Unless you’ve been asleep at the switch, you know that there is a lot in the press about the benefits of vitamin D. The most compelling studies have shown that people with higher levels of vitamin D in their blood have a lower chance of developing many types of cancer later in life such as of the breast, colon, and pancreas. This has triggered many Americans to start popping vitamin D pills. But, is this a good thing? YES and NO.
Yes, but not too much!
You should take vitamin D supplements, because a healthy diet does not provide enough. Just about every American has a low vitamin D level in the blood. However, too much vitamin D may be harmful. Men who have high levels of vitamin D in the blood are at increased the risk of prostate cancer.
So, what should you do?
- Get your blood vitamin D level done. Get this test done each year to make sure that your level stays in a healthy range. Blood vitamin D should be above 20 ng/mL (50 nmol/L).
- Take vitamin D supplements to get your blood level normal. Your doctor can help you figure this out. Many people need up to 1,000 IUs a day, but rarely anyone needs more than 2,000 IUs.
- Drink milk, which is enriched with vitamin D. Each cup has 100 IUs. This is also good for bone health and weight control.
For more information about Vitamin D, please check out this informative slideshow on WebMD.
Dr. Stacey J. Bell is a nutrition doctor and expert on food and dietary supplements:staceyjbell.com
Image by: Dorling Kindersley
4/20/2011 at 3:47 PM