New research questions value of Vitamin D supplements

Are you one of the millions of people who pop a Vitamin D pill every day?  

A deficiency in this essential vitamin can raise the risk of bone fractures, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and depression. 

But new research calls into question the value of Vitamin D supplements for most people. 

When Maritza Puello went in for her annual checkup, her doctor advised she start taking a Vitamin D supplement.

"My Vitamin D levels were super low. She said that it was one of the lowest that she had seen coming through her patient population," Puello said.

You may have seen reports that say we're in the middle of a pandemic of Vitamin D deficiency, which has led to increased screening and supplement use.

But is taking a Vitamin D supplement OK to prevent health problems?

"A recent study found that taking Vitamin D daily for five years did not lower the incidence of cancer or cardiovascular disease," said Consumer Reports health editor Lauren Friedman. 

Other studies showed taking supplements failed to build bone mass or prevent falls or fractures in older people, which may be something to consider before putting yourself on Vitamin D. But there are some people who should be screened for low Vitamin D.

People who are frail or in nursing homes should be checked. Postmenopausal women and men over 75 are also at risk of osteoporosis.

It's very common for aging adults to have low levels of Vitamin D, one reason being that they're not in the sun as much, and spending time in the sun prompts your body to make Vitamin D.

Most people can get enough Vitamin D without a supplement. Besides spending a few minutes in the sun every day, you can also get Vitamin D by eating egg yolks, canned tuna, fortified milk, orange juice and cereal.

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