NORTH AMERICANS SUFFER FROM LACK OF VITAMIN D.txt
8564

NORTH AMERICANS SUFFER FROM LACK OF VITAMIN D

Gabe Mirkin, M.D.

More North Americans are deficient in vitamin D than any other 
vitamin except B12. Vitamin D deficiency can cause osteoporosis and 
other health problems. Most people do not meet their requirements 
for vitamin D with food, they get it from sunlight.

 
Exposing a few of inches of skin to sunlight for ten minutes a day 
provides all the vitamin D you need. Good food sources of vitamin D 
include fatty fish, eggs, liver, vitamin D-fortified milk and 
butter, but concern about heart attacks has caused many North 
Americans to reduce their of these foods. At the same time, concern 
about skin cancer has caused many people to reduce their exposure to 
sunlight. Many senior citizens develop vitamin D deficiency because 
they do not go outdoors at all. 

Vitamin D is necessary to keep bones strong. One third of the people 
who develop hip fractures lack vitamin D. To find out if you are 
deficient in vitamin D, ask your doctor to draw a blood test for 24 
hydroxy vitamin D. If you have low levels, you need more vitamin D. 
You can meet your daily needs for vitamin D without adding a lot of 
fat to your diet by drinking vitamin D-fortified skim milk, eating 
fish, taking a supplement that contains 400 international units of 
vitamin D, or getting some sunlight unimpeded by glass. 

Checked 5/3/07