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The Best Food Sources for Vitamin D and K in your Diet

December 30th 2005

The Best Food Sources for Vitamin D and K in your Diet

Eggs are Rich in Vitamin D and K

The importance of Vitamin D has escalated in recent days as our understanding of some of its functions has become clearer.  Extra vitamin D can help prevent cancer, but too much vitamin D may harm kidneys and the liver.  None the less, it is an extremely important vitamin and ranks up there with vitamin C. 

Vitamin D is important in maintaining normal levels of calcium and phosphorus in the blood.  Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption thereby helping to maintain strong bones.  Earlier studies have shown people deficient in vitamin D typically have bones that are thin and brittle.  The vitamin will help prevent rickets and osteoporosis.  This important feature of vitamin D is the reason why it is added to milk. By adding this vitamin to milk, the US was able to practically eliminate the childhood disease rickets in the 1930s.   


Vitamin D is fat soluble, as opposed to water soluble, so it is used by the body via the bodies fat.  Fish is a great source of the vitamin.  Drinking just one cup of fortified milk will give you half your daily allowance of vitamin D.  Egg yolks and beef livers also provide a good source.   Most cheeses are not fortified and provide less of vitamin. 

Vitamin D can also be produced in the skin.  When exposed to UV rays, your skin is able to produce the vitamin.  Inhabitants of northern climates can lack this exposure and have been found to be deficient in vitamin D as compared to the rest of the world.  People with dark skin have trouble creating vitamin D this way also.

Sunscreens of 8 or greater can block UV rays thus eliminating the best source of vitamin D.  Just 10 to 15 minutes of full sun exposure may be sufficient.  After this amount of time it is recommended you apply sunscreen of SPF 15 or greater.  This only needs to be done a couple times a week.  If you live in the northern US it is recommended you supplement your vitamin D with either food or vitamin supplements during the winter.  Cloud cover will block half of the UV rays thus reducing your absorption.  


The liver helps convert inactive forms of the vitamin into a useable form called dihydroxyvitamin D.  This form is physiologically active form and tells the intestines to increase the absorption of calcium and phosphorus.  The liver also converts vitamin D into Calciferol which is the most active form of vitamin D according to the Food Consumer website. Calcium is important to nerve cells, including the brain.

Vitamin K is another important vitamin.  This vitamin will help calcium bind with minerals in the bone.  We are including a chart with good food sources of both vitamins.

Food Sources Rich in Vitamin D
Recommended Daily Allowance
200 IU to 400 IU but recent cancer prevention research suggests 1000 IU is better
Food Sources Rich in Vitamin K
Recommended Daily Allowance
150mcg.  Higher doses may be dangerous causing flushing and sweating.
Butter and margarine
Egg yolk
Fish liver oils
Fortified cereals and bread
Fortified milk

Brussels sprouts
Chick peas
Dairy products
Vegetable oils (olive, canola)

Source: SpineUniverse Website

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By Dan Wilson
Best Syndication Staff Writer

Vitamin Books

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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                                            Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:41 PM