Diabetes and Vitamin D

Vitamin D is an important vitamin with many health benefits. All children need vitamin D, as it helps our bodies absorb calcium to build strong bones and teeth. It also helps maintain a healthy immune system.

For children with diabetes, vitamin D is especially important because it helps the body use insulin better. A normal vitamin D level is greater than 30 (ng/ml). Vitamin D is considered insufficient at less than 30 (ng/ml) and deficient at less than 20 (ng/ml).

If your child's primary care doctor finds that your child’s vitamin D level is abnormal, please call the Diabetes Center at 215-590-3174 to speak with a dietitian.

Sources of vitamin D

All children and adolescents need 600 IU (International Units) of vitamin D every day. Skin can make vitamin D when your child is in the sun. During the cooler months of fall and winter, though, children tend to spend more time indoors and get less exposure to the sun, which may affect their vitamin D level. Vitamin D can also be found in certain foods, which should be incorporated into your child's diet.

Vitamin D is also found in supplements if your child cannot get enough vitamin D from the sun or his diet. If your child’s vitamin D level is low, he will need to take vitamin D supplements.

Dietary sources of vitamin D


FoodUnits of vitamin D per serving
Pink salmon, canned, 3 ounces530
Tuna, canned, 3.5 ounces230
Fortified milk, 8 ounces100
Fortified orange juice, 8 ounces100
Infant formulas, 8 ounces100
Fortified yogurts, 8 ounces100
Fortified cheeses, 3 ounces100
Fortified breakfast cereals, 1 cup40
Egg yolk, 1 large20