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Doctors are reporting seeing more patients with vitamin D test scores that put them in the deficient range. This could put individuals at greater risk for a number of major health problems.
While vitamin D was once thought to only be involved in the absorption of calcium, more recent scientific studies have shown that it plays an important role in the immune system and cardiovascular health. It is also critical to lung function. Low levels of the nutrient may jeopardize these areas.
Despite this, doctors are reporting more patients than ever with low vitamin D test scores. Healthy levels range between 50 and 60 nanograms per milliliter. However, few patients reach this level, doctors say.
"Vitamin D deficiency is highly prevalent," said Terry Smith, a doctor from Chattanooga, Tennessee. "Ninety percent of the patients that I test for vitamin D have blood levels that are below 32 ng/mL if they are not already taking a vitamin D supplement."
He added that individuals who have low levels of the nutrient may benefit from taking nutritional supplements, as it is not naturally found in many food sources.
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