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Are you getting enough vitamin D?

Category: General Wellness

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is essential to the health of your bones, heart and immune system, yet many people do not get enough of this essential vitamin. Luckily, it is easy to get more vitamin D once a blood test has confirmed low levels, so many people may want to find out more about how this nutrient affects them.

Benefits of vitamin D
Vitamin D, found in yogurt, fatty fish, sunlight and other sources, helps the entire body. It creates strong bones and helps the immune system fight infections, so for those with chronic diseases or who are often ill, this vitamin can be helpful.

Pregnancy and aging are often cited as reasons why vitamin D levels fall. A lab test online can reveal low levels of vitamin D. While these low levels can be disturbing to some, it is fairly easy to make them rise again. The Des Moines Register reported that taking extra steps to include foods with high vitamin D contents can help restore levels. If that is not effective enough, extra sunlight can help. In some cases, extra vitamin D can be taken orally until the deficiency is cleared.

Vitamin D and bone health
A study from the University of Missouri found connections between vitamin D and bone health. Those with traumatic bone injuries often had low levels of vitamin D, according to lab tests. The study examined more than 900 adults, and 79 percent of men and 76 percent of women had levels of vitamin D that were lower than recommended. Nearly 40 percent of both men and women had levels that were severely low, noted the study.

"One interesting finding of the study is that low and deficient vitamin D is common for orthopedic trauma patients of all ages," Brett Crist, Ph.D., one of the researchers, said. "We found that among young adults 18 to 25 years old, nearly 55 percent had low or severely low vitamin D, and 29 percent had deficient levels."

As a result of the study, many of the researchers have begun prescribing vitamin D to their patients with broken bones. While the study results should still be considered preliminary until peer-reviewed, they provide new ground for research into bone health. Some people with liver or kidney conditions may be harmed by taking too much vitamin D.

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