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Individuals who are at risk for bone health problems by virtue of their age and gender may benefit from vitamin D blood testing, as experts say the nutrient plays a key role in strengthening bones and warding off fractures.
Annette Snyder, a dietitian at the Wright Medical Center in Clarion, Iowa, told the Mason City Gazette that the body simply cannot make use of calcium, which it critical for building strong bones, without having high levels of vitamin D.
"Without it, we could eat all the calcium in the world and we wouldn’t absorb it," she told the news source.
While body is capable of producing vitamin D from sun exposure, Snyder recommended against spending excessive amounts of time out in the sun unprotected, as this may increase the risk of skin cancer. Instead, she said it is important for individuals to find other sources of the nutrient either through diet or nutritional supplements.
The CDC has estimated that about one-third of all adults in the U.S. have insufficient levels of vitamin D. The problem worsens during the winter, as the days shorten and the sun's rays become weaker.
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