By: Dr. Pamela Egan, DNP, CDE
Sources of Vitamin D3
Vitamin D3 Sources
January 19 , 2009 – Trying to increase more Vitamin D3 through your diet can be done. Vitamin D is found in many dietary sources such as fish, eggs, fortified milk, and cod liver oil. The sun also contributes significantly to the daily production of Vitamin D.
In fact, natural sun exposure to skin is the best natural way to obtain vitamin D. The form of vitamin D produced via sun exposure is called Cholecalciferol, or vitamin D3. It is the most bioavailable form of vitamin D, and is far more readily absorbed when taken in supplement form than the synthetic Ergocalciferol, or vitamin D2. Thanks in large part to Dr. Egan’s articles about the differences between vitamins D2 and D3, most supplement manufacturers have stopped using vitamin D2 and now make only D3. Dr. Egan is the primary reason for this.
Vitamin D3 is created through exposure of your skin to the sun, but due to most of us working indoors, recommendations to avoid the sun and use of sun block, most people have deficiencies. Through 15 to 20 minutes of sun exposure daily, the body creates 10,000 to 20,000 IUs of Vitamin D3. Deficiency can lead to obesity, high blood pressure, depression and psoriasis. If you are staying out of the sun, try these foods to keep your body healthy:
- Cod Liver Oil – Cod liver oil can provide up to 1,300 IU of vitamin D per tablespoon, which is more than the 1,000 IU daily recommendation. They also find cod liver oil to be a good source of Vitamin D. Cod liver oil is available in liquid capsules, supplements and in oil form. Taking cod liver oil daily can help your body get the Vitamin D3 it needs.
- Fortified Foods – Fortified foods such as milk and cereal are sources of Vitamin D3. By checking labels on fortified milks and cereals, one can select items that will provide sufficient D3 to help stave off deficiency. By starting the day with a bowl of fortified milk and cereal, your body can get a day’s serving of Vitamin D3.
- Egg Yolks – Another great source of D3 is egg yolks. Making an omelet or scrambling a couple eggs can give you almost a daily serving.
For those who don’t get enough sunshine or whose diet is deficient in the above foods, I recommend supplementing with vitamin D3. D3 is the active form of vitamin D. D2 is the synthetic form and not as effective. In my opinion, Bio-Tech has a superior form of Vitamin D3. I usually recommend 5000iu – 15,000iu/ day depending on serum vitamin D3 (OH-25) which should be at least above 50.
Vitamin D3 is needed for many bodily functions and to boost the immune system. At levels above 50, D3 has been shown to prevent Flu including H1N1 Flu. It’s anti-cancer properties are impressive not to mention the prevention of heart disease and high blood pressure. Many fibromyalgia patients find relief in their symptoms at levels of 50 or above. I’ve been prescribing higher levels of D3 for four years according to the guidelines presented by the Council for Responsible Nutrition. I personally take 10,000iu per day.
So eat your eggs and take your cod liver oil like our grandmothers used to do. If you can’t or won’t do that get some sun. If you can’t or won’t do that, take medical-grade supplements (see below).
For anyone who hasn’t already done so, the only way to determine if your vitamin D levels are within normal ranges is to have a lab conduct a simple blood sample and analyze it to determine your nutritional levels (as well as hormones and whatever else you decide to have analyzed) and where they fall relative to what is defined as “normal” ranges.
In Covington, Louisiana, you can have your blood drawn and analyzed by a doctor with one stop to EGAN Wellness Clinic, which has an in-house lab so you can have your blood drawn with no appointment, and Dr. Egan can provide a follow phone call and email with the results of your blood analysis.
If for whatever reason you can’t get adequate sun exposure and your diet doesn’t contain enough vitamin D-rich foods, some high-quality vitamin D3 supplements can be found here.
Dr. Pamela Egan, DNP, CDE, ABAAHP Diplomat is a Doctor, Board-Certified Adult and Family Nurse Practitioner, Certified Diabetes Educator, and has completed a Fellowship in Anti-Aging & Functional Medicine. She can be reached at 985-892-3031 or www.pamelaegan.com.
Dr. Pamela Egan, DNP, CDE
1116 W. 21’st Avenue
Covington, LA 70433
Office Phone: 985-892-3031
More on Vitamin D3:
- – Vitamin D3: Are You Deficient?
- – Vitamin D3: The Miracle of Sunshine
- – Experts Call For Increased Dose of Vitamin D3
- – Vitamin D3 May Help Lower Blood Pressure and Cholesterol
- – Side Effects of Vitamin D3