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Vitamin D sources

It is a well known fact that there are thirteen various vitamins that are required for the proper functioning of the human body. Most of these vitamins can be derived from either plant or animal sources or even both. One of the essential vitamins is Vitamin D, which can be produced within the human body, with the help of sunlight. This is why Vitamin D is also referred to as “The Sunshine Vitamin”. Contrary to the common belief, people do not require bright or harsh sunlight, to stimulate the formation of Vitamin D; sky-shine on a summer day is enough.

Since the body does not require a huge amount of Vitamin D on a daily basis, even daily exposure of around 15 minutes to the sunlight can help the body produce all the Vitamin D it needs. However, in cold countries, this may not be possible. Moreover, many people who are suffering from certain skin conditions are advised to refrain from exposing their skin to the sun. In such cases, it is possible for a person to suffer from the deficiency of Vitamin D, which in turn could lead to health conditions like rickets (in children) and osteomalacia (in adults). Hence such people should consider alternate Vitamin D sources.

Vitamin D sources

Not a lot of people are aware of the fact that sunlight is not the only source of Vitamin D, though it may be the most popular. There are several other Vitamin D sources, which include certain foods, as well as Vitamin D supplements. Therefore, people who cannot spend even 10 to 15 minutes a day getting adequate sunlight may be required to add other Vitamin D sources to their diet, in order to ensure the proper functioning of the body. Apart from sunlight, it is possible to find many Vitamin D sources in food. Given below is a Vitamin D sources list:

•    Caviar
•    Yogurt
•    Beef liver
•    Swiss cheese
•    Cod liver oil
•    Tuna fish
•    Margarine
•    Fortified breakfast cereals  
•    Eggs
•    Sockeye salmon
•    Fortified butter
•    Kippers
•    Roe
•    Herring
•    Mackerel
•    Sardines
•    Pilchards

Some of the food items mentioned above are suitable Vitamin D sources for vegetarian eaters too.

Vitamin D sources for vegans

Unfortunately, most of the Vitamin D sources have been derived from animal products, which is why they are not a part of a vegan diet. Most people who follow a vegan diet get their Vitamin D from the sun. However, there are other Vitamin D sources of food for them too. These include soy milk, margarine as well as certain varieties of Mushrooms (shitake and button).

Before adding any of the Vitamin D sources to a diet, especially the supplements, it is best to consult a doctor, for daily recommended doses. This is because the body needs a fairly small amount of this nutrient and an excess of the various Vitamin D sources could lead to an overdose, which could be very harmful for the body.

Submitted on January 16, 2014