Some folks say they couldn't live without the music of Dee Snider (of Twisted Sister) or Dee Clark (he sang "Raindrops"). And while we understand the sentiment, the D you really can't live without is vitamin D3.
This powerful nutrient is found in wild-caught salmon, sardines, cod, and egg yolks. It's added to cereals and to regular, soy, almond, and walnut milk.
The body produces bioactive derivatives of it when ultraviolet rays trigger biological processes in the skin, liver, and kidneys.
Vitamin D3 promotes calcium absorption and strengthens bones, modulates cell growth, aids immune strength and neuromuscular functions, and reduces inflammation.
But a deficiency raises your risk for cancers, autoimmune diseases, brittle bones, infectious diseases, and cardiac and brain disorders.
That should encourage folks to get the D3 they need. But up to 86 percent of North Americans may be D-ficient, with the highest numbers among African Americans.
Aging also affects D levels. A 70-year-old's ability to make vitamin D is slashed by 75 percent. Excess fat cells also keep D from circulating throughout the body.
So if you're not getting 10 minutes of sun exposure without sunscreen and not taking 1,000 IU of vitamin D3 daily (take more if your doc says so; maybe even D2), here's another reason to get more D: A British study found that most folks with irritable bowel syndrome are deficient, but that 3,000 IU of D3 daily can seriously improve quality of life.
That's D-lightful news for the 25 million to 45 million IBS sufferers in North America.
Posts by Dr. Mehmet Oz, M.D. and Dr. Mike Roizen, M.D.
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