What is vitamin D good for?


Quick Answer

Vitamin D regulates the amount of calcium absorbed by the digestive tract, making it essential for children as they develop bones, according to MedlinePlus. Just 15 minutes in the sun, three times per week without sunscreen causes the skin to produce the recommended amount of vitamin D for the body. Individuals who limit sun exposure sometimes require a vitamin D supplement.

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Full Answer

WebMD indicates that vitamin D helps prevent osteoporosis, treat skin conditions and boost the immune system. It is also used to treat COPD, PMS, asthma and diseases of the teeth and gums. It potentially prevents some autoimmune diseases and some cancers. Fatty fishes, such as tuna, mackerel, herring and sardines, are natural sources of vitamin D.

According to MedlinePlus, a lack of vitamin D causes rickets in children and osteoporosis in adults. Manufacturers fortify milk, some juices and some soy products with vitamin D to improve their nutritional content; however, Mayo Clinic warns too much vitamin D causes calcium deposits in the blood vessels and hardening of the arteries. These conditions increase the risks of stroke, heart attack and falls, especially in the elderly. Vitamin D also affects blood pressure and blood glucose levels, particularly in those who take medication for hypertension or diabetes.

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