Friday, January 23, 2009

Vitamin D- The Sunshine Vitamin

It's a cold cloudy day today and so it seems like a good time to discuss Vitamin D. More and more research is showing that Vitamin D makes a difference in preventing cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis and other diseases. We think of it as the "sunshine vitamin" because our bodies produce it when our skin is exposed to ultraviolet light in sunshine.

On the other hand, because of skin cancer and the recommendation to use sunscreen, few people produce enough of this vitamin even on sunny days. In northern parts of the country such as Minnesota, it is impossible to get enough from exposure to the sun in the winter.

Few foods contain adequate amounts of Vitamin D but with fortification, good sources include dairy products, juices and breakfast cereals. Fatty fish such as tuna and salmon are also good sources but health professionals are suggesting Vitamin D supplements for everyone. Look for multi-vitamins containing 1000 IU's of Vitamin D.

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