Vitamin D Fact Sheet Vitamin D is the sunshine
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Vitamin D Fact Sheet Vitamin D is the “sunshine” vitamin because most of the vitamin D we use is made by our skin after exposure to sunlight. The rest of our vitamin D comes from foods like milk and breakfast cereals to which vitamin D has been added and one-a-day multivitamins. It is possible to be vitamin D deficient even when you have a nutritious diet because many foods do not contain large amounts of vitamin D. Vitamin D, along with calcium, is required for bone health at all ages. Without vitamin D and calcium, our bones become thin and break more easily. We now realize that vitamin D is important for many other parts of our bodies including the brain, muscles, joints, and heart. People who do not get enough vitamin D from their diet and sunlight may develop a depressed mood, memory problems, problems with balance and falls, muscle weakness, and a loss of energy. As we get older our bodies require more vitamin D. People who are overweight, have dark skin, or who do not get outside in the sun need even more vitamin D. Older adults may need as much as 2,000 to 4,000 units a day. Your doctor can order a blood test for vitamin D levels to determine whether you are getting enough vitamin D. Note: Vitamin D should not be taken with high fiber cereals and oatmeal since they may prevent the absorption of vitamin D and other vitamins. If you eat cereal or oatmeal in the mornings, take your vitamin D in the evening.