Popular Science

Everything you ever wanted to know about vitamin D

Knowing your vitamin D levels might not be as important as you think.
a person laying out on the beach

Vitamin D is vital to human health, but just how much of it we need to stay healthy is still a matter of debate.


In 2010, The New York Times called vitamin D the most talked-about supplement of the decade. Nearly 10 years later, the frenzy over the “sunshine vitamin” hasn’t died. Last year, the Times reported that millions of people are taking a vitamin D supplement in the hopes of curbing depression and fatigue, and even helping with cancer.

“Vitamin D has been pretty hyped up,” says Monique Tello, a physician at Mass General Hospital and a contributor to Harvard Health blog. “It’s one of the vogue vitamins right now. It’s also controversial among academics because there are two viewpoints on what healthy levels of vitamin D are and how much we need it.”

So what does vitamin D even do for the body, what’s the right amount, and who actually needs to take a supplement? Here’s what you need to know.

What is vitamin D and what does it do?

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that have found that vitamin D deficiency can lead to bone diseases.

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