~ Vitamin D - Big Concern for Osteoporosis

With the explosion of the elderly population, it is not just a case of calcium to be considered when thinking about treating osteoporosis. Nearly 50% of all Americans do not get adequate Vitamin D supplementation.

Building bones is a life long project. Optimizing peak bone mass in early adulthood is your best defense in preventing osteoporosis later in life. Ensuring sufficient vitamin D (measured as 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) in plasma), is believed to facilitate the achievement of optimum peak bone mass.

As for women, an optimum bone mass before menses makes for a much better chance of avoiding osteoporosis later in life.

Further research indicates that Vitamin D in doses of at least 800 IU plays a role in hip-fracture prevention in ambulatory or institutionalized elderly patients. Any amount less will not be sufficient. Is this case, it's never too late to start taking an oral dose of Vitamin D.

Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that is found in food and can also be made in your body after exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun. Sunshine is a significant source of vitamin D because UV rays from sunlight triggers vitamin D synthesis in the skin.

Those who avoid the sun can contribute to their Vitamin D intake naturally. Below is a list of food sources you can use to increase you dosages of Vitamin D.

FoodInternational Units(IU)
per serving
Percent DV*
Cod liver oil, 1 Tablespoon1,360340
Salmon, cooked, 3 ounces36090
Mackerel, cooked, 3 ounces34590
Tuna fish, canned in oil, 3 ounces20050
Sardines, canned in oil, drained, 1 ounces25070
Milk, nonfat, reduced fat, and whole, vitamin D fortified, 1 cup9825
Margarine, fortified, 1 Tablespoon6015
Pudding, prepared from mix and made with vitamin D fortified milk, cup5010
Ready-to-eat cereals fortified with 10% of the DV for vitamin D, cup to 1 cup servings (servings vary according to the brand)4010
Egg, 1 whole (vitamin D is found in egg yolk)206
Liver, beef, cooked, 3 ounces154
Cheese, Swiss, 1 ounce124


Papp A, Siris E, Holick M, et al, "Prevalence of Vitamin D Inadequacy in North American Women Receiving Therapy for Osteoporosis", Endocr Pract. 2005;11 (Suppl 1) 43.

Bischoff-Ferrari HA, Willett WC, Wong JB, Giovannucci E, Dietrich T, Dawson-Hughes B. "Fracture prevention with vitamin D supplementation: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials." JAMA. 2005 May 11;293(18):2257-64.

Willett AM., "Vitamin D status and its relationship with parathyroid hormone and bone mineral status in older adolescents." Proc Nutr Soc. 2005 May;64(2):193-203.

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