Will Vitamin-D-Foods be Enough?

There are very few natural vitamin-D-foods. Vitamin D deficiency can result from a lack of the vitamin in the diet, insufficient conversion in the skin by ultraviolet light or inefficient dietary absorption. Up to ninety percent of our vitamin D comes from the sun. The widespread use of sun screens and sun blockers prevent the production of vitamin D.

The sun is the best source of vitamin D.   People who live in northern climates and/or work indoors often don’t get nearly enough vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency is common with up to 70% of the population in the United States deficient in this important vitamin. Worse yet there are as many as 97% of African Americans deficient in vitamin D.

There are few vitamin-D-foods

Very few foods are natural sources of the vitamin. These Vitamin-D-foods are fatty fish such as salmon, liver, and egg yolks. Milk fortified with vitamin D is another source. One quart of milk has 400 IU’s of the vitamin.

The RDA (recommended daily allowance) has been 400 IU. Many physicians are now saying that the RDA should be in a range from 1,000 to 2,000 IU. Most multiple vitamins still contain 400 IU. The importance of vitamin D to our health cannot be overstated and should be on the check list to discuss with your physician.  

Vitamin-D-foods include:

  1. Wild sockeye salmon contains over 1000 IU of vitamin D per six-ounce serving. Wild salmon is also a rich source of healthy omega-3 fats.
  2. Other sea foods such as sardines, mackerel and tuna are rich in vitamin D. Sardines are also rich in omega-3 fats. Canned sardines may be packed in harmful oil and have very high sodium levels. Tuna is high on the food chain and may contain harmful heavy metals such as mercury.
  3. Liver is a source of vitamin D but is also high in cholesterol and iron.
  4. Egg yolks are a source of vitamin D but are also high in cholesterol. Actually the egg including the yolk are nutrient dense including several vitamins and minerals. For most people one egg per day should be okay. Check with your doctor to see what is appropriate for you.  

It is important that the vitamin D in your body is maintained at a healthy level. Food sources will not be enough for most people. And if for whatever reason we do not get enough sunshine, vitamin D may have to be taken in supplementary form. If that is the case, it is usually best to take it in a well-balanced vitamin/mineral formula. Follow this link for a balanced multiple-vitamin.

While we are more likely to get too little vitamin D, we need to be aware that too much can be toxic. All supplements including vitamin D should be reviewed by your physician. Ask your doctor for a blood test including vitamin D at least annually. The literature indicates that you can’t overdose on vitamin D from sun exposure.

Nutritional supplements do not cure or prevent illness and disease.  They only give the body the extra nutrition it needs to take care of itself!  A healthy lifestyle starts with good nutrition.

References and suggested reading: 

  • Go to resource page. 
  • "vitamin D." Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite.  Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica, 2011.  

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