Vitamin D, D for Deficiency

By: Kristen Ross Email
By: Kristen Ross Email

You've heard your mother say it a million times: take your vitamins. It turns out mom was right.

Health experts say the vitamin responsible for healthy teeth and bones is not being taken as much as it should.

"Vitamin D is important because it helps your body to absorb calcium, which is why it is so important for bone health," dietitian Lindsey Hines said. "We're also finding out it may be associated with reduced risks for certain types of cancer."

Sources of Vitamin D may be easier to come by than you think. It can be found in fatty fish-like tuna, fortified milk and cereals, eggs, vitamin supplements, and of course, the sun."

"People just aren't out in the sun as much, and they're also using the sunscreen more, which is obviously good for preventing skin cancer and things like that, but the sunscreen does block your skin from absorbing the UV rays which would make the Vitamin D," Hines said.

Daily recommendations vary with age. Nutrition experts say men and women 19 to 50 years old need about 200 international units per day, with 51- to 70-year-olds need about 400, and seniors 71 and older need 600 units.

"Women, especially post-menopausal women, are at an increased risk for hip fracture," Hines said. "Calcium and Vitamin D intake become more important as you get older because your bones become more fragile "

Health experts say ongoing research is now looking at increasing the daily recommendations of Vitamin D.


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