Questioning vitamin D deficiency

Are you one of the millions who pop a vitamin D pill every day? A vitamin D deficiency can raise the risk of bone fractures, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, depression and more. But Consumer Reports says new research calls into question the value of vitamin D supplements for most people.

Some reports say we’re in the middle of a “pandemic” of vitamin D deficiency which has led to the increase in screening and the use of supplements.

But is taking a vitamin D supplement if your doctor hasn’t told you the answer to preventing health problems?

A recent study found that taking vitamin D daily for 5 years didn’t lower the incidence of cancer or cardiovascular disease.

Other studies showed taking supplements failed to build bone mass or prevent falls or fractures in older people. Something to consider before putting yourself on vitamin D. But there are some people who should be screened for low vitamin D.

People who are frail or in nursing homes should be checked. Also, postmenopausal women and men over 75—they’re both at risk of osteoporosis.

It’s very common for aging adults to have low levels of vitamin D. One reason why—they’re not in the sun as much. And spending time in the sun prompts your body to make vitamin D.

Consumer Reports says most people can get enough vitamin D without a supplement. How? Spend a few minutes in the sun each day. You can also find vitamin D in egg yolks, canned tuna, and fortified milk, cereal, and orange juice.

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