Dose of Daily D

November 9, 2014

Vitamin D is not like other vitamins. Whereas most vitamins are acquired through food, our bodies can actually MAKE vitamin D through exposure to sunlight. Vitamin D is a necessary part of calcium absorption, which maintains strong bones. More recent research is demonstrating that it may play a part in many other body processes.

Here’s the tricky part: in the darker months – especially at northern latitudes, like Boston – there is not enough sunshine for us to create enough vitamin D on our own. As November arrives and the sun takes its vacation, it’s time to focus on getting this vitamin through food.

Vitamin D is found naturally in a few (but not many) foods: fatty fish, like salmon and tuna, and egg yolks are great examples. Luckily, foods like cereal, orange juice, milk, yogurt, and non-dairy milks are now often fortified with vitamin D.

If you are interested in seeing exactly how much you need, the Institute of Medicine recommends a minimum of 600 IU per day (“IU” stands for International Units, a measurement unit that some vitamins and medicines use). As a reference, a cup of fortified OJ has about 140 IU; a cup of milk has about 120 IU; and one large egg as well as one cup of cereal each have about 40 IU. 

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Entry Filed under: Nutrition. .




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