Vitamin D

How much is enough?

Health Canada’s Vitamin D and Calcium Recommendations and Canada’s Food Guide recommend:

  • Everyone over two years of age drink 500 mL (2 cups) of milk or fortified soy beverage every day
  • All adults over 50 years of age take 400 International Unit (IU) of vitamin D every day
  • All babies need vitamin D. Talk to your healthcare provider about providing a vitamin D supplement for your baby.
  • If you don’t consume vitamin D-rich foods regularly a supplement may be needed.

If you have questions about your vitamin D needs, talk to your healthcare provider.

Food sources

Vitamin-D rich foods include:

  • Fresh or canned fatty fish (e.g. salmon, 245 IU) and mushrooms (19-24 IU)
  • Fortified foods: cow’s milk, soy beverage and other plant-based beverages, yogurt, cheese, margarine, some orange juice brands, and some cereals (check the label for amounts – not all yogurts or cheese are fortified)

Why vitamin D?

It is important for:

  • Strong bones and teeth. Without enough, our body may only absorb half of the calcium we consume.
  • Helping your muscles, nerves, and immune system work properly.

Vitamin D is often called the ‘sunshine’ vitamin because our skin has the ability to make vitamin D (using the cholesterol in our bodies) when exposed to the sun without sunscreen. We can’t get enough vitamin D from the sun only. During the winter months in Huron County, the sun is not strong enough. Sunscreen is important to protect our skin but it also prevents vitamin D production.

If you have questions please call us at 519.482.3416 or toll-free at 1.877.837.6143. If you would like to speak to a registered dietitian call EatRight Ontario 1.877.510.5102.