Vitamin D – Are You Getting Enough?I found out recently that I am not getting enough vitamin D. Studies suggest vitamin D may go
beyond its well-established role in bone health and reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease,
stroke, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and more.
Together with calcium, vitamin D can help prevent osteoporosis in older adults. Without enough
vitamin D, bones can become brittle and prone to fracture. It is estimated that more than 40
million adults in the U.S. have or are at risk of developing osteoporosis.
What makes vitamin D unique is that it is a vitamin and also a hormone your body can make from the
sun. Despite the ability to get vitamin D from food and the sun, an estimated 40%-75% of people are
deficient. Why? Vitamin D is not abundant in our food choices and the sun is not a reliable source
Vitamin D is naturally present in few foods. Fortified foods provide most of the vitamin D in
- Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel are among the best sources.
- Beef liver, cheese, and egg yolks provide small amounts.
- Mushrooms provide some vitamin D. In some mushrooms that are newly available in stores, the vitamin D content is being boosted by exposing these mushrooms to ultraviolet light.
- Almost all of the U.S. milk supply is fortified with 400 IU of vitamin D per quart. But foods made from milk, like cheese and ice cream, are usually not fortified.
- Vitamin D is added to many breakfast cereals and to some brands of orange juice, yogurt, margarine, and soy beverages; check the labels.
age. Average daily recommended amounts from the Food and Nutrition Board (a national group of
experts) for different ages are listed below in International Units (IU):
Life Stage Recommended Amount
Birth to 12 months 400 IU
Children 1–13 years 600 IU
Teens 14–18 years 600 IU
Adults 19–70 years 600 IU
Adults 71 years and older 800 IU
Pregnant and breastfeeding women 600 IU