Vitamin D Supplements
Should You Take A Vitamin D Supplement?
Vitamin D is a hormone the body produces through sun exposure. Most adults don't get enough of it, but research suggests that D helps protect against serious diseases. One example isbreast cancer, in which it curbs abnormal cell growth and the formation of blood vessels that feed tumors. Adequate levels at the time of diagnosis could affect prognosis and alter the disease's course, potentially reducing the risk of recurrence, spread, and death.
Getting enough D through sun and supplement
To get a safe amount of sun, estimate how long it would take for your skin to tan slightly. Reduce that time by half if you have fair skin or one-quarter if you're darker, and try to get that much exposure a few days a week. I also recommend that everyone take at least 2,000 IU of D3 daily, and more if blood tests show you have a vitamin D deficiency.
ANDREW WEIL, MD, is founder and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine and clinical professor of medicine at the University of Arizona. Send your questions for Dr.
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