Is vitamin D good for me?

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Marjorie Nolan Cohn
Nutrition & Dietetics
Vitamin D deficiency is more common than you might expect. People who don’t get enough sun, especially people living northern climates, are at risk. Vitamin D deficiency also occurs in sunny climates, possibly because people are staying indoors more, covering up when outside, or using sunscreen more consistently these days to reduce skin cancer risk. Vitamin D is crucial for the absorption and metabolism of calcium and phosphorous, which have various functions, especially the maintenance of healthy bones. It supports the immune system, and adequate vitamin D levels are linked with healthy weight.

The RDA for adults is 600IU daily with an upper limit of 4,000IU per day. For most adults, 1000-2000IU per day is adequate; vitamin D3 can be taken in larger doses once per week.
Yes!

Vitamin D is an important nutrient that is needed for bone health. Many Americans are falling short of their vitamin D needs. Here are rich sources of the vitamin:
Vitamin D is essential to your good health. Your body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium from foods, and these two nutrients together work to keep bones strong and healthy.

There is some evidence that vitamin D may protect again cancers of the colon, prostate and breast. Vitamin D has also been shown in some studies to be helpful in the prevention and/or treatment of multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, diabetes and other medical conditions. But further studies are needed to confirm these findings.

Recently researchers have explored many other potential benefits of vitamin D. Some early studies indicate that women who have low blood levels of vitamin D have a greater risk of heart attack and stroke than women who have normal blood levels of vitamin D. It's possible that vitamin D may protect the heart by reducing inflammation in the arteries.

Vitamin D is found naturally in fish, eggs, liver, and cod liver oil. You can also get vitamin D in fortified foods, including milk, some orange juice and breakfast cereals, and in dietary supplements. Spending time in the sun will also raise your blood levels of vitamin D because sunlight triggers your skin's production of the vitamin. Talk to your doctor about whether you need to take a vitamin D supplement.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

A healthy dose of Vitamin D has been linked to better protection against the flu and a host of other illnesses. Twenty minutes in the sun offers you much more Vitamin D than a vitamin supplement, but make sure you protect your skin with sunscreen and adequate clothing.

 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.