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Many health advocacy groups and private care doctors are beginning to recommend higher levels of vitamin D, as recent research has shown that it may have a wide range of health benefits, and a new study has found that a glass of orange juice in the morning may provide as much of the vitamin as milk or supplements.
Vitamin D has long been known to assist in the absorption of calcium, which is vital for healthy bones, but in recent years studies have shown that the vitamin may also reduce the risk heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.
These findings have prompted health groups and doctors to suggest that more vitamin D is needed in most people's diets, however the vitamin doesn't occur naturally in many foods. Many varieties of orange juice are fortified with vitamin D, but it was not known if the body would absorb it from this source.
However, the study by University of Toronto researchers found that orange juice can be just as effective in delivering vitamin D to the body.
"The consumer now has one more option for obtaining vitamin D in the diet," Dennis Wagner, lead researcher, told Reuters. "An increase in the number and variety of foods fortified with vitamin D will increase the availability of this important vitamin."
American Medical Association studies show that as much as 77 percent of the population may have low levels of vitamin D.
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