VITAMIN D for Women

Along with calcium, this vitamin plays a key role in preventing osteoporosis. Many women living in the northern states are at risk for developing a deficiency in vitamin D. Our skin is able to make plenty of vitamin D if it’s exposed to sunlight. But if you live in an area where you see little sunshine for much of the year, dietary sources of this vitamin become extremely important. Elderly women who don’t get outside often need to pay extra attention to their vitamin D intake. As we get older, our skin becomes less efficient at producing the vitamin from sunlight. You’ll see below that very few foods contain vitamin D.

VITAMIN D for Women Photo Gallery

Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of Vitamin D for Females


0-50 years 200 Iu (5 micrograms)

51-70 years 400 IU (10 micrograms)

71+ years 600 IU (15 micrograms)

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding 200 IU (5 micrograms)

Reprinted with permission from Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Vitamin D and Fluoride, Copyright © 1999 by the National Academy of Sciences. Courtesy of the National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.

Vitamin D in Foods


Herring, 3.5 oz (100 g) 680 IU

Salmon, canned, 3.5 oz (100 g) 500 IU

Sardines, 3.5 oz (100 g) 290 IU

Milk, fluid, 1 cup (250 ml) 100 IU

Soy beverage, fortified, 1 cup (250 ml) 100 IU

Rice beverage, fortified, 1 cup (250 ml) 100 IU

Egg, 1 whole 24 IU

Margarine, 1 tsp (5 ml) 15 IU

USDA Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 14. USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory, Agricultural Research Service.

Vitamin D Supplements

Most multivitamin and mineral formulas offer 400 IU of the vitamin. If you take calcium supplements, buy one with vitamin D added. The daily upper limit for vitamin D is 2000 IU.

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