Can You Still Get Vitamin D Through a Window?

Can You Still Get Vitamin D Through a Window

For individuals who find themselves predominantly indoors, whether due to remote work commitments or a penchant for the coziness of home surroundings, a pertinent question arises: 

Can the sun’s invigorating touch still provide its much-vaunted Vitamin D benefits when filtered through a window?

Given the widely acknowledged status of sunlight as a premier source of this vital nutrient, this query gains significance. 

However, the extent to which sunlight streaming through windowpanes mirrors the direct exposure to sunlight in terms of its health advantages necessitates a closer examination.

Can You Still Get Vitamin D Through a Window?

The short answer is no.

While sunlight streaming through a window can provide a certain level of illumination and warmth, it will not effectively contribute to the synthesis of vitamin D in the body. 

This is due to the fact that the type of ultraviolet (UV) rays responsible for triggering the production of vitamin D (UVB rays) are often filtered out by glass, diminishing their potency. 

The Role of Vitamin D

The Role of Vitamin D

Why Do We Need It?

Vitamin D is a vital nutrient that our bodies need for several reasons. 

It plays a crucial role in promoting bone health, boosting our immune system, and enhancing our mood. 

Our bodies produce vitamin D naturally when directly exposed to sunlight. 

However, getting enough of this ‘sunshine vitamin’ can be challenging, especially for those living in regions with less sunlight or people spending most of their time indoors.

Sunlight, Windows, and Vitamin D

It seems logical to think that if sunlight can come through a window, then so can its benefits, including Vitamin D production. 

Unfortunately, this is not the case. The glass in windows absorbs all of the ultraviolet B (UVB) rays from the sun. These UVB rays are what our skin needs to produce Vitamin D. 

Therefore, even if you’re sitting by a sunny window all day, you won’t be able to meet your Vitamin D requirements that way.

Alternative Sources of Vitamin D

So, if window-filtered sunlight won’t provide you with Vitamin D, what are your options? 

Direct Sunlight Exposure

Try to spend some time outside every day, preferably when the sun is at its highest. 

Even 10 to 30 minutes of midday sun exposure can be sufficient for most people.

However, remember to protect your skin if you plan to stay outdoors for an extended period. 

Too much sun exposure can lead to skin damage and increase the risk of skin damage.

Food with Vitamin D

Food with Vitamin D

Several foods are rich sources of vitamin D, contributing to maintaining adequate levels of this essential nutrient in the body. 

Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, and trout are notable options, offering substantial amounts of vitamin D. Additionally, cod liver oil is a potent source. 

Certain fortified foods like dairy products (milk, yogurt, and cheese), plant-based milk alternatives, and breakfast cereals are often enriched with vitamin D. 

Egg yolks, particularly from hens raised with vitamin D-enriched feed, provide this nutrient as well. 

Incorporating these foods into your diet can play a significant role in supporting your vitamin D intake, particularly when natural sunlight exposure is limited.

Vitamin D Supplementation 

Vitamin D supplementation is a valuable strategy to ensure adequate levels of this essential nutrient, especially for individuals with limited sun exposure or those at risk of deficiency.

Vitamin D supplements come in various forms, including vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) and vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). 

Vitamin D3, derived from animal sources, is considered more effective at raising and maintaining blood levels of vitamin D. 

However, it’s advisable to consult your healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen.

Can you still get vitamin D in the shade?

It might seem counterintuitive, but you can still get your daily dose of Vitamin D without being in direct sunlight. 

Your body can synthesize Vitamin D from sunlight even if you’re sitting in the shade. 

However, the rate of synthesis will be decreased compared to direct sun exposure.


Can You Still Get Vitamin D Through a Window

To sum up, the soothing embrace of sunlight cascading through your window might offer a sense of comfort, yet it falls short in its ability to effectively elevate your Vitamin D levels. 

While the sun’s rays do stimulate the production of this vital nutrient in your skin, various factors such as geographical location, time of day, and skin pigmentation can significantly hinder the synthesis process.

Consequently, it becomes imperative to diversify your approach to maintaining optimal Vitamin D levels. 

Incorporating foods rich in Vitamin D, such as fatty fish, fortified dairy products, and egg yolks, into your diet can contribute to meeting your body’s requirements. 

Furthermore, considering supplements, especially in consultation with a healthcare professional, can be a prudent step, particularly for those living in regions with limited sunlight exposure or those with specific health conditions.


Is there any benefit to sunlight through a window?

Yes, there are several benefits to sunlight coming through a window. 

While it’s true that window glass absorbs all UVB radiation, sunlight through windows can still have positive effects on mental health and overall well-being. 

Exposure to natural light, even through a window, can help fight seasonal depression and improve mood by increasing feel-good endorphins. 

Moreover, the light coming through windows can be beneficial for houseplants by preventing harmful UV rays from reaching them.

What is the best way to absorb vitamin D?

The most effective way to absorb vitamin D is through direct exposure to sunlight, particularly sunlight that contains UVB rays. 

When your skin is exposed to these UVB rays, it triggers the production of vitamin D in your body.