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How important is vitamin D?

ANSWER

Vitamin D is essential for strong bones, because it helps your body use calcium from your diet.

Increasingly, research is revealing the role of vitamin D in protecting against a host of health problems, including type 1 and type 2 diabetes, hypertension, glucose intolerance, and multiple sclerosis.

Low blood levels of the vitamin have been associated with the following:

  • Increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease
  • Cognitive impairment in older adults
  • Severe asthma in children
  • Cancer

SOURCES:

Institute of Medicine: "Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and vitamin D."

Office of Dietary Supplements: "Dietary Supplement Sheet: Vitamin D."

Melamed M. , August 2008. Archives of Internal Medicine

News release, Peninsula Medical School News.

WebMD Health News: "Low Vitamin D Linked to Severe Asthma."

Garland C.F.  , July 2009. Annals of Epidemiology

MedlinePlus: "25-hydroxy Vitamin D Test."

Harvard School of Public Health: "Vitamin D: How Much Is Enough?"

Reviewed by Christine Mikstas on July 28, 2020

SOURCES:

Institute of Medicine: "Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and vitamin D."

Office of Dietary Supplements: "Dietary Supplement Sheet: Vitamin D."

Melamed M. , August 2008. Archives of Internal Medicine

News release, Peninsula Medical School News.

WebMD Health News: "Low Vitamin D Linked to Severe Asthma."

Garland C.F.  , July 2009. Annals of Epidemiology

MedlinePlus: "25-hydroxy Vitamin D Test."

Harvard School of Public Health: "Vitamin D: How Much Is Enough?"

Reviewed by Christine Mikstas on July 28, 2020

NEXT QUESTION:

What are the symptoms and health risks of vitamin D deficiency?

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