Vitamin D information and sources


Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin which acts like a hormone in the control of blood calcium and phospherous levels and bone mineralisation. The two major forms are vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) and vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). Vitamin D3 is available from food, but can also be produced in skin exposed to ultraviolet B radiation from sunlight.

Good vitamin D levels can be acquired from sunlight, by exposing your arms and face to the sun as much as is practically possible during the spring and summer months. However, Vitamin D is also abundant in the Western diet and foods rich in it include:

  • Mushrooms (80g) – exposed to UV light for 5 mins after harvesting – 2700IU
  • Cod liver oil (1tbsp) -1360IU
  • Catfish (80g) – 425IU
  • Salmon (100g - cooked) - 360 IU
  • Mackerel (100g - cooked) - 345 IU
  • Sardines (50g -canned in oil, drained) - 250 IU
  • Tuna (60g - canned in oil, drained) - 250 IU
  • Eel (100g - cooked) - 200 IU
  • Milk (250ml whole/semi-skimmed/skimmed - vit D fortified) - 98 IU
  • Fortified rice or soya beverage (250ml) - 80 IU
  • Margarine (fortified, 1tbsp) - 60 IU
  • Sponge pudding prepared from mix and vit D fortified milk (125ml) - 50 IU
  • Fortified orange juice (125ml) - 45 IU
  • Ready to eat fortified breakfast cereals (200ml) - 40 IU (varies with brand)
  • Egg (1 whole) - 20 IU
  • Liver, beef (100g - cooked) - 15 IU
  • Swiss cheese (30g) - 12 IU