Q:

Do women need more vitamin D than men?

A:

Quick Answer

Generally, women do not need more vitamin D than men as the recommended daily amount is the same for both at 600 international units (IU) per day, reports the U.S. National Institutes of Health. The same daily nutritional requirement is advised for pregnant and lactating women.

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Full Answer

A type of vitamin D called vitamin D3 is naturally produced in the body from absorbing ultraviolet B energy from the sun, notes Harvard Medical School. Limited exposure to sunlight may result in vitamin D deficiency.

Compared to men, women have a higher body fat content, which reduces sunlight absorption, states Johns Hopkins Medicine. Women also have the tendency to stay indoors for longer periods of time or wear head coverings and sunscreen more often than men. Due to these factors, women may need to increase their vitamin D intake of up to 50,000 IU per week under the guidance of a physician.

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