Vitamin D is different than most other vitamins. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that dissolves in fats and oils. In addition, vitamin D is a steroid hormone produced from cholesterol when your skin is exposed to the sun. It can be stored in your body for a long period of time.
There are two main dietary forms of vitamin D:
• Vitamin D3 which can be found in some animal foods, such as fatty fish and egg yolks.
• Vitamin D2 which can be found in some plants, mushrooms, and yeasts.
However, sun exposure rarely provides adequate vitamin D, making it necessary to obtain it from supplements or your diet. Unfortunately, only a few foods contain significant amounts of vitamin D which makes about 41.6% of the U.S. population deficient. Anything under 12 ml is considered deficient, and anything above 20 ml is considered adequate.
Here’s the vitamin D3 content of a few of the best food sources:
• Cod liver oil, 1 tablespoon (15 ml)
• Salmon, cooked, 3 ounces (85 grams)
• Tuna, canned in water, 3 ounces (85 grams)
• Beef liver, cooked, 3 ounces (85 grams)
• 1 large whole egg (D is found in yolk)
• 1 sardine, canned in oil, drained
Here’s some potential health benefits of vitamin D:
• Reduced risk of osteoporosis, falls, and fractures.
• Better strength in both upper and lower limbs.
• Cancer prevention.
• Depression management.
• Reduced risk of type 1 diabetes.
As you can see, vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin important for bone health, reducing depression, and improving strength. If you don’t spend much time outdoors in the sun and rarely eat fatty fish, consider taking a vitamin D supplement. Afterall, getting enough vitamin D can go a long way to boosting your health.