Ways to get more vitamin D

March 29, 2011 8:39:15 AM PDT
Used to be, a little milk gave you all the vitamin D you needed.

Now you'd have to chug a lot of it to get the daily dose suggested by the Institute of Medicine. But many docs say the new guidelines, which rose from 200 international units (IU) to 600 IU, still fall short. Based on new research, you should get 1,000 to 2,000 IU a day. Registered Dietician Kim Kirccherr shares some ideas and recipes that help us reach our goal of vitamin D intake.

1. Why we need it
a. Fat soluble vitamin
b. Naturally present in few foods but body makes it
c. Promotes calcium absorption for healthy bones and teeth (bone growth and "remodeling"
d. Helps with cell growth, neuromuscular and immune function, reduction of inflammation

2. How much?
a. On average, North Americans need about 400 IUs a day
b. RDA's:
i. Kids 1-13 years: 600 IU
ii. Teens 14-18: 600 IU (15 mcg)
iii. Adults 19-70: 600 IU (15 mcg)
iv. Adults older than 70: 800 IU

3. Major sources of vitamin D
a. All milk is fortified in the U.S.
b. Cheese and egg yolks contain small amounts
c. Fatty fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel)
d. Fortified cereals
e. Margarine
f. Vitamin D mushrooms - read the package to choose correctly!

4. How to make it delicious in meals/get more
a. Sunshine! - with the weather getting warmer, that sun will help. Be sure to follow doctor's advice with sunscreen, etc but in general, 10-15 minutes three times a week is a good rule of thumb
b. Make it tasty- meals/snacks are easy to get some D

2010 Dietary Guidelines "Foods and Nutrients to Increase" http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/Publications/DietaryGuidelines/2010/PolicyDoc/Chapter4.pdf

Office of Dietary Supplements Vitamin D fact sheet

Medline Plus Vitamin D