Salinas, CA Vitamin D Critical As You Grow Olderby Richard Kuehn on 09/06/12
With growing awareness of the dangers of skin cancer, more Americans are staying out of the sun. Although this is good for the skin, many forget that Vitamin D is a necessary part of the diet. It comes naturally via exposure to sunlight, but if you are out of the sun most of the time, you might need to take a supplement. A 2010 study found that 42% of Americans had Vitamin D deficiency, with the greatest number in the Hispanic and African American populations. Vitamin D in conjunction with calcium helps prevent osteoporosis and bone fractures, something which is critical as you age. Researchers are finding that Vitamin D is important in a number of areas which were previously unknown. In the last year alone, researchers have found that Vitamin D plays a role in the development of Alzheimer's disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression, immune system functioning and weight gain. The current recommendation is that adults take 600 IUs until the age of 70, and then increase the dose to 800 IUs once you are over 70. This should ensure that you maintain a level of at least 20 nanograms of Vitamin D per liter in your blood. With researchers finding that many prescription drugs meant to stave off osteoporosis aren't effective over the long term, it's important that we keep our bones healthy and strong with natural supplements.