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Johns Hopkins Health - Get Your D

Winter 2009
Issue No. 3

Get Your D

Date: January 24, 2009


Many of us have long associated vitamin D with bone-strengthening properties. But inadequate levels pose an even more lethal risk to overall health, Johns Hopkins researchers say.

In addition to increasing the risk of some cancers, vitamin D deficiencies have been tied by Johns Hopkins team members to substantially increased death due to heart disease. Those results, notes study co-investigator Erin Michos, M.D., make it clear that blood levels of vitamin D should be monitored.

Supplements are OK, but the best sources for vitamin D are brief daily exposure (10 to 15 minutes) to sunlight, fortified dairy products, and fish such as sardines and mackerel. Experts recommend 200 to 400 international units a day for adults and children.

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