Vitamin D From Sun Exposure
Many people live in northern climates and are not at the right latitude to make vitamin D in their skin. Sun exposure without sunscreen for 10-15 minutes a day to exposed skin at the right latitude has been found to be maintain adequate levels of vitamin D.
However, if you are not getting the recommended 1,000-2,000 IU of vitamin D daily from the sun or your diet, you should talk with your physician about taking a vitamin D supplement to ensure you are meeting your daily needs. Taking your vitamin D supplement with your largest meal of the day will result in better absorption and thus a better blood level for the vitamin. Vitamin D3 supplements are more potent than vitamin D2 – the precursor of D3.
How Much Vitamin D And Calcium Do I Need
PHE recommends 700mg of calcium per day for men and women. As for vitamin D, the recommended daily maintenance dosage is 400IU daily as outlined in the NICE guidance. The guidance was developed to ensure that the UK population has a satisfactory level of Vitamin D throughout the year, in order to protect musculoskeletal bone health.
While most individuals should be able to get their recommended intake of vitamin D and calcium without using supplements, there are those of us who, maybe due to dietary restrictions or medical conditions, perhaps dont get enough of these minerals through the food they eat. If youre unable to meet your recommended daily intake from food, supplements can be used but ask your doctor for advice.
What Fruits And Vegetables Are High In Vitamin D
Vegetables high in vitamin D include mushrooms which have been exposed to sunlight. Other vegan foods high in vitamin D include fortified soy products like tofu, soy milk, and soy yogurt, fortified cereals, and fortified juices.
Unfortunately, no fruits are high in vitamin D, and fortified orange juice is currently the only fruit product commonly sold with vitamin D.
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Whats The Best Way To Get Vitamin D
Most of our vitamin D comes from our bodys synthesis in response to sunlight. Modern lifestyle however, has it that most people work inside and are not exposed to adequate levels of sunlight to produce enough vitamin D in the UK, says Ella.
A lack of vitamin D can lead to bone deformities like rickets in children, and a condition called osteomalacia, which causes bone pain and tenderness in adults. It can even cause hair to thin or fall out. If you are concerned that you are deficient in vitamin D, you can top up your vitamin D by taking a supplement. These can come in many different forms, such as tablets, capsules or sprays, but the Vitamin D Council states that it doesnt matter what form you take, or what time of the day you take it.
Getting Vitamin D From Food
Most foods dont contain much vitamin D so its hard to get enough vitamin D from food alone.
Foods which contain vitamin D include:
- oily fish such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, trout
- red meat
- liver and fish liver oil
- foods with vitamin D added such as most fat spreads, some breakfast cereals and some plant-based alternatives to milk. Check the labels.
- infant formula which has vitamin D added to make sure babies get enough.
As most of these foods are animal products, its harder to get vitamin D from food if you are vegan or vegetarian. Plant-based sources of vitamin D include sun-exposed mushrooms and fortified foods such as vegetable spreads, breakfast cereals and plant based dairy alternatives.
In the UK, cows’ milk is generally not a good source of vitamin D because it isn’t fortified, as it is in some other countries. There are some yoghurts which have been fortified, but check the label as they can also be high in saturated fat and so should be avoided.
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Am I At Risk Of Vitamin D Deficiency
Mel Wakeman adds that in November 2014, NICE produced guidelines that recommend certain at-risk groups take a daily vitamin D supplement. These include:
1. All pregnant and breastfeeding women are at risk of vitamin D deficiency.
2. All babies and young children from 6 months to 5 yrs should take a daily supplement containing vitamin D in the form of vitamin drops. But, babies fed up to a pint of infant formula will not need vitamin drops as the formula is already fortified.
3. Breastfed infants may need to receive drops containing vitamin D from one month of age, if their mother has not taken vitamin D supplements throughout pregnancy.
4. People aged 65 years and over and people who are not exposed to much sun should also take a daily vitamin D supplement.
5. People with a darker skin tone will require a greater amount of sunlight exposure as the process of making Vitamin D takes longer so may benefit from a supplement. Read out guide to the best skin supplements, as chosen by our beauty editor.
6. People who spend much of their time indoors or cover their skin.
Now, if youll excuse us were off to stock up on vitamin D.
Do Oranges Contain Vitamin D
Oranges may be the closest youll get to a fruit containing vitamin D. And yet, closer is not close enough. What do we mean? While there is no vitamin D in oranges, many orange juices are fortified with vitamin D , and thats a good option for getting some vitamin D in your diet. (However, too much orange juice usually comes with more sugar than you may want, and as a general rule of thumb, youre better off with the whole fruit. Although theres nothing wrong with starting your day with a glass of fortified orange juice, unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
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Is There Such A Thing As Having Too Much Vitamin D
Its rare. Consuming too much vitamin D is very rare. It shouldnt be a problem because your body only makes as much vitamin D as it needs, says nutrition expert Wakeman.
Vitamin D toxicity is uncommon and usually only affects people who have been taking vitamin D supplements well above the recommended dosage for several months.
Elevated Blood Calcium Levels
Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium from the food you eat. In fact, this is one of its most important roles.
However, if your vitamin D intake is excessive, your blood calcium may reach levels that can cause unpleasant and potentially dangerous symptoms.
The symptoms of vitamin D toxicity are primarily related to hypercalcemia, which means excessively high blood calcium levels (
Hypercalcemia typically develops after people take megadoses of vitamin D for a prolonged period of time.
For example, a 2015 case study reported that an older man with dementia who received 50,000 IU of vitamin D daily for 6 months was repeatedly hospitalized with symptoms related to high calcium levels .
In the 2020 case report mentioned earlier, the woman who took an average of 130,000 IU of vitamin D per day for 20 months was also hospitalized for symptoms related to hypercalcemia .
These included nausea, vomiting, muscle weakness, and kidney injury. Her blood calcium levels were 3.23 mmol/L (
- poor appetite
However, not all people with hypercalcemia experience the exact same symptoms.
One woman experienced nausea and weight loss after taking a supplement that was later found to contain 78 times more vitamin D than stated on the label .
Importantly, these symptoms occurred in response to extremely high doses of vitamin D3, which led to calcium levels greater than 12 mg/dL.
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Some Cheeses Contain More Vitamin D Than Others
Depending what kind you get, cheese can naturally contain upwards of 30 IU of vitamin D per one-cup serving. Fontina, Muenster, and Monterey cheeses are some of the best choices for incorporating vitamin D into your diet.
Richer varieties such as bleu cheese, brie, and gouda have six IU of vitamin D per ounce.
With 50 IU of vitamin D per half-cup, fortified orange juice is alright in moderation but it shouldn’t be your primary source of the nutrient. Drinking too much can cause your blood sugar to rise, Zumpano said.
Foods That Contain Vitamin D3
Vitamin D is important for bone health and is linked to reduced rates of Alzheimer’s disease, strokes and cancers.
Vitamin D is known as the sunshine vitamin because it is produced in the skin by ultraviolet rays from the sun. Gray skies, weak winter sun, sunscreen use and an indoor lifestyle mean that most of us are lacking in this essential vitamin.
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How Can I Raise My Vitamin D Levels Quickly
The body obtains most of its vitamin D from sunlight. Very few foods offer a natural source of vitamin D and it is not possible to get what you need from natural foods alone, says Rob.
The quickest way to get vitamin D is from supplements which is why Public Health England recommends we all take a supplement during the winter months when the sun is not strong enough to supply what we need . This recommendation has since been extended to during lockdown to account for the additional time spent indoors especially those who are shielding.
The recommended intake is 10mcg per day.
The most recent review carried out by the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition concluded that at risk groups include people who have little or no exposure to the sun e.g. older people in residential care and people who cover their skin when they are outside, says Rob. People with dark skin may also not get enough vitamin D from sunlight in the summer as it is less easily absorbed to make vitamin D. These groups advised to take vitamin D all year round.
Top 10 High Vitamin D Foods
Vitamin D is an essential vitamin required by the body for the absorption of calcium, bone development, immune functioning and alleviation of inflammation.
A deficiency of Vitamin D can lead to rickets, a weakened immune system, increased cancer risk, poor hair growth and osteomalacia.
Excess vitamin D can cause the body to absorb too much calcium, leading to increased risk of heart disease and kidney stones.
The current U.S. Daily Value for vitamin D is 20g and the toxicity threshold is thought to be 250 to 1000 g/day.
Sometimes vitamin D values are given in IU . When this is the case remember that 1g=40IU for Vitamin D.
Vitamin D is fat soluble, which means you need to eat fat to absorb it. Foods high in vitamin D include fish, mushrooms exposed to sunlight, fortified milk, fortified milk substitutes, fortified tofu, fortified yogurt, fortified breakfast cereals, fortified orange juice, pork chops, and eggs.
Vitamin D is also made by the body when skin is exposed sunlight and is therefore called the sunshine vitamin. This accounts for approximately 90% of our total vitamin D, with only 10% coming from food. Depending on where you live, 20 minutes of sun exposure a day is enough to meet your vitamin D requirements.
Below is a list of the top 10 foods highest in vitamin D by common serving size, for more see the nutrient ranking of 200 foods high in vitamin D.
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What Is Vitamin D
Vitamin D is essential for maintaining strong bones and teeth, keeping your immune system healthy and facilitating the absorption of calcium and phosphorus .
Because vitamin D is not found naturally in very many foods, most health professionals recommend getting at least 530 minutes of sun exposure daily or taking a supplement to meet the recommended daily amount of 600 IU .
However, those living too far from the equator may not be able to meet their requirements through sun exposure alone. At certain latitudes, very little vitamin D can be produced by the skin for up to six months of the year (
- Dark-skinned individuals
- Those with limited sun exposure
Obesity is another risk factor for deficiency. Interestingly, some evidence suggests that getting enough vitamin D could help with weight loss.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that you can get from sun exposure, food or supplements. Nearly 50% of people are low in vitamin D.
Does Avocado Contain Vitamin D
Avocados are a healthy fruit, and one of the good fats. Theyre a great source of a number of nutrients, including many of the letter vitamins, like vitamins C, E, K and some of the Bs. But you wont find that essential vitamin in avocados. However, when it comes to fat-soluble nutrients, such as vitamin D, avocados play an important role. They help your body absorb nutrients like vitamin D. So, theres that!
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High In Vitamins A And D
Most cod liver oil is extracted from the liver of Atlantic cod.
Cod liver oil has been used for centuries to relieve joint pain and treat rickets, a disease that causes fragile bones in children .
Although cod liver oil is a fish oil supplement, its quite different than regular fish oil.
Regular fish oil is extracted from the tissue of oily fish like tuna, herring, anchovies and mackerel, while cod liver oil is extracted from the livers of cod.
The liver is rich in fat-soluble vitamins like vitamins A and D, which give it an impressive nutrient profile.
One teaspoon of cod liver oil provides the following :
- Calories: 40
- Omega-3 fatty acids: 890 mg
- Monounsaturated fat: 2.1 grams
- Vitamin A: 90% of the RDI
- Vitamin D: 113% of the RDI
Cod liver oil is incredibly nutritious, with a single teaspoon providing 90% of your daily requirements for vitamin A and 113% of your daily requirements for vitamin D.
Vitamin A has many roles in the body, including maintaining healthy eyes, brain function and skin .
Cod liver oil is also one of the best food sources of vitamin D, which has an important role in maintaining healthy bones by regulating calcium absorption .
Cod liver oil is very nutritious and provides nearly all of your daily requirements for vitamins A and D.
Why Is Vitamin D So Important
Calcium gets most of the credit for maintaining strong, healthy bones, but vitamin D is also a key player in bone health.
“You can have all the calcium in the world, it doesnt get absorbed into your bones” without vitamin D, Donald Ford, MD, a family medicine physician at Cleveland Clinic, tells Health. That’s vitamin D’s jobwithout it, the calcium you get from yogurt, cheese, and even vegetables like broccoli wouldn’t get absorbed, and ultimately wouldn’t do much in terms of keeping your bones strong. Vitamin D can also help prevent against osteoporosis, which makes your bones brittle, and a vitamin D deficiency can contribute to a gradual loss of strength of bones over time, Dr. Ford says.
As far as a daily dosage of vitamin D goes, the Institute of Medicine recommends 600-1000 IU of Vitamin D daily to meet 95% of the populations needs, says Tania Elliott, MD, an instructor of clinical medicine at NYU Langone. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to get the recommended amount each dayhere’s how.
Mushrooms Produce Vitamin D When Exposed To Sunlight
Mushrooms, which contain a pro-vitamin known as ergosterol, are unique in that they’re the only vegetable that can produce vitamin D. Ergosterol helps them generate the vitamin when exposed to ultraviolet radiation.
Nutritional value differs depending on whether a mushroom was commercially cultivated or grown in the wild where it can absorb ample sunlight. Portabellas, a commercial variety, contain 976 IU per diced cup after being exposed to ultraviolet light, according to the USDA Food Composition Databases. Wild mushrooms already contain a high amount of vitamin D when they’re harvested. A cup of diced maitake, for instance, offers 786 IU.
Iu Of Vitamin D In Vegetables
The list below gives the total vitamin d content in the top 100 items from the general description ‘vegetables’ each of which show the vitamin d amount as well as Calories, Protein, Fat and Carbohydrate. The top 50 food items are shown in the graph below, to give a quick and easy dietary comparison for the different items, where each item is listed at the bottom of the page with a nutritional summary.
The level of vitamin d can be affected by the method of storage for example canned or frozen and also by the method of preparation for example either raw, cooked or fried. The total food items which are raw is 50 items. The highest amount of vitamin d from the 50 raw items is in Mushrooms, maitake, raw where the content is 1123 IU per 100g. The number of food items which are cooked are 38 items. The highest amount of vitamin d from the 38 cooked items is in Mushrooms, shiitake, cooked, without salt where the amount is 28 IU per 100g. Comparing raw and cooked vegetables shows that cooking can change the levels of vitamin d by 1095 IU in a 100g serving.
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Fruits And Vegetables High In Vitamin D
While the best way to get vitamin D is from the sun, sometimes it isnt possible to get the daily requirement in this way due to factors including the strength of the sunlight on any given day, skin color , distance from the equator, age, and other variables.
So can you get vitamin D from fruits and vegetables? The fact is that no fruit contains vitamin D and mushrooms are the only vegetable that contains it.
A serving of typical white button mushrooms contains a small amount of vitamin D2, which is about 4% of the recommended daily value. However, when mushrooms are exposed to ultraviolet B radiation, their vitamin D content goes up dramatically. Some companies are now growing special vitamin-D rich mushrooms using this process. For example, Dole has some portobello mushrooms on the market that provide 100 percent of the daily recommended daily intake of vitamin D per serving.
All other food sources of vitamin D are animal in origin like beef, sardines, salmon, shrimp, eggs, butter, goat cheese, chicken livers, sour cream, and milk. Also, some foods like milk and orange juice are fortified with vitamin D.