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Vitamin D (calciferol): foods, benefits & RDA

Vitamin D keeps your bones, muscles and teeth healthy

Fish oil capsules for vitamin D
Cod liver oil is a good source of vitamin D

RDA is only 5 micrograms.

Vitamin D is produced when our skin is exposed to ultra-violet light from the sun.

Where do you get vitamin D?

It is available in fatty fish, eggs, milk, butter and cheese, and cod liver oil. Small amounts are found in green, leafy vegetables and mushrooms.


Vitamin D, the "sunshine vitamin" controls the amount of calcium and phosphorus in your body. It is a fat-soluble vitamin and it is stored all around the body.

It keeps your bones, muscles and teeth healthy, along with your heart and nerves.

Too much vitamin D

Because we can store vitamin D, we don’t need to take very much on a daily basis.

Too much vitamin D can have toxic effects due to increased blood levels of calcium.

Too little vitamin D

You might lack vitamin D if you rarely get any sunshine, if you are elderly, especially in winter or if you are a vegan.

Lack of vitamin D can cause muscle weakness, constipation and irritability and ultimately bone pain and deformities, and deafness.

If you want to get more vitamin D it is best to adjust your diet and take cod liver oil in winter and fish oil in the summer.

Vitamin D supplements

Supplements should be in combination with calcium.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.