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Vitamin D testing may help individuals reach healthy levels

Category: Vitamin D Deficiency-Diagnosis and Treatment

In recent years, several studies have shown that vitamin D may play an important role in many aspects of health. However, experts warn that excessively high levels of the nutrient may cause musculoskeletal harm. The situation underscores the importance of vitamin D testing for determining whether or not supplementation is needed.

Vitamin D is actually a hormone that is produced in the skin following exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays. It is also found in some foods, like mushrooms and oily fish. Many people have low levels but are unaware of their condition. This may increase the risk of a number of diseases. However, evidence has shown that high levels may harm heart health.

Therefore, experts urge caution when considering supplementation. Dr. Reza Hakkak, a dietician at the University of Arkansas Medical Center, told local CBS affiliate THV that striking the right balance between obtaining healthy levels and avoiding overdose is important for skeletal, heart and kidney health.

The Institute of Medicine recently released new guidelines recommending daily vitamin D intake of 600 international units for everyone between ages 1 and 70.

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