Can You Still Get Vitamin D on a Cloudy Day? – Explained

Can You Still Get Vitamin D on a Cloudy Day? – Explained

Vitamin D is a nutrient that is necessary for good health. It aids calcium absorption, bone health, immunological function, and cell development. The majority of people receive their vitamin D from sunlight. Getting adequate sun exposure, on the other hand, might be challenging, especially during the winter months or if you reside in a gloomy region.

Can You Still Get Vitamin D on a Cloudy Day?

The quick answer is yes, however, the process is impacted by a variety of circumstances. While clouds may partially block the sun’s ultraviolet B (UVB) rays, a considerable percentage still penetrates, allowing the skin to create Vitamin D. 

Understanding the subtleties of this process is critical to ensure that our bodies can reap the advantages of this crucial vitamin even on cloudy days.

What is Vitamin D?


Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is essential for several physiological functions. Vitamin D is well recognized for its role in calcium absorption and bone health, but it also helps with immunological function, cellular development, and inflammatory management.

According to research, having a vitamin D deficiency, or a lack of adequate vitamin D levels in your body, might harm your general health. According to the National Institute of Health, severe vitamin D deficiency can cause rickets and osteomalacia in children and adults.

Why Do We Need Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is essential for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Calcium absorption: Vitamin D aids the body’s absorption of calcium from diet, which is necessary for the formation and maintenance of healthy bones.
  • Bone health: Vitamin D aids in the prevention of rickets, a disorder characterized by soft, brittle bones.
  • Immune function: Vitamin D supports the immune system and helps it fight infections.
  • Cell development: Vitamin D regulates cell growth and may assist in preventing cancer.

How Long in the Sun for Vitamin D?

Skin type, location, and amount of sun exposure all have an impact on vitamin D production. Aim for 10-30 minutes of sun exposure each week on your face, arms, and legs. It is crucial to remember that the amount of sun exposure required to synthesize enough vitamin D varies according to these parameters.

How To Get Vitamin D


Sun Exposure

When exposed to UVB rays from the sun, the skin creates Vitamin D. Even on overcast days, some UVB rays can pass through, but at a lesser intensity. Spending time outside, particularly during the day, enhances the likelihood of Vitamin D production.

Time of Exposure

Vitamin D production is affected by factors such as skin type, location, and time spent in the sun. Aim for 10-30 minutes of sun exposure each week on the face, arms, and legs.


Foods high in vitamin D include fatty fish (salmon, tuna, and mackerel), eggs, and liver. Most people, however, do not obtain enough vitamin D from diet alone.


Vitamin D supplements are available as pills, capsules, and liquids.

The RDA for vitamin D is 400-800 IU per day, or 10 mg. When your vitamin D level is 30 to 32 ng/mL, you are adequate. To maintain a level of 30 to 32 ng/mL, you need about 2,200 to 3,000 IU/d of vitamin D from all sources, including UV light exposure, diet, and supplements.

Foods That Are Rich in Vitamin D

Here are some foods that are naturally rich in vitamin D:

Fatty Fish:

Salmon, mackerel, trout, and sardines are excellent sources of Vitamin D.

Egg Yolks:

Eggs, particularly the yolks, contain Vitamin D.

Fortified Foods:

Certain foods, such as milk, orange juice, and cereals, are fortified with Vitamin D.


While overcast days reduce the strength of the light, they do not eliminate the potential of acquiring Vitamin D. Understanding the dynamics of sun exposure, investigating Vitamin D-rich foods, and taking supplements as needed all help to maintain healthy Vitamin D levels.

If you enjoyed this article, you may also want to read this article Is Vitamin D Responsible for Irritating the Bladder?

*This information is not intended to serve as a substitute for professional medical or dietary advice tailored to individual needs.

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Dr. Kimberly Langdon

Kimberly Langdon

Dr. Kimberly Langdon has been an MD for 31 years, board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist with 19-years of clinical experience. She graduated from The Ohio State University College of Medicine, earning Honors in many rotations. She then completed her OB/GYN residency program at The Ohio State University Medical Center, earning first-place accolades for her Senior Research Project and Score of 98th percentile on a National Proficiency Test.

During her clinical career, she delivered over 2000 babies and specialized in minimally invasive procedures, menopause, endometriosis, menstrual disorders, and polycystic ovarian syndrome. After retiring from clinical practice, she founded a medical device company to commercialize her two patented and four patent-pending medical devices for both life-threatening and non-life-threatening infections.

Kimberly Langdon M.D.

Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Coologics, 2010-present
The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Doctor of Medicine 1987-1991
The Ohio State University Hospital Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency Program 1991-1995
Private practice 1995-2010

Po-Chang Hsu

Po-Chang Hsu

Po-Chang Hsu, M.D., received his medical doctorate from Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston. During his medical school training, Dr. Hsu worked with various patients, including adult and pediatric patients with acute and chronic conditions. Dr. Hsu’s interests include neurology, psychiatry, pediatrics, and sleep medicine.

Before medical school, Dr. Hsu finished a master’s degree at Harvard University and wrote a thesis on neuroimaging in schizophrenia patients at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a Harvard Medical School-affiliated hospital. Dr. Hsu was also a part of the 2008 NASA Phoenix Lander Mission team, which sent a robotic spacecraft to the North polar region of Mars. Dr. Hsu also had research experience on neuroimaging in neonates at Boston Children’s Hospital, another Harvard Medical School-affiliated Hospital.

Since graduating from medical school, Dr. Hsu has worked as a full-time medical writer and consultant. In addition, he has experience writing and ghostwriting books and articles for physicians and health technology start-up companies. Dr. Hsu believes good communication between healthcare providers and patients creates the best results.


-Peer Reviewed Journal Article:
Kounaves, S.P., Hecht, M.H., West, S.J., Morookian, J.-M., Young, S.M.M., Quinn, R., Grunthaner, P., Wen, X., Weilert, M., Cable, C.A., Fisher, A., Gospodinova, K., Kapit, J., Stroble, S., Hsu, P.-C., Clark, B.C., Ming, D.W. and Smith, P.H. The MECA wet chemistry laboratory on the 2007 phoenix mars scout Lander. Journal of Geophysical Research. 2009, Mar; 114(E3): 10.1029/2008je003084.

-Poster Presentation:
2011 Harvard Psychiatry Mysell Poster Session; Boston, MA
Hsu, P.C., Rathi, Y., Eckbo, R., Nestor, P., Niznikiewicz, M., Thompson, E., Kubicki, M., Shenton, M.E. (March, 2011). Two-Tensor Diffusion Tensor Imaging of Acoustic Radiations in Schizophrenia

Dr. Nicolette Natale

Nicolette Natale

Dr. Nicolette Natale is a physician, with a background in Psychology, General Medicine, and English Literature, combining her expertise to provide readers with the most accurate, easy-to-understand, and comprehensive information regarding healthcare. She received her Doctorate in Osteopathic Medicine from Nova Southeastern University, and her bachelor’s in English Literature and Psychology from the University of Miami. Dr. Natale seeks to empower individuals with knowledge, fostering a greater understanding of holistic health and encouraging a proactive approach to well-being