My friends mother is a nurse and said that there are new studies that suggests that people in the Northwest have a vitamin D deficiency. Have you heard anything about this? How much vitamin D do we need and how do we get it?
Your friend's mother is correct. Vitamin D deficiency is a common clinical problem in the US. This is related to lack of sun exposure and inadequate vitamin D production, by the skin, from November through February, along with inadequate dietary or supplemental intake.
Not many foods in nature contain vitamin D. The best natural foods sources are salmon and tuna, along with fish liver oils. Small amounts of vitamin D are also found in cheese, and egg yolks. Some foods and beverages are fortified with vitamin D; for example, milk is a good source, providing ~ 100 IU / cup.
I recommend taking a daily vitamin D supplement containing 800-1000 IU (vitamin D3 is the recommended form). If you'd like to have your vitamin D levels checked, contact your medical provider.