SmartyPants Nutrient Guide

Vitamin D3

The happy vitamin

Why we need it

  • Vitamin D3 helps the body absorb calcium and phosphorous, enabling bones and teeth to grow properly.
  • Supports the immune system
  • Helps regulate our mood and mental state

How much do I need?
Current Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for Vitamin D is 400 IU for adults and children.

Why we include it

Vitamin D3 is technically not a vitamin, but a hormone that’s made in the skin after being exposed to UVB light. Although it is possible to get vitamin D3 from food, the best way to get vitamin D is from the sun. But many people do not get enough sun exposure, either because they do not live in sunny climates, or they don’t want to risk developing skin cancer. Additionally, season, time of day, cloud coverage, pollution, skin tone, and sunscreen use all limit our body’s ability to make vitamin D3.

Where can I get it?

  • Vitamin D3 – the form that our bodies produce when exposed to UVB light – is highest in animal products including egg yolks, oily fish, and fish liver oil.
  • 1 Tbs cod liver oil – 1,360 IU
  • 3 oz salmon – 447 IU
  • 3 oz tuna – 154 IU
  • 1 cup orange juice (fortified) – 137 IU
  • 1 cup milk (fortified) – 120 IU
  • 2 oz sardines – 46 IU
  • 2 eggs – 80 IU

We recommend you seek the advice of your pediatrician or primary care provider before making changes to you or your child’s nutrient intake.

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