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5 Things: Vitamin D

Making health headlines almost daily, vitamin D seems to be the nutritional celebrity. Even with all the press it has been getting, Americans don't seem to be getting enough vitamin D in their diets. Here are five things about vitamin D to help you get to know it a little bit better.

  1. Vitamin D, not vitamin C, is known as the sunshine vitamin since your body produces vitamin D after exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun.
  2. Ten to 15 minutes of daily sun, at nonpeak hours, is enough to satisfy the recommended daily dose of D. The recommend daily intake for vitamin D is 200–400 International Units (IU).
  3. Current levels of vitamin D are lower in Americans than they were two decades ago. Health researchers believe this decline is due to: increasing weight, declining milk consumption, and increasing use of sun protection.
  4. You can find vitamin D in a handful of food sources: fatty fish like salmon and mackerel, egg yolks, and foods fortified with the vitamin. Much milk in the US is fortified with vitamin D.
  5. Adequate vitamin D helps prevent osteoporosis, heart disease, and diabetes. It may even help prevent breast cancer.

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