further research needs to be done as to why Vit D becomes low with inflammation and it may be for self protective purposes..D didn't help me at all.

True. Maybe a simple reason is because ill people don't go out as much as a healthy person would.

if you started off with a deficiency - but were presumably going outdoors into the sun - presumably you were not making enough but make that up by taking vit D it seems un lightly to me that you will overdose in the sun because you were not making enough in the sun before??

In my country a vitamin D deficiency isn't rare, the sun doesn't shine often. When my deficiency was noticed it was winter.

Thanks for that Fat Emperor link Kimarina - Ivor Cummins is a name I hadn't picked upon before now. Very useful analysis.

I come from a sunny country but live in the uk so not much sun :(

if you are worried I would ask your Dr

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