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A Mayo Clinic doctor spoke of the benefits of getting a vitamin D test and how the nutrient can help one's overall health.
In an online advice column featured on Postbulletin.com., a 51-year-old woman wrote in to Dr Philip Hagen, who works in the preventive medicine department at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
The woman asked the doctor how much vitamin D she needs in order to stay healthy. In answering her, Hagen said that it was a good idea to get a vitamin D test and that it was "well-established" that the vitamin helps with calcium absorption and bone health. He also commented on the fact that some studies found vitamin D could reduce the risk of common cancers and muscle and joint pain.
However, for some people, it may be hard to get the so-called sunshine vitamin, especially if they aren't in an area with a lot of sunlight or don't eat certain foods.
Recently, the American Academy of Dermatology said vitamin D supplements were the best way for people to treat a deficiency. Though people can get it from sunlight as well, the academy warns that unprotected exposure to the sun could result in skin cancer.
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