For a long time we have known that vitamin D plays an important role in keeping
bones strong. Vitamin D
is essential in combination with calcium to reduce the risk of osteoporosis and to speed
the healing of bone fractures. For this reason, we supplement our milk with vitamin D, and
the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends a daily dose of 400 international units.
However, recent scientific studies strongly suggest additional roles for vitamin D in
maintaining good health, and also suggest that the daily dose should be two to five times
the current recommended minimum.
Long term studies of large numbers of people are beginning to show that lower intake of
Vitamin D is associated with a higher risk of developing cancer. Scientists have observed
a relationship between low blood levels of vitamin D and the occurrence of prostate cancer,
and low vitamin D levels are associated with a higher risk of developing colon cancer and
other cancers of the digestive system. There may even be a link between the risk of
certain autoimmune diseases and low levels of vitamin D.
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