Vitamin D is called the sunshine vitamin for a reason. Sunshine is one of the best sources of vitamin D – but you can’t ‘eat’ sunshine. The body uses the UV light from the sun in the process of making its own vitamin D. The challenge with vitamin D is that most people are not outside daily taking in adequate sunlight and they don’t consume enough foods containing vitamin D – especially the elderly. Vitamin D is lesser known for its importance to bone health (it helps the body absorb calcium), and it also plays a key role in heart health and other functions.
Getting enough vitamin D in the diet often means eating foods that are fortified with it such as some dairy foods, juice, and ready to eat cereals. Other good sources of vitamin D include; salmon, tuna, sardines, herring, beef liver, egg yolks, and mushrooms. Because vitamin D is so important to health, and it can be difficult to get enough in the diet, many seniors will be advised to take a vitamin D supplement.
Ref. Bischoff-Ferrari HA, Shao A, Dawson-Hughes B, et al. Benefit-risk assessment of vitamin D supplementation. Osteoporos Int. 2009
Litchford MD. Nutr Clin Pract. 2014;29:428-434.