An Update on Vitamin D

You recently may have heard Vitamin D being mentioned a little more often. It has been getting more press as the government recommendations have recently been raised. Vitamin D is one of the fat-soluble vitamins and is found in many foods including fish, eggs, fortified milk, and cod liver oil. Vitamin D can also be made in our bodies with the help of sunlight.

The major function of vitamin D is to maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin D also aids in the absorption of calcium, helping to form and maintain strong bones.

Vitamin D deficiency is rare and usually results from an inadequate intake coupled with inadequate sunlight exposure. Deficiency can result in impaired bone mineralization, which can lead to bone softening diseases, rickets in children, and osteomalacia or osteoporosis in adults.
The most recent intake reference values for vitamin D are in the chart below. These recommendations are based on the assumption that the vitamin is not synthesized by exposure to sunlight

Adequate Intakes (AIs) for Vitamin D

• Birth to 13 years: 5 mcg (200 IU)
• 14-18 years: 5 mcg (200 IU)
• 19-50 years: 5 mcg (200 IU)
• 51-70 years: 10 mcg (400 IU)
• 51-70 years: 10 mcg (400 IU)

For additional information on Vitamin D visit The National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements (