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Expert says some people may need vitamin D supplements more than others

Category: Vitamin D Deficiency-Diagnosis and Treatment

Due to the fact that everyone produces vitamin D at different rates, experts are urging individuals to seek vitamin D testing to determine if they have sufficient levels of the nutrient. This may also illustrate whether or not a person's body produces the nutrient efficiently.

Skin tone may be one of the biggest factors determining vitamin D status. Dr. Adam Murphy, a urologist at Northwestern Medicine, told MyFoxChicago that it takes a dark-skinned person 90 minutes of sun exposure three times a week to produce adequate amounts of the nutrient. However, lighter-skinned individuals only require about 15 minutes three times a week.

For those who have darker skin and live in northern climates where the sun's rays are weakest, it may not be possible to spend this much time getting direct sun exposure on the skin. Dr. Murphy told the news source that nutritional supplements may be important for these individuals.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has estimated that more than one-third of U.S. adults have low levels of vitamin D. Given the fact that deficiencies of the nutrient are tied to an increased risk of numerous chronic diseases, taking steps to maintain healthy levels may be important.

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