Friday, January 7, 2011

Vitamin D

Are you getting enough vitamin D? A low level of the nutrient is linked to higher all-cause death rates in adults.

Have you had your vitamin D level tested? If you’re not taking a daily supplement, chances are, you’re not getting enough of this essential nutrient. Three-quarters of U.S. teens and adults are lacking in vitamin D. Research at Johns Hopkins shows that people with a vitamin D deficiency have higher rates of heart disease and death from all causes. In addition, a low level of vitamin D has been associated with an increased risk of stroke in Caucasian people.

The best food sources of vitamin D include fortified milk, cereal and orange juice, as well as fatty fish like salmon and sardines. But chances are they will not provide enough of this vitamin to reach good blood levels. Next time you visit your doctor, ask to have your vitamin D level measured with a simple blood test. While we do not know if supplementation with vitamin D can impact heart disease, stroke and all-cause mortality, it seems like a pretty simple, low-cost and low-risk .

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