How Important Is Vitamin D?

In a meta-analysis of studies published in the Archives of Internal Medicine it was estimated that daily Vitamin D supplementation of 400 IU can reduce the risk of bone fractures by as much as 20%. Data led the scientists to believe that the positive effects of supplemental Vitamin D increase with duration of use, meaning the earlier a person starts taking it the better.

The Bigger Picture: Vitamin D refers to a pair of precursors known as cholecalciferol (D3), which is produced by sunlight on the skin, and ergocalciferol (D2). The D3 from ultraviolet radiation is considered more bioactive, but is hard for those living in northern latitudes to intake during winter months. In fact, there's so little sunlight that time of year, your body may be producing no Vitamin D at all. This underscores the benefits of supplemental vitamin insurance.
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