Egg is a great dietary source of vitamin D. An egg contains 49.5 IU (1.24 mcg) of vitamin D, or more than 8% of the recommended daily intake.
Health benefits of vitamin D
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin. The human body can produce it when the skin gets exposed to sunlight or UV irradiation. Also, we can get vitamin D from diet or dietary supplements.
Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption. Hence, it’s vital for normal bone mineralization and growth. It helps prevent osteoporosis.
Moreover, vitamin D is involved in cell growth, neuromuscular and immune function, as well as glucose metabolism.
Furthermore, vitamin D stops the growth of new blood vessels, and has potent anti-inflammatory effects. According to studies, low vitamin D levels have been associated with an increased risk of certain cancers, like colorectal or breast cancer. More studies are needed, though.[2,3,4]
Vitamin D is beneficial for the heart as well. Actually, people with low vitamin D concentrations (<15 ng/mL) seem to have a 60% higher risk of heart disease. Also, they’re 3 times more likely to have high blood pressure than people with high concentrations (>30 ng/mL).
Obese people are more likely to be deficient in vitamin D! Actually, low vitamin D levels may be a key reason for a higher risk of certain cancers and cardiovascular outcomes in obese people.
Also, vitamin D deficiency may play a role in the development of type 2 diabetes, depression, cognitive decline, early age-related macular degeneration, Parkinson’s disease, and other autoimmune diseases!
How much vitamin D do we need a day?
Most healthy adults require approximately 15 mcg (600 IU) of vitamin D a day. But, these dosages may not be enough, if someone has low serum concentrations of vitamin D. We should have our serum vitamin D concentrations regularly checked.
Normal concentrations are equal or higher than 20 ng/mL (50 nmol/L).
In cases of vitamin D deficiency, daily dosages up to 10,000 IU may be necessary. If you take high doses of vitamin D from supplements, you should consult your physician. Too much vitamin D may lead to adverse effects.
If serum concentrations of 25(OH)D exceed 50 ng/mL, you may need to stop taking vitamin D supplements, or consuming foods high in vitamin D like fish oils.
Egg is a good dietary source of vitamin D
Eggs contain moderate amounts of vitamin D. An egg contains 49.5 IU (1.24 mcg) of vitamin D.
So, just an egg provides more than 8% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin D.
Moreover, a 3-egg omelet contains about 150 IU of vitamin D, or 25% of the Daily Value.
In fact, an oats egg omelet is one of the most nutritious meals you can eat.
Should I eat an egg every day to get vitamin D?
So, should we eat eggs daily in order to boost vitamin D intake?
Certainly, eggs have a great nutritional value, and they’re low in calories.
Eggs are particularly high in high-quality protein, choline, omega-3s, as well as many minerals, such as iron, calcium, and zinc. Moreover, eggs contain all vitamins except vitamin C. In fact, they’re rich in vitamin A and vitamin B12.
But, we should consume eggs in moderation. They’re pretty high in cholesterol and saturated fatty acids. In fact, just an egg contains 1.6 g of saturated fatty acids, while the upper safe dose is only 13 g for a 2,000-calorie diet. High intakes of saturated fats may raise cholesterol and increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Other common foods high in vitamin D
So, although eggs are great dietary sources of vitamin D, we shouldn’t depend on them to meet our daily needs. We shouldn’t depend on sun exposure, either. Sunlight is dangerous.
Fatty fish, such as trout, salmon, and sardines, are among the richest foods in vitamin D. A serving may provide up to 645 IU (16,2 mcg) of vitamin D.
Also, we can get high amounts of vitamin D by supplementing with cod liver oil. Just a tbsp provides 1360 IU (34 mcg) of vitamin D!
Beef liver, fortified yogurt, and cheese contain decent amounts of vitamin D as well.
On the other hand, there aren’t many plant-based foods containing vitamin D. Only certain mushrooms exposed to UV light are good dietary sources, containing up to 46% of the recommended daily intake. Common mushrooms contain negligible amounts of vitamin D, though.
Therefore, it’s rather tricky to get adequate amounts of vitamin D from diet. Most people would benefit from taking a vitamin D supplement. You’ll find a variety of vitamin D supplements on iHerb.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin. A fatty meal will increase its absorption.
Consult your physician before taking any dietary supplement. You should check your serum vitamin D concentration regularly in order to stay on normal ranges.