Vitamin D
Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Vitamin D is a critically important nutrient. Recent studies have found that levels of vitamin D in our bodies are falling to dangerously low levels. Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about vitamin D in todayís 60 Second Housecall.

Vitamin D is essential for bone health. A deficiency in this important vitamin and hormone can lead to thin, brittle or misshapen bones. The conditions that develop from deficiency include rickets, which occurs in children, and osteomalacia, which occurs in adults.

Vitamin D is found in food, but it is also the only vitamin that can be made by the body from sun exposure. Only a few food sources are good sources of vitamin D, so sun exposure can play an important role.

People who get less sun exposure are at risk for deficiency, so it is very important to include vitamin D in the diet. Good sources include cod liver oil, salmon, mackerel, tuna or sardines canned in oil, vitamin D fortified milk, fortified margarine, pudding prepared from mix with milk, ready-to-eat cereals, egg yolks and cheese.

In some instances, vitamin D supplements may be needed to meet the daily requirement, so it may be beneficial to discuss this with your doctor.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Iím Dr. Edward Hill.