Ask the Nurse

I recently read that most people have acceptable vitamin D levels and don’t need to supplement. Is that true?

Vitamin D is known as the sunshine vitamin because it is produced in the skin by ultraviolet rays from the sun. Gray skies, weak winter sun, sunscreen use and an indoor lifestyle mean that most of us are lacking in this essential vitamin. Besides its importance for bone health, vitamin D has been linked to reduced rates of Alzheimer’s disease, strokes and different kinds of cancers. If you don’t get enough vitamin D from the sun or your diet, you have to get it in other ways.

While scientists do not know if supplementation with vitamin D can impact more than bone health, it is a simple, low-cost and low-risk intervention to supplement your diet with a daily dose of D3. Research at the Cleveland Clinic has shown that taking your vitamin D supplement with your largest meal of the day will also result in better absorption and thus a better blood level for this vitamin.

All My Best,
Speaking of Women's Health Nurse

June 20, 2011 at 9:12am