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According to a new study, over 6 million American children may not be getting enough vitamin D - a nutrient which is known to maintain healthy calcium levels, enhance immunity and prevent osteoporosis.
The study, published in the November issue of Pediatrics, focused on about 5,000 children under the age of 12, HealthDay News reports. While the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children reach at least 50 nanomoles of vitamin D per liter of blood, researchers found that 6.3 million kids - almost 1 in 5 - were deficient at these levels.
"Given the preponderance of and the safety profile of vitamin D, we believe many U.S. children would likely benefit from more" of the nutrient, said lead researcher Dr Jonathan Mansbach.
While the scientists say exposure to sunlight is the best method for obtaining vitamin D, they recommend supplements for people living in areas in which sunlight is scarce during the winter.
The U.S. National Library of Medicine reports that the 25-hydroxy vitamin D test is the most accurate way to determine deficiency of the so-called sunshine vitamin.
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