Vitamin D helps your body use calcium and phosphorus for strong bones and teeth. It may also help protect you against infections and some types of chronic diseases.

Our skin makes vitamin D from the sun. In Canada, we don’t get enough vitamin D from sunlight because of the weather and use of sunscreen for skin safety.

To get enough vitamin D:

  • choose foods that contain natural and/or added vitamin D
  • drink 2 cups (500mL) of milk or fortified soy beverage every day if you are 2 years of age or older
  • take a daily vitamin D supplement of 400 IU or 10 mcg if you are over 50 years of age

Although liver, fish liver oil and other liver products contain vitamin D, they are also very high in a type of vitamin A that may lead to birth defects. If you are pregnant, avoid liver, fish liver oil and other liver products.

Your Daily Vitamin D Needs

2-70 years = 600 IU (15 mcg)
70+ years = 800 IU (20 mcg)

Sources of Vitamin D

Excellent Sources of Vitamin D (at least 30 mg of vitamin D or 25% DV per serving)

Food Sources Serving Size International Units (IU) of Vitamin D % Daily Value (DV)
Sockeye salmon, canned 75 g 630 315
Rainbow trout, baked 75 g 570 285
Pink salmon, canned 75 g 435 220
Sockeye or pink salmon, baked 75 g 395 200
Arctic char, boiled 75 g 300 150
Atlantic herring, baked 75 g 160 80
Sardines, canned in tomato sauce 75 g 145 70
Evaporated milk, canned, undiluted 125 mL 105 50
Milk – homo, 2%, 1%, skim 250 mL 105 50
Milk powder 24 g 105 50
Soy beverage, fortified with vitamin D 250 mL 85 40
Almond or rice beverage, fortified with vitamin D 250 mL 85 40
Atlantic mackerel, baked 75 g 80 40
Egg yolks, cooked 2 65 30
Yogurt, fortified with vitamin D 175 mL 65 30
Orange juice, fortified with vitamin D 125 mL 50 25
Anchovies, canned with oil 75 g 50 25


Health Canada’s Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide provides examples on how you can measure serving sizes.