Sources of Vitamin D

Vitamin D sources

All about the sources of vitamin D ...

Vitamin D is often referred to as the "sunshine vitamin" because the body produces it when the sun's ultraviolet (UVB) rays strike the skin. It is the only vitamin the body manufactures naturally and many experts consider it more of a hormone than a vitamin.

In theory, exposing the face and arms to the sun for fifteen minutes three times a week should enable the body to make all the vitamin D that is needs. However, some experts point out that sun is not a reliable source of vitamin D because there are many factors that affect its ability to produce adequate amounts; these include the use of sunscreens, sunlight deprived during winter months, dark-skinned individuals, clothing, and environmental conditions, such as fog, smog, smoke, and dust.

Moreover, as we age, our ability to make this fat-soluble vitamin diminishes. In fact, numerous of studies have found the elderly to be deficient in this very important vitamin – especially shut-ins.

Most surprisingly, even younger adults may have inadequate amounts of this vitamin. An almost 300 patient study of varying ages who were hospitalized for different types of ailments found 57% to have low levels of vitamin D.

In addition, some conditions may increase your need for vitamin D. These include:

  • Alcoholism
  • Gastrointestinal malabsorption disorders
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Surgery to remove parts of the stomach and intestine

    Needless to say, given all of these harsh challenges, it may be necessary to incorporate supplements and/or dietary sources of vitamin D.

    Best Food Sources of Vitamin D

    One of the ways to determine which foods are the best sources of vitamin D is by understanding what our body needs on a daily basis to maintain good health. The Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences has recommended the following adequate daily intakes:


  • Ages 19-50: 5 mcg* or 200 IU
  • Ages 51-69: 10 mcg* or 400 IU
  • Ages 70 +: 15 mcg* or 600 IU


  • Ages 19-50: 5 mcg* or 200 IU
  • Ages 51-69: 10 mcg* or 400 IU
  • Ages 70 +: 15 mcg* or 600 IU
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding females: 5 mcg* or 200 IU

    *1 mcg vitamin D = 40 International Units (IU)

    Foods that contain at least 10% -15% of the daily value (DV) in one serving are considered good sources of vitamin D. Excellent sources contain 20% or more per serving. Unlike other vitamins, vitamin D is very sparse in dietary sources, therefore, milk, margarine, breakfast cereals (many), and grain products are fortified with vitamin D during processing to help compensate for the limited amount of food sources.

    We here at Nutritional-Supplement-Educational-Centre have put a list together of the best food sources of vitamin D to help you with your daily requirements of this vital nutrient.

  • Cod liver oil, 1 Tablespoon (1,360 IU) 340% DV
  • Salmon, cooked, 3 1/2 oz (360 IU) 90% DV
  • Mackerel, cooked, 3 1/2 oz (345 IU) 90% DV
  • Sardines, canned in oil, drained, 3 1/2 oz (270 IU) 70% DV
  • Tuna fish, canned in oil, 3 ounces (200 IU) 50% DV
  • Milk, nonfat, reduced fat, and whole, vitamin D fortified, 1 c (98 IU) 25% DV
  • Margarine, fortified, 1 Tbs. (60 IU) 15% DV
  • Cereal grain bars, fortified w/ 10% of the DV, 1 each (50 IU) 10% DV
  • Pudding, 1/2 c prepared from mix and made with vitamin D fortified milk (50 IU) 10% DV
  • Dry cereal, Vitamin D fortified w/10%* of DV, 3/4 c (40-50 IU) 10% DV * Other cereals may be fortified with more or less vitamin D.
  • Liver, beef, cooked, 3 1/2 oz (30 IU) 8% DV
  • Egg, 1 whole (vitamin D is present in the yolk) (25 IU) 6% DV

    Dietary Supplements as a Source of Vitamin D

    Dietary supplements are also an excellent way to ensure you're getting enough of the daily required amounts of this vitamin.

    But how do you choose among the thousands of supplement sources of vitamin D?

    Here's what we recommend........

    First, you need to be aware that dietary supplements are not strictly regulated in the U.S. and, as such, manufacturers do not have to prove the safety, effectiveness, or even the true content of their products.

    Is it a big problem? Yes. Many manufactures make exaggerated claims about their products in respect to their efficacy. Others have been found to harbor harmful toxic contaminates.

    Second, having the proper balance of vitamins and minerals are extremely important. Vitamins and minerals work synergistically. Therefore, instead of buying supplemental vitamin D, consider substituting a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement.

    Exception: If your physician has recommended a stand-alone vitamin D supplement.

    Tips on Choosing Quality Supplements as a Source of Vitamin D

    1. Select a supplement from a manufacturer that follows pharmaceutical GMP compliance, which is the highest standard possible. Put simply, pharmaceutical GMP compliance manufactures must adhere to stringent requirements.

    2. Look for supplements that are created by a highly credentialed formulator such as a top-notch scientist who is qualified to create a supplement with ingredients that work in balance and synergistically to offer the maximum results.

    3. Select a supplement that has a COA (Certificate of Analysis) on file for each batch of product produced. In short, this confirms the potency of the ingredients used.

    4. Does the company provide you with a strong money back guarantee? How long is it for?

    5. Be sure the product does not contain any fillers or additives such as sugar, starch, gluten, silica (sand!) or any artificial colors or flavors.

    Always speak to a physician before taking any dietary supplements.

    Featured Vitamin D Product

    Looking for high quality supplemental sources of vitamin D?

    We here at Nutritional-Supplement-Educational-Centre personally take a highly sophisticated comprehensive all-in-one multi-nutrient product called Total Balance, which contains over 70 specialized nutrients, including vitamin D that the body needs for optimium 'whole' body health.

    Total Balance is formulated by a highly credentialed scientific team that can blend these ingredients perfectly to ensure maximum benefits, but as importantly that do not interact adversely. Plus, Total Balance is enteric coated to protect all of these ingredients against stomach acids and to ensure maximum bio-availability.

    The company, which is Xtend-Life from New Zealand also adheres to strict pharmaceutical GMP compliance, which is the toughest in the industry.

    We here at Nutritional-Supplement-Educational-Centre have been taking Total Balance for several years now and can personally attest to its excellent results such as an increase in energy levels, mental clarity, and an increase feeling of well-being.

    We hope you found this webpage on the sources of vitamin D useful.

    To Your Health!

    The Editors

    Much more than the Sources of Vitamin D can be found at our Vitamin Information Center webpage

    Home Page

    Site Disclaimer

    Share this page:
    Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

    Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

    1. Click on the HTML link code below.
    2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.