Thursday, July 14, 2011

Sun Alternatives for Vitamin D

Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin is one of the vital nutritional supplements for disease prevention; still its deficiency is more common these days. It is very essential to get enough Vitamin D, because its insufficiency increases your weight gain, insulin resistance, thyroid problems and muscle fatigue. Usually, body has a vast capacity to make vitamin D in sunshine. But for decades, we have been warned about the dangers of sun exposure such as deadliest skin cancer. Besides, long travels to offices have trapped us in our cars and after arriving at work we usually tend to remain indoors throughout the daylight hours. Also in town areas, pollution forms a layer that blocks some of the existing sunlight, plus limiting our exposure to the sun's rays. All these aspects compel us to move towards alternative sources of vitamin D.

Sun Alternatives for Vitamin D

The daily requirements of vitamin D differ on the base of age. The Food and Nutrition Board recommended that body needs 400 IUs during 12 months from the birth. Afterwards, till seventies body requires 600 IUs of vitamin D. Then after 70s its need increases up to 800 IUs.

Sunlight - a primary source:

You can make 90 percent of vitamin D (about 3,000 – 20,000 IUs) naturally from sun exposure to the skin. Sun exposure begins the conversion of cholesterol in the skin to vitamin D3. From sunshine, your body takes only required amount of vitamin D, and de-metabolizes every extra. As excessively ‘D’ from dietary supplements may cause the body to over-process of calcium, Sunlight is the safe and natural source of vitamin D. In early morning, when Sun has just risen with its mild red colored rays, taking 15-20 minutes sun - bath enable you to fill your daily need. Only overexposure to sunlight carries risks.

Vitamin D supplements:

If you have skin cancer or you are suffering from chronic lymphocytic leukemia, then no need to sacrifice sun safety. By referring selected food sources of vitamin D, you can get your daily fill. Vitamin D supplements are alternative means when non-burning sun exposure is not possible for producing vitamin D regularly. You must be very careful while taking Vitamin D supplements, since you can not break your dose. Too much Vitamin D can be toxic, so talk to your doctor before choosing any dosage.

Foods that provide large serving of vitamin D


Consumption of fresh, fatty fish like wild salmon provides 600 - 1,000 IUs, while farmed salmon gives up to 100 - 250 IU only. Additionally, you get omega-3 fatty acids for healthy heart. A 3-ounce Sockeye salmon contains about 450 IUs of vitamin D. Mackerel fish provides 388 IUs at per serving.

If you are not able to get fresh fish, then prefer canned tuna fish and canned sardines to boost your Vitamin D intake. The canned fish products are usually less expensive than fresh fish. They are easy to stock up and you can use them at your leisure also.

Vitamin D for per 4 ounces, in canned light tuna is 150 IUs and in canned albacore is 50 IUs whereas canned sardines have more than 40 IUs per two sardines.


Usually, milk is known as a complete food. A full cup of non-fat (fortified) milk provides 115 - 124 IUs vitamin D. In the U.S. almost all types of cow's milk are fortified with Vitamin D. Generally, an 8-ounce glass of fortified milk contains at least 100 IUs of Vitamin D but a 6-ounce of yogurt contains 80 IUs. Also, some soy and rice milks are fortified with Vitamin D in the same amount.

Fortified cereals:

Ready-to-eat and low-calorie fortified cereal like Multi Grain Cheerios are an easy way to get enough vitamin D. By pairing, 1-cup of Multi Grain Cheerios with 1 1\2 cup of fortified milk and with 8-ounce a glass of fortified Orange Juice, you can get 200 IUs of vitamin D.

Orange Juice:

All brands are not fortified, so check the label first. Florida Natural Orange Juice and Minute Maid Kids+ Orange Juice are two fortified brands. One 8-ounce glass of fortified orange juice has 100 IUs of Vitamin D.


You tend to use eggs in your daily diet. As yolk of egg contains vitamin D, try to use whole egg. Conveniently, you can get about 40 IUs from One yolk.

Don’t forget that one egg gives 200 milligrams of cholesterol, and you can not consume more than 300 milligrams a day for heart health. So, don't select egg as your only option for daily Vitamin D.


Usually, mushrooms are grown in the dark. But when they are growing in expose of ultraviolet light, mushrooms have the capacity to produce vitamin D like humans. Mushrooms are perfect choice for vegetarians who are looking for Vitamin D enriched plant-based foods. Dole's Portobello Mushrooms is one of the specific brands. A cup of diced mushrooms gives 400 IUs of Vitamin D.

Cod liver oil:

Sometimes Cod liver oil is mint or citrus flavored and also available in capsule form. It contains higher level intake of Vitamin D. Only 1 tsp Cod liver oil contains about 1,300 IUs of Vitamin D. This may be more than twice the recommended dietary allowance.

Beef liver:

A 3.5-ounce serving of cooked beef liver contains about 50 IUs of Vitamin D. Additionally; you get several other nutrients like vitamin A, iron and protein. Beef liver is high in cholesterol and not so appealing.

Ultraviolet Lamps and Bulbs:

People with high Vitamin D deficiency may resort to UV-emitting lamps and bulbs. It is great option for people who are unable to absorb the vitamin. It is similar to tanning beds, but small. During process you need to wear protective eyewear. It is liable to skin-cancer risk also.

Video of How to Supplement Your Vitamin D Intake from youtube:


I think everyone should be taking vitamin D in food sources, everything listed on here makes a very nice meal but the problem is that there's so many people out there with dairy issues that they tend to avoid them resulting in low vitamin D.

Why are you advising to take sun baths in the morning when the UVB rays which produce vitamin D are available between 10 and 4 pm in temperate areas? The morning sun rays which penetrate the atmosphere are mostly UVA and they are the ones that penetrate deeper in the skin and causing cancer (non-melanoma).

Post a Comment

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More