Heal Yourself At Home
GSE GSE How to obtain vitamin D

Sources of VITAMIN D

Prefer to obtain VITAMIN D from Sun and Food

Natural D is best - Since VITAMIN D levels are so critically balanced with other nutrients, prefer to obtain D3 from sun or food sources, rather than taking unnatural quantities of isolated D3 (or synthetically derived D2) as a supplement.

–    Fish – stored in their fat, is VITAMIN D made from the VITAMIN D precursorfound in algae. Modern farm-raised salmon are probably poor sources of D, since they are unlikely to have eaten many algae;

–   Higher mammals - VITAMIN D is made from precursors in lichen and green grass. VITAMIN D is in the butterfat of ruminant animals that feed on green grass. Like humans, pigs that spend time in the sunlightconvert sunlight to VITAMIN D in their skin, and store it in their fat.

–   Eggs - contain VITAMIN D if the chickens have obtained it from insects or fishmeal.

–    VITAMIN D is not transferred in breast milk – only VITAMIN D-fortified milk contains any significant amount of VITAMIN D; the best source of VITAMIN D for babies is by exposing skin to the sun –the same as for older children and adults.

Food Sources of VITAMIN D3

High vitamin Cod liver oil 1150 IU/ tsp.

Oily fish(E.g. mackerel, salmon, herring) – ~400 IU/3.5 oz

Butter and milk from grass-fed cows

1 cup whole milk(VITAMIN D added, look for the D3 form, not D2)98 IU

Eggs from chickens whose diet contains VITAMIN D.

1 large fried egg - 17 IU

Sunshine-Derived VITAMIN D3

We are designed to be in the sun  - ideally, we canproduce VITAMIN D3 from UV-B spectrum sunlight acting on the skin which converts cholesterol precursor(7-DHC) in the skin into D3. UV-B rays occur when the zenith angle of the sun is > 45°, typically 10am to 2pm, and depends on latitude and season. Obtaining sun at these times optimizes skin's VITAMIN D production, whilst minimizing UV-A damage to skin.

A light skinned person needs at least 30 minutes of ~ 1/3 body (arms, lower legs, face, hands) exposure, without sunscreen, and with clear skies(Up to 1 or more hours may be needed for darker skinned people and the elderly).

For more information on how to effectively and safely obtain VITAMIN D3 by exposing skin to sunlight:

The “Sunbath”- as VITAMIN D Therapy”

Food Source of VITAMIN D2

For those who do not see the sun too much during the winter months, sun-exposed / dried mushrooms can provide a significant source of D2 - Sun-exposed, sliced and dried mushrooms retain their high vitamin D2 content for many months and provide a good, NATURAL, supplemental source for the winter months

Mushrooms in Sunlight –Significant provitamin D2 Source

Supplements / Fortified Foods

D2 vs. D3 -The two manufactured forms typically used to fortify food, such as milk, orange juice, bread and cereals, and used in vitamin supplements are:

✔ VITAMIN D3 (cholecalciferol) typically made by irradiating lanolin from sheep's wool with ultra-violet light.

✔ VITAMIN D2 (ergocalciferol) -synthesized in a lab setting, usually by irradiating ergosterol (plant D2 precursor) extracted from yeast.

Studies conclude thatVITAMIN D3is considerably more potent thanD2(conservatively stated at 4 times more potent) in one particular study, although both D2 and D3 initially produced a similar rise in blood CALCIDIOL, after 3 days it then fell rapidly to baseline within 14 days, while D3 treated people continued to rise to a peak by 14 days, and then stayed high.

Armas LA et al, VITAMIN D2 is much less effective than VITAMIN D3 in humans. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2004;89:5387–91] Abstract/FREE Full Text

It is suggested that this reflects the different affinities of D2 and D3 for the VITAMIN D binding protein. Also, D2 is broken down more rapidly than D3, and has a shorter shelf-life. One study estimated D2 at 20-40% as efficient as D3 at raising blood CALCIDIOL levels.

Trang HM, Cole DE, Rubin LA, Pierratos A, Siu S, Vieth R: Evidence that vitamin D3 increases serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D more efficiently than does vitamin D2. Am J Clin Nutr 1998, 68:854-858. PubMedAbstract | PublisherFullText OpenURL

Since the drug companies have a license for the use of the patented D2 form of D, expect to find that form in prescription supplements.

Daily Supplemental Dosages of VITAMIN D3

(VITAMIN D3 is preferred to D2)

As mentioned above, due to many factors, VITAMIN D Dosage is highly individual and the only way to know for sure if you are getting the right amount is to test your blood 25(OH)D level



Under 5

35 IU/#/day

Age 5-10

2500 IU

Age 18-30

5000 IU

Pregnant Women

5000 IU

( 1 µg vit. D = 40 IU )

The VITAMIN D council recommends ~ 4000 IU from dietary intake in the absence ofUV-B light

–   D3Supplementation increases CALCIDIOL blood level - increasing D3 intake increases the liver's CALCIDIOLproduction, boosting the CALCIDIOL blood level. The kidneys and other body cells must produce CALCITRIOL (the active form of VITAMIN D) from CALCIDIOL. Blood CALCIDIOLlevels do not plateau until after about 3-4 months of consistent supplementation. Vieth R, et al, 2001.

–   Under stress or treating disease condition, ensure maximize dosage

–   Because VITAMIN D is fat-soluble, it is better utilized when taken with fat-containing meals


Tanning Bed / Full spectrum lighting

Tanning increases blood CALCIDIOL levels - a study showed that those who use a full-spectrum tanning bed at least once a week at the end of winter measured healthy blood CALCIDIOL levels of 40-50 ng/ml

Tangpricha V, et al, Tanning is associated with optimal VITAMIN D status and high bone mineral density, Am J Clin Nutr, 2004, 80:1645-1649

Installing full-spectrum light bulbs in your home or workplace is another way to obtain beneficial UV-B radiation - Quality Full-spectrum light bulbs can be ordered from www.mercola.com

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