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Vitamin D and Salmon Oil

By Nick Ng

Your body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium efficiently, keep bones healthy, control inflammation and regulate the nervous system. Although you make vitamin D when your skin is exposed to sunlight, foods and supplements can also supply vitamin D. Because salmon are high in vitamin D, salmon oil is a good source for this nutrient, but it is important to not take too much, as too much vitamin D can cause health problems.

Vitamin D in Salmon Oil

Salmon are known as fatty or oily fish, and they contain oils that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. In addition to providing these important healthy fats, salmon oil also contains vitamin D. (See Reference 1) If you take salmon oil supplements, the amount of vitamin D in each dose will vary depending on the manufacturer. Most adults should get at least 600 IU of vitamin D each day.

Vitamin D Overdose

Although vitamin D is important for health, taking a salmon oil supplement with very high levels of vitamin D can be dangerous. The maximum dose recommended by the Office of Dietary supplements is 4,000 IU per day. More than this can cause calcium to build up in your heart, kidneys and other tissues, which can damage them. (See Reference 2) A single serving of wild salmon contains approximately 1,000 IU of vitamin D, while a serving of farmed salmon contains approximately 250 IU of vitamin D. (See Reference 3) By comparison, some salmon oil supplements contain 2,000 IU of vitamin D per dose. (See Reference 4)

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