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[ARTICLE] Vitamin D
Filed Under: Wellness | Published: Jul 29, 2013 | Author: Diane Keddy

Q: I keep reading about the importance of Vitamin D. Do I need a supplement if I am in the sun every day? How much should a female be taking?

A: There is a lot of research being done now on the health benefits of Vitamin D. Until recently, vitamin D was mainly thought to be necessary to prevent rickets in children and osteoporosis in older women. New research has shown Vitamin D regulates the immune system, possibly decreasing the risk and mortality from cancer, and aiding in the prevention of inflammation. In other cells vitamin D regulates blood pressure and insulin function, possibly reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Most experts now agree that the RDA for vitamin D (400 IU) has been set too low. Daily sun exposure of 15 minutes per day may increase vitamin D blood levels in some people, but in others it still may not be enough. Experts now recommend every one consume 1000 IU Vitamin D (in the form of cholecalciferol) per day and continue wearing sunscreen. Most multivitamins contain 400 IU, so you will need to purchase a vitamin D3 supplement at the health food store. The next time you have lab work done, ask your physician to test your vitamin D level to see if you need to take more than 1000 IU per day.

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