Vitamin D Deficiency

Can vitamin D deficiency be prevented?

The major source of vitamin D comes from exposure to sunlight. It is suggested that 10-15 minutes of sun exposure at least two times per week to the face, hands, arms, or back without sunscreen is usually sufficient to meet your needs. There are many factors that can alter this so relying solely on the sun may not be enough.

A few foods naturally contain vitamin D, and other foods are fortified with it. The amount found in food is not enough for treating a deficiency and may not be enough to maintain adequate levels unless combined with sun exposure. The amount of vitamin D in foods is as follows:

  • 1 tsp cod liver oil has 400 to 1,000 IU/vitamin D
  • 3.5 oz salmon, fresh (wild) has 600 to 1,000 IU/vitamin D
  • 3.5 oz salmon, fresh (farmed) has 100 to 250 IU/vitamin D
  • 3.5 oz salmon, canned has 300 to 600 IU/vitamin D
  • 3.5 oz sardines, canned has about 300 IU/vitamin D
  • 3.5 oz mackerel, canned has about 250 IU/vitamin D
  • 3.5 oz tuna, canned has 236 IU/vitamin D
  • 3.5 oz shiitake mushrooms (fresh) has about 100 IU/vitamin D
  • 3.5 oz shiitake mushrooms (sun-dried) has about 1,600 IU/vitamin D
  • 1 egg yolk has about 20 IU/vitamin D
  • 8 oz fortified milk or yogurt has 100 IU/vitamin D
  • 8 oz fortified orange juice has about 100 IU/vitamin D
  • 3 oz fortified cheese has about 100 IU/vitamin D
Reviewed on 7/14/2014