Vitamin D For Dummies
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Even as researchers continue to discover how vitamin D can protect your health, a lot of misinformation still surrounds this amazing vitamin. Here are some of the key points you need to know to understand the role of vitamin D in your health.

  • You can make vitamin D in your skin when you're exposed to UVB light from the sun.

  • People who don't get enough sun exposure need vitamin D in their diet.

  • Whether you get vitamin D from sun, diet, or supplements, your body turns vitamin D into a hormone called 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D (or calcitriol). This is the form of vitamin D that directly affects your health.

  • Many people don't get enough UVB light to make vitamin D in their skin.

  • It's hard to get enough vitamin D from food alone.

  • You can find out if you have enough vitamin D in your system by getting a blood test for a form of vitamin D called 25-hydroxyvitamin D.

  • Vitamin D supplements are safer than people used to think.

  • The recommendations for vitamin D intake were set to help you protect your bones.

  • Breast milk generally doesn't provide enough vitamin D to babies.

  • Vitamin D may be important for more than just bone health. New evidence suggests it may strengthen your immune system, prevent cancer, and stop other chronic diseases.

  • The proposed new roles for vitamin D and health are still being tested.

About This Article

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About the book author:

Alan L. Rubin, MD has been a physician in private practice for more than 30 years. He is the author of several bestselling health titles, including Diabetes For Dummies, High Blood Pressure For Dummies, and Thyroid For Dummies.

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