Oily Fish, a natural and unique source of Vitamin D

Vitamin D is critical for the development and maintenance of bone and skeleton. It helps to absorb calcium from food in the intestine and ensures the correct renewal and mineralization of bone tissue. The type of Vitamin D that is made in the skin is called vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). Children and adults who expose hands, face and arms to the suns ultraviolet B rays for 10 to 15 minutes per day may produce sufficient amounts of vitamin D3. However, how much you can make from sunlight depends on the time of day, your use of sunscreen, where you live in the world and the colour of your skin.

The diet can also supply vitamin D3 or a closely related molecule of plant origin known as vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol). Good food sources are very limited, and include oily fish such as salmon, sardines and mackerel, eggs and in some countries fortified foods such as milk and cereal.

The Dept of Health recommends a serving of oily fish and a serving of white fish a week for children and adults. However, this is not enough to provide sufficient Vitamin D. Choosing fortified foods will help to boost vitamin D intake. Check food labels to find out how much vitamin D is contained in a serving of fortified milk or cereals. Please note; A vitamin D supplement is necessary if these foods are not eaten regularly throughout the week.

Ref: FSAI, A food Guide for Health Professionals and Catering Services; Healthy Eating and Active Living for Adults, Teenagers and Children over 5 Years

IE-CH-725(1) Date of Preparation March 2022