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Vitamin D is naturally acquired through sun exposure.  The UV rays of the sun serve to stimulate the production of vitamin D in our skin. Unfortunately, very few of us get enough sun exposure, especially in the cold months. This has made supplementation with Vitamin D3 necessary.  We have long known that adequate intake of Vitamin D is important, but recent research is asking if we should be getting even more Vitamin D.  Extreme and prolonged deficiency of Vitamin D can result in rickets or osteomalacia in adults.  But even a minor deficiency in Vitamin D can have negative impacts on our health, and increasing your vitamin D intake can have tremendous benefits.  

Some recent research suggests vitamin D may be helpful in the treatment of autism, decreasing risks for many cancers, and greatly reducing influenza rates.2-5  That’s right… taking vitamin D can help you avoid the flu!  The Institute of Medicine recently tripled the RDA recommendation of vitamin D to 600 IUs, but we recommend supplementing with at least 2,500 IUs daily and 5,000 IUs is ideal for adults, especially in the winter months when your skin sees less sun.  Children need less than that, and 1,000 IUs is recommended for children under 80 lbs where 2,000 IUs is appropriate for children more than 80 lbs.

2. John J Cannell. “On the Aetiology of Autism.” Acta Paediatrica. August 2010, Vol. 99, No. 8, pp. 1128–1130. 3. Waldman M, Nicholson S, Adilov N, Williams J. “Autism Prevalence and Precipitation Rates in California, Oregon, and Washington Counties” Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine November 2008 ;162(11):1026-1034. 4. Cedric F. Garland Dr PH, Edward D. Gorham MPH, PhD, Sharif B. Mohr MPH, Frank C. Garland PhD. “Vitamin D for Cancer Prevention: Global Perspective.” Annals of Epidemiology. Volume 19, Issue 7, July 2009, Pages 468-483. 5. Cannell J, Zasloff M, Garland CF, Scragg R, and Giovannucci E. “On the Epidemiology of Influenza.” Virology Journal February 25, 2008, Volume 5.

Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol)