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As the days get longer, it’s time to start thinking about taking Vitamin D supplements. Vitamin D is called the sunshine vitamin; when sun shines on your skin, it activates Vitamin D. D is important for not only helping absorb calcium and enhance bone strength, but also helping to reduce the risk of diabetes, heart disease, cancer, MS, and numerous other conditions. If you live north of Atlanta in the winter, you should take vitamin D supplements (either D-2 or D-3 is fine) because the sun is too weak to make D between Thanksgiving and Easter.

 

Vitamin D was once thought to be abundantly provided by sunshine, but we now know that many people have low levels of vitamin D. Indoor athletes (as well as overweight people) are at high risk for D-deficiency. Even outdoor athletes have been found to have low levels of D, so be sure to ask your MD to have your D level tested.

 

According to Dr. Michael Hollick, speaker at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy Fourth Annual Symposium at Tuft’s University in Boston, consuming adequate D through your diet is difficult. Fortified milk and oily fish are the best sources, but they might supply only 400 of the recommended 1,000 IUs of D per day.

 

He recommends taking 1,000 IUs of vitamin D-2 or D-3, especially if you live north of Atlanta during the winter months.

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Nancy Clark RD CSSD

Nancy Clark RD CSSD

Member since: Jul 8, 2007

Hi! I specialize in nutrition for exercise, and help active people figure out how to manage food, weight, exercise, energy and enjoyment of eating. Let me know if you have any questions!

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