How Do I Read a Food Label for Vitamin D Content?

The vitamin D content of a food is found on the Nutrition Facts Panel on the food label and expressed as the % Daily Value. The Daily Value (DV) should not be confused with recommended intakes. As recommendations for vitamin D have been increased over the years to reflect new scientific findings, the Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Food labeling has not updated the Daily Value of 400 International Units (IU)/day.

Even though the Daily Value should not be considered the current recommended intake for vitamin D, you can use the %DV for vitamin D listed on the food label  to find out the vitamin D content (IU) per serving of food.

Knowing how to read food labels will help you find foods with vitamin D. The label does not always list the vitamin D content. It is most often listed when vitamin D is added.

When vitamin D is listed on a food label, it is as easy as 1, 2, 3 to find the vitamin D content (IU per serving):

1.  Find the vitamin D% (listed as %DV per serving)

2.  Drop the %

3.  Multiply x 4 = IU per serving

Following the simple steps above, you can easily find the IU of vitamin D in a serving of milk

1. Vitamin D% = 25% per 1 cup serving

2. Drop the % = 25

3. 25 x 4 = 100 IU per 1 cup serving

Sample Food Label