Vitamin D: Recommended Dietary Intake

According to our age and our individual situation, we do not all have the same needs in vitamin D. Here are the recommended daily nutritional contributions by age group:

  • In children aged one to three years, daily vitamin D intake should be 400 IU (International Units) or 10 micrograms.
  • Then until the adult age of 200 IU (5 micrograms) is enough.
  • In the elderly, the recommended daily intake is 800 IU (20 micrograms).
  • Another special case: in pregnant and breastfeeding women, the recommended daily intake is 400 IU (10 micrograms).

But some experts, for whom these doses would be too low, recommend more important contributions.

Be careful, however, because an overdose of vitamin D can cause a rise in the calcium level in the blood and give rise to nausea, headaches, muscle and bone pain, heart rhythm disorders, kidney problems. High doses of vitamin D should be monitored.

At the same time, a lack of vitamin D can have significant health consequences. It is especially the bones that feel when you have a deficiency in this vitamin, increasing the risk of fractures, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, or even a greater risk of cardiovascular diseases.

In addition, vitamin D deficiency has been shown to promote the development of colorectal cancer.

Our advices

It is important to expose a minimum of sun (but not excessively) every day to allow the synthesis of half of the daily intake of vitamin D.

  • For pregnant women : at the end of pregnancy, from the seventh month, the doctor prescribes vitamin D supplementation (400 IU / day) or a single dose (in ampoule). It is highly recommended!
  • In young children, vitamin D supplementation is necessary. This is higher for breastfed babies, since since 1992 infant milks are enriched in vitamin D. Up to 18 months this supplementation is recommended, then only in winter until the age of ... five years. A recommendation rarely applied until this age.
  • For the elderly : talk to your doctor about possible vitamin D treatment for the winter. Your doctor may also prescribe a calcium + vitamin D medication.

Where can I find vitamin D?

The highest concentrations of vitamin D are found in oily fish and fat in general (in descending order):
- Cod liver oil,
- salmon, herring, anchovy,
- sardine, trout, mackerel, margarine,
- eel, tuna, oysters, caviar, egg yolk,
- red mullet, lamb liver, butter, ham, bacon, pâté, mushrooms.

Discover in pictures what to put on your plate to avoid vitamin D deficiency.
Especially important in winter, when there is little sunshine and the risk of vitamin D deficiencies are greater ...

To read also our files:
> The lack of vitamin D
> Cook with vitamins!
> Care for osteoporosis
> Learn more about foods rich in vitamin D

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