Vitamin D

What is Vitamin D and why is it important?

  • Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin found in certain foods. It can also be made by our bodies after exposure to sunlight.
  • Vitamin D helps your body maintain normal levels of calcium and phosphorous in your blood.
  • Together, Vitamin D and calcium are essential for strong, healthy bones. They can help prevent osteoporosis.

Am I at risk for low Vitamin D levels?

  • Everyone can benefit from a little more Vitamin D, but certain people may be at risk for low levels. Consider additional Vitamin D supplementation if you:
    • are over 50 years old
    • have been diagnosed with low bone density
    • get very little sun exposure
    • have kidney disease or another disease that affects absorption of minerals
    • are lactose intolerant
    • are vegan
    • have darker skin

How much Vitamin D do I need?

  • Current guidelines suggest that women get 1,000 IU (international units) of Vitamin D3 each day.
  • Sometimes, higher doses of Vitamin D may be recommended.
  • Unless specifically instructed by your healthcare provider, you should not take more than 2,000 IU per day.

Is there anything I should consider before starting Vitamin D?

  • Vitamin D can interact with some medications (such as drugs for high blood pressure and heart problems). If you take daily medications, check with your doctor before starting Vitamin D supplements.
  • Taken at normal doses, Vitamin D has very few side effects.
  • Signs of a possible overdose of Vitamin D include:
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Weakness
    • Constipation
    • Unexplained weight loss
    • Disorientation
    • Kidney or heart problems

Where can I get Vitamin D?

  • The best way to get Vitamin D is through sunlight. Just 10-15 minutes of sun exposure (without sunscreen) a couple times a week is usually enough to maintain adequate levels of Vitamin D. But we live in Oregon, so…
  • Vitamin D can also be found as a vitamin supplement. You can find Vitamin D tablets or capsules at most drug stores. Oral Vitamin D pills are sold in two forms: Vitamin D2 and Vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 seems to have a stronger effect, so try to find this form.
  • There are a few foods that contain Vitamin D naturally and some others that have had Vitamin D added to them (like fortified milk or cereals). The list below can give you a good idea where to get Vitamin D in your food:



 Serving Size

 IU per serving

 Cod Liver Oil

1 tablespoon 

1,360 IU 

 Salmon (cooked)

 3 1/2 ounces

 360 IU

 Mackerel (cooked)

 3 1/2 ounces

 345 IU

 Sardines (canned, in oil, drained)

3 1/2 ounces 

 370 IU

 Milk (Vitamin D fortified)

1 cup 

 98 IU

 Margarine (Vitamin D fortified)

 1 tablespoon 

 60 IU

 Pudding (made with fortified milk)

1/2 cup

 50 IU

 Dry Cereal (Vitamin D fortified)

 3/4 cup

 40-50 IU

 Beef Liver (cooked)

3 1/2 ounces 

 30 IU


 1 whole

 25 IU

Location & Directions

Women's Health
Center of Southern
Oregon, PC
1075 SW Grandview Ave., Suite 200
Grants Pass, Oregon
P: 541-479-8363

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Wellness Topic

October is Domestic Violence Month
Did you know that at least 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence at some point in their lives, regardless of their age, race, religion, or sexual preferences? At least one woman in your circle of friends has probably experienced domestic violence, or she may be experiencing it right now. Do you know the signs and how to help?

First, remember that domestic violence isn't just about physical abuse. It can also involve mental or emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and financial abuse. While the signs of physical abuse are often clear, other types of abuse can be harder to identify. Emotional abuse can include constant put-downs or criticisms, threatening remarks, and isolation from friends and family. And, domestic abuse isn't always by a spouse; it can be a parent, a son or daughter, brother or sister or even a grandparent. Men can also be victims.

If you suspect domestic violence in any form, be a good listener and a caring friend. Remind the person that no one deserves to be treated that way and that help is available. Help her/him make a plan to stay safe. If additional support is needed, consider a local domestic violence support group, the National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-SAFE), or contact the police. For more information on domestic violence, the signs, how to help, and other resources please visit the National Network to End Domestic Violence's website at