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Vitamin D is vital to good health: With winter coming, it’s time to start supplementing your diet – Fairbanks Daily News

News-Miner opinion: Darkness is quickly returning to Interior Alaska. And because of Fairbanks’ high latitude, the suns rays lose their potency at this time of year; August is typically when the amount of vitamin D in a person’s blood stream begins to decline. This is because vitamin D is synthesized in your skin when it is exposed to ultraviolet radiation from the sun. 

Vitamin D is essential to good health, which is why it behooves Alaskans to make sure they are getting vitamin D through their diets. Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium, so vitamin D deficiency can lead to brittle bones and diseases such as osteoporosis and rickets.

Recent scientific research is yielding more information about vitamin D’s health benefits. Vitamin D deficiency has also been linked to diabetes, colon cancer, heart disease and a weakened immune system.

Vitamin D3 supplements can be taken to maintain healthy bones and teeth, although there is no conclusive evidence to show these supplements can replicate the full range of health benefits that naturally synthesized vitamin D has. The National Institutes of Health recommends infants take 400 IU of vitamin D and adults older than 71 take 800 IU. Other people should take 600 IU daily.

However, you don’t have to rely wholly on vitamin D gummies to avoid a deficiency. Vitamin D is found in marine mammals and fatty fish, such as salmon, sardines and mackerel. Other foods, such as shitake mushrooms and eggs, have it too. Vitamin D fortified milks and cereal are also available.

 And, of course, a vacation to some sunny clime, such as Hawaii or California, can always help too.

Now is the time to start supplementing your diet with vitamin D. Your good health depends on it.

Article source: http://www.newsminer.com/opinion/editorials/vitamin-d-is-vital-to-good-health-with-winter-coming/article_22da83f6-a440-11e8-ad58-3343c8edca55.html