Vitamin D sources

Vitamin D sources. There are three natural  sources of this important vitamin:

  1. natural sunlight
  2. foods fortified with this vitamin eg. dairy products, many cereals
  3. oily fish.

Special Notes:

  • As people become more careful about sun exposure and its possible causing of skin cancers, many use sunscreens with SPF 15 or higher. These inhibit the production of Vitamin D.Some medical personnel advise 20 min of sun exposure a day without sunscreen so as to overcome this problem. You need to get the advice of your medical provideron this topic - especially if you have any history of skin cancers.
  • In northern latitudes (eg. North of Boston, USA) there is not enough radiant light especially in winter and so natural sunlight is not a real source of Vitamin D and supplements may be recommended.
  • Some people have a genetic difficulty in converting sunlight into Vitamin D (These are often the folks whose parents and grandparents had Osteoporosis and broken bones in their mature years.                                                     Special note: the conversion of sunlight to Vitamin D depends on skin pigmentation. Lighter skin is better able to convert sunlight into vitamin D.
  • After age 70. There are changes in skin that occur around age 70 that make it more difficulty for the skin to use sunlight as one of its Vitamin D Sources. This is a normal part of aging but you need to take this into account when estimating your daily exposure to this essential vitamin. Many persons older than 70 need supplements or if they have been using supplements they need to increase the  amount.
  • Obesity can interfere with the conversion of sunlight into this Vitamin.

Vitamin D Sources from food

  1. Food manufactures of dairy products and many cereals fortify their products with this vitamin. Read the label and take these sources into account when estimatingyour daily intake.
  2. 2. Natural food that are good Vitamin D Sources:  Fish:  herring, Atlantic, raw. A 200 calorie serving gives  2061IU of the vitamin;  Catfish, wild 200 calories serving: Viatamin D 1053IU;  Eastern wild Oyster 941IU;  Salmon, sockeye, canned, drained solids with bone - 200 calories 920IU;  pink salmon with bones and liquids 898IU,   Steelhead trout, boiled, canned (Alaska Native) 760IU per 200 calorie serving , Halibut: Greenland, raw V: 645IU Vitasoy USA, Nasoya Lite Firm Tofu: 581IU , Pickled Atlantic herring 519IU Sardine: Pacific, canned in tomato sauce, drained solids with bone 516IU,  Mackerel: Atlantic, raw 351IU:  SILK soymilk Light Plain 338IU : Steel head trout, dried, 329IU : Mackerel, jack, canned, drained solids 323IU : Crustaceans, shrimp, mixed species, raw 287IU : Sardine, Atlantic, canned in oil, drained solids with bone 262IU:  Tuna fish, light, canned in oil, drained solids 238IU :  Fish, flatfish ( eg. flounder, sole),: 132IU per 200 calorie serving Note I am indebted  to Nutrition for these Vitamin D sources and numbers. 

You may want to take a Vitamin D supplement. If so, you will find many, many brands at

Amazon Vitamin D supplments

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