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Osteoporosis Health Center

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The Truth About Vitamin D: Vitamin D Food Sources

WebMD feature series on vitamin D.
By
WebMD Feature

Which foods contain vitamin D?

Surprisingly few foods contain vitamin D -- unless it's added to the food. That's because your body is built to get vitamin D through your skin (from sunlight) rather than through your mouth (by food). But once your body has enough, it doesn't matter whether you got it through your skin or through your stomach.

There are three vitamin D super foods:

  • Salmon (especially wild-caught)
  • Mackerel (especially wild-caught; eat up to 12 ounces a week of a variety of fish and shellfish that are low in mercury)
  • Mushrooms exposed to ultraviolet light to increase vitamin D

Other food sources of vitamin D include:

  • Cod liver oil (warning: cod liver oil is rich in vitamin A; too much may be bad for you)
  • Tuna canned in water
  • Sardines canned in oil
  • Milk or yogurt -- regardless of whether it's whole, nonfat, or reduced fat -- fortified with vitamin D
  • Beef or calf liver
  • Egg yolks
  • Cheese

Nearly all milk in the U.S. is fortified with vitamin D. So are many brands of orange juice, yogurt, margarine, and ready-to-eat breakfast cereals.

Next: How much vitamin D do I need? next button

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Reviewed on December 17, 2009

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