I'd like to take cod liver oil or something similar to boost my vitamin D levels (which are low). I want something totally natural. Is there any way to take cod liver oil without feeling the reported awful taste of it ? If not, what other alternatives are there ?
Your best 'natural' options will probably be...
...after one hour of UV light exposure right before the mushrooms were harvested, the vitamin D2 content in a serving of mushrooms rose to more than twice the FDA daily value. The effects were even more pronounced if mushrooms were exposed after harvesting: Monterey Mushrooms found increases as high as four times the FDA daily value per serving after only five minutes of UV treatment.
Sunscreen absorbs ultraviolet light and prevents it from reaching the skin. It has been reported that sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 8 based on the UVB spectrum can decrease vitamin D synthetic capacity by 95 percent, whereas sunscreen with an SPF of 15 can reduce synthetic capacity by 98 percent
The more surface area that's exposed the more vitamin D is produced. The darker your skin the less you absorb. Tanning beds will also work but not nearly as well as real sunlight because they primarily output UVA light (UVB is needed for vitamin D synthesis).
Vitamin D3 is made in the skin when 7-dehydrocholesterol reacts with ultraviolet light of UVB type at wavelengths between 270 and 300 nm, with peak synthesis occurring between 295 and 297 nm.
Cod liver oil, while having a lot of vitamin D may also come with other risks. Including...
Although hypervitaminosis A can occur when large amounts of liver (including cod liver oil and other fish oils) are regularly consumed, most cases of vitamin A toxicity result from an excess intake of vitamin A in the form of vitamin supplements.
Some urge caution when taking cod liver oil and other fish-based supplements since they may contain elevated levels of toxins such as mercury and PCBs found in fish.
If you overdo it, you could be doing more harm than good.