To Your Health
January, 2020 (Vol. 14, Issue 01)
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Know Your Vitamin D Status

By Editorial Staff

Vitamin D is dubbed the "sunshine vitamin" because it is produced in large amounts when the body is exposed to sunlight. But between sunscreen, long winter months, desk jobs and an increasingly indoor (screen-time-driven) culture, many people don't get adequate amounts of this important micronutrient.

Unfortunately, there are few food sources of vitamin D that provide it in the amount your body needs for optimal health.

That's a big problem, because vitamin D deficiency, particularly long-term (chronic) deficiency, is associated with a substantial list of health issues including osteoporosis, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and even certain cancers. On the other hand, vitamin D toxicity is extremely rare, meaning if your choice is not getting enough vs. getting a lot (even above the recommended daily allowance), choose the latter option.

Of course, before you start taking vitamin D or any other supplement, talk to your doctor about any medications you may be taking to eliminate the risk of a drug-supplement interaction. Your doctor also may want to evaluate your vitamin D status with a simple blood test, particularly if you're experiencing some of the common symptoms of deficiency or near-deficiency (fatigue, bone pain, muscle weakness, etc.).

To learn more about vitamin D including causes, food sources, importance to our health and recommended daily allowance, click here.