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Vitamin D levels have decreased in the U.S. Population, according to a new study appearing in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Researchers compared data collected from the National Health and Nutritional Survey (NHANES) over two time frames, the first between 1988 and 1994 and the second between 2001 and 2004. Comparing the vitamin D levels in the two populations, they found that the percentage of people with vitamin D levels below the 20ng/mL cutoff for optimal health had increased, from 22 percent in the first cohort to 36 percent in the later cohort. There was also an increase in the percentage of those with vitamin D levels below 10ng/mL, from 2 percent to 6 percent.
"Current recommendations for dosage of vitamin D supplements are inadequate to address this growing epidemic of vitamin D insufficiency," write the researchers. They call for increased intake of vitamin D, particularly during the winter months and at higher latitudes. Exposure to the sun is also a way to improve vitamin D levels.
Vitamin D deficiency is associated with various bone-related diseases and conditions such as osteoporosis and bone softening such as rickets.
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