Different organizations recommend different daily intakes. Here are the recommendations from some organizations in the United States:
Recommended daily intakes from various organizations:
- Vitamin D Council – Infants 1,000 IU/day, Children 1,000 IU/day per 25lbs of body weight, Adults 5,000 IU/day
- Endocrine Society Food and Nutrition Board– Infants 400-1,000 IU/day, Children 600-1,000 IU/day, Adults 1,500-2,000 IU/day
- The Food and Nutrition Board (these are the official recommendations by the United States government.) Infants 400 IU/day, Children 600 IU/day, Adults 600 IU/day, 800 IU/day for seniors
It is fat-soluble, which means your body has a hard time getting rid of it if you take too much. The Vitamin D Council recommends taking no more than the upper limit, meaning do not take anymore than 10,000 IU/day for adults.
While these amounts seem like a lot, keep in mind that your body can produce 10,000 to 25,000 IUs after a little bit of full body sun exposure. Vitamin D toxicity, where it can be harmful, usually happens if you take 40,000 IU a day for a couple of months or longer.
There are small amounts in a few foods, which makes it nearly impossible to get what you need from food. However, these foods include:
- Fatty fish
- Beef liver
- Egg yolks
- Fortified milk and orange juice
- Fortified cereals
- Infant formula
Trying to get enough from your diet is unlikely to give you the vitamin D you need.
CLICK HERE to learn what Vitamin D is
Terushkin V., Bender A., Psaty E.L., Engelsen O., Wang S.Q., Halpern A.C. Estimated equivalency of vitamin D production from natural sun exposure versus oral vitamin D supplementation across seasons at two US latitudes. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2010 June; 62 (6): 929.e1-9.
Plum LA and Deluca HF. The Functional Metabolism and Molecular Biology of Vitamin D Action. In Vitamin D: Physiology, Molecular Biology and Clinical Applications by Holick MF. Humana Press, 2010.