Only a few foods naturally contain vitamin D, but some foods are fortified with this vitamin. These are some of the best sources:
People at Risk of a Vitamin D Deficiency
Breastfed Infants Who are Not in the Sun – The amount of vitamin D in breast milk depends on the amount of vitamin D in the mother. However, breast-milk typically does not contain adequate amounts of vitamin D. Be sure infants get at least some exposure to the sun (at least 10-20 minutes) to ensure adequate levels of vitamin D.
Older Adults – As skin ages it is less and less able to make vitamin D from the sun, so vitamin D has to be attained from foods or supplements.
People With Little Sun Exposure on the Skin – Wearing sunscreen, or lots of clothing, hampers the creation of vitamin D from the sun.
People with Darker Skin – Melanin, a pigment found in skin, reduces the body’s ability to manufacture vitamin D from the sun.
People who have Problems Absorbing Fat, or are on Extreme Low Fat Diets – Vitamin D is fat soluble, which means it is found in fats, and your body has to be able to digest fats in order for you to absorb the vitamin D.
People Who are Obese, or People Who have Had Gastric Bypass Surgery – Excess fat in the body absorbs vitamin D, effectively reducing the amount available for body functions. Those who have undergone bypass surgery are missing part of their upper intestine which hampers Vitamin D absorption.
People Taking Certain Medications
- Steroid Corticosteroid medications used to alleviate inflammation can reduce calcium absorption and impair vitamin D metabolism.
- Weight-loss drugs with orlistat (brand names Xenical® and alliTM) and cholesterol-lowering drugs cholestyramine (brand names Questran®, LoCholest®, and Prevalite®) can reduce the absorption of vitamin D and other fat-soluble vitamins.
- Medicines used to control and stabalize epileptic seizures, particularly phenobarbital and phenytoin (brand name Dilantin®) interferes with Vitamin D and reduces Calcium absorption.
Consuming too much vitmain D from food or supplements can lead to anorexia, weight loss, polyuria, heart arrhythmias, kidney stones, and increased risk of heart attacks.5 Vitamin D cannot reach toxic levels if created naturally from sun exposure.21
Oysters, Whole Milk, Salami, Cheese, Caviar, and Eggs are high cholesterol foods which should be eaten in moderate amounts and avoided by people at risk of heart disease or stroke.