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vitamin d supplementVitamin D Fast Facts

Foods: Salmon, sardines, egg yolks, enriched milk

Nutritional & health benefits: strong teeth & bones, and in recent studies shown to be a preventative against a variety of serious diseases and conditions

In the U.S., vitamin D is added to the national milk supply, although most people around the world get their daily requirement from exposure to sunlight that earns vitamin D its nickname — " the sunshine vitamin."

Other good food sources of Vitamin D include oily fish, such as salmon and sardines.

the sun, a major source of vitamin D
In summer, the sun is a major source of immune-boosting vitamin D, which may explain
increased incidences of colds and flu during darker winter months, say researchers.

Along with being a proven benefit to strong teeth and bones, Vitamin D has been gaining a reputation most recently as the "rock star" of vitamins for its newly-discovered indications for treating Parkinson's disease, for heart disease, breast cancer and a number of other women's cancers.

Due to this increasing evidence of its benefits in fighting off a variety of conditions, in October 2008 the American Academy of Pediatrics doubled its recommendation for the minimum amount of vitamin D from 200 to 400 UI for infants, children, and teens.

Vitamin D, immune booster

Perhaps one of the most important health benefits of vitamin D is its role in cancer prevention. One study showed that those who take 1000 IUs of vitamin D a day had a 77% reduced chance of developing cancer. Another study showed that there is a clear difference in cancer rates between countries rated as generally sunny versus those rated as generally cloudy. Vitamin D, which is produced by the skin in reaction to the sun, caused people in sunny countries to have reduced cancer rates.

Canada has taken this new information to heart, and the government there officially recommends that everyone take 1000 IU's daily of vitamin D during the fall and winter months.

In fact, it has been suggested that cancer patients who have surgery during the summer months have a better chance of beating their cancer because they are exposed to more sunlight during the critical recovery time than those who have surgery during winter and fall months.

One of the reasons vitamin D supplementation is so important is because a great many people are vitamin D deficient. And one of the main symptoms of vitamin D deficiency is an increased chance of developing cardiovascular disease. Those who are vitamin D deficient have a 62% greater risk of developing some form of cardiovascular disease, which makes getting enough vitamin D a crucial step towards maintaining overall health.

As more studies are conducted on vitamin D's various benefits, more evidence points to the nutrient's role in reducing or minimizing symptoms of asthma and even the common cold and flu, as well.

There are several ways to get your daily intake of vitamin D. Vitamin D is produced naturally by the skin in reaction to the sun, so moderate sun exposure during hours when the sun isn't at its peak is a perfectly healthy way to get the daily vitamin D requirement. Vitamin D is also a cheap, widely available vitamin supplement, and it occurs naturally in fish oils and various fatty fishes.

also see -> Combat arthritis symptoms with vitamins C, D

More facts & information about Vitamin D around the Web:

Around the Web, check out more information on Vitamin D including its benefits, suggested food sources, and risks of deficiency and overdose...

About Vitamin D
- Comprehensive information on the vitamin with an historical overview, its chemistry and biochemistry, facts on its manufacture, nutritional benefits, causes and symptoms of deficiency, related references.

MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: Vitamin D - Functions and benefits, suggested food sources, causes and symptoms of deficiency.

Osteomalacia and rickets (vitamin D deficiency) - Definition of the disease, causes, symptoms and treatment, populations at risk, good food sources, with more on testing for the disease including information on blood tests and bone scans.

Vitamins and Minerals - Vitamin D - Natural sources, functions and benefits, risks of deficiency and overdose, and information on suggested daily requirements.


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