Healthy Dose: Vitamin D

Published 12/07 2009 02:43AM

Updated 02/17 2010 03:15AM

Miss seeing the sun? Our bodies sure do. Nearly all of our body’s vitamin D is produced when our skin is exposed to the sun. So, in northern climates such as here in northern Illinois, lack of sun light can cause deficiencies in vitamin D. Excessive use of sunscreens in the summer may also decrease our body’s ability to store vitamin d.  


Vitamin d helps increase the amount of calcium in our bones. So, it lowers the risk of osteoporosis. In men, vitamin d decreases the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Vitamin d also helps with muscle strength and new research shows it provides benefits to some patients with diabetes.  


Vitamin D supplementation is considered safe and ranges from 400 to 1,200 units per day. However, this varies based on your age and supplement needs. Ask your physician or pharmacist the dose that’s right for you. I’m pharmacist Tom Carey for SwedishAmerican’s, A Health Dose.     

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