OLDER PEOPLE MAY NEED VITAMIN D PILLS.txt
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OLDER PEOPLE MAY NEED VITAMIN D PILLS

Gabe Mirkin, M.D.

A study from New Zealand shows that Vitamin D deficiency is common 
in older people, particularly those who do not go outside in the 
winter.

 
Vitamin D is found in egg yolks, liver, and fatty fish such as 
salmon and it is added to butter, cream, milk and margarine. These 
foods provide only half the vitamin D requirement for most North 
Americans. We get the rest from sunlight which converts a 
cholesterol compound in skin to a vitamin D precursor that is 
converted by the liver and kidneys to vitamin D. 

Since many North Americans restrict high-cholesterol foods, they 
must depend on sunlight. Light-skinned people need 10 minutes a day, 
while dark-skinned ones need up to 30 minutes. Most people can meet 
half their vitamin D requirement by taking two cups of milk a day. 
Strict vegetarians need to eat fortified foods or take 5 to 10 
micrograms of vitamin D pills each day. Caution: Vitamin D is stored 
in your body fat, and too much can poison you. 

SJ Ley, CC Horwath, JM Stewart. Attention is needed to the high 
prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in our older population. New 
Zealand Medical Journal, 1999, Vol 112, Iss 1101, pp 471-472. 
Address Ley SJ, Univ Auckland, Dept Community Hlth, Auckland 1, 
NEW ZEALAND

Checked 5/3/07