Vitamin D3 is a fat-soluble vitamin used by the body to regulate calcium and phosphorus levels. While only a few foods naturally contain vitamin D3, food manufacturers often use synthetic versions in their products. Another source of vitamin D is the sun. Exposure to direct sunlight will result in the body producing small amounts of the D vitamins.
Natural sources, or foods that naturally contain vitamin D3, are fatty fish (such as salmon, catfish and tuna) and eggs.
With the majority of society working indoors, and no longer spending the majority of their time outdoors in the sun, the need for synthetic vitamin D has grown. In response, scientists have created a synthetic D vitamin that is found in a variety of foods.
Synthetic vitamin D3 can be found in milk and yoghurt, margarine, cereal and bread.
While the sun is a natural source of vitamin D, use caution. Overexposure to the sun without proper protection can put you at risk for skin cancer.
Vitamin D plays an important role in the body. It is necessary to consume foods that contain vitamin D, including dairy products, fish and breads fortified with the vitamin. Dietary supplements are also available.