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Food Sources of Vitamin D: The Best Natural Sources

Updated on March 26, 2010

Food sources of vitamin D: Intro

We all know the importance of vitamin D for bone growth and remodelling in all ages, specially in children. Vitamin D plays a main role in this process and to balance the calcium levels in the body by acting on the intestine, the kidneys and of course on bone.

Vitamin D has more benefits for our immune system, the cardiovascular system and the endocrinal system as it controls the parathyroid and calcitonin hormones to maintain normal calcium metabolism. Some studies also suggest that Vitamin D may reduce the incidence of pancreatic cancer.

In this hub we will discuss some of the natural as well as fortified food sources of vitamin D. Vitamin D is not found in so many foods and so it is important to know which foods are rich in it. The other and may be the more important source is sun rays but this can be difficult for some as we know, and multivitamin supplements. It is important to follow your doctor's instructions as regards doses of these multivitamins if you are taking any.

Food sources of vitamin D

There are food sources of vitamin D in addition to sun exposure. The UV rays are very important in the formation of Vitamin D in the skin but some people can't just get enough sun exposure daily, plus, prolonged exposure to the sun can harm the skin. That is why many people are trying to get their required daily intake of vitamin D from food sources.

Here are the best natural food sources of vitamin D:

  • Herring.
  • Canned tuna and sardines (dried and canned in oil)..
  • Mackerel.
  • Pure cod liver oil.
  • Halibut.
  • Catfish.
  • Cooked liver and beef.
  • Cooked eggs (it is present in the egg yolk).
  • Shrimp.
  • Oysters.
  • Cheese.

It is advised not to consume large amounts of cod liver oil as it is rich in retinol, a substance that may oppose the action of vitamin D.

Also, milk and dairy products are fortified with vitamin D. Be sure to read the labels on everything because sometimes, these dairy products lack vitamin D. The same thing applies for yogurt, soy milk and pudding made with fortified milk.

More foods that are fortified with vitamin D: (remember, read the labels!)

  • Margarine.
  • Cereals.
  • Tofu.
  • Orange juice.

Who should get vitamin D?

Everyone! We all need vitamin D no matter of our age. Certain people are exposed to risks of developing vitamin D deficiency, specially need adequate intake of vitamin D in diet as well as by sun exposure are :(high risk groups)

  1. Breast fed babies and children.
  2. Old people.
  3. People with dark skin.
  4. People who don't get enough sun exposure as those living away from the equator or those who can't get out of their home.
  5. People who have undergone gastric bypass surgery.
  6. People with fat malabsorption as in liver diseases, cyctic fibrosis, etc.
  7. Patients with liver conditions and Crohn's disease.


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    • Mezo profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Egypt

      yeah, dried fish is one of the good sources

      thanks alot for your comments :)

    • ocbill profile image


      8 years ago from hopefully somewhere peaceful and nice

      Tuna? I would've never thought it was there. Glad I eat it.



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