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Doctors offer more vitamin D testing

Category: Vitamin D Deficiency-Diagnosis and Treatment

In light of recent scientific studies that have shown vitamin D to play a major role in the prevention of many diseases, doctors across the country are recommending more vitamin D testing to help ensure that their patients have adequate levels of the vital nutrient.

In recent years, fears of skin cancer have forced many individuals to avoid sun exposure, which is the body needs in order to produce vitamin D. People stay indoors, put on sunblock and wear extra clothing in an effort to avoid the sun's harmful ultraviolet radiation.

However, this causes them to miss out on beneficial vitamin D production. Kendra Glassman, a dietitian at Audie Murphy VA Hospital in San Antonio, Texas, told the Express-News that she gives vitamin D tests to all her patients and that as many as 98 percent of them have low levels of the nutrient.

"I became interested in vitamin D research when I learned so many people had a deficiency," she told the news source. "I started testing all my patients in the intensive care unit. All but two were above the threshold, but still considered low."

Studies by researchers from the National Institutes of Health have shown that as many as 42 percent of the general population may be vitamin D deficient.

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