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Vitamin D Levels Rising in Americans

A recent study from the US CDC and the Office of Dietary Supplements suggests that the vitamin D status of Americans is improving. This improvement is being attributed to higher vitamin D supplement doses.

Researchers used data from the cross-sectional NHANES, which took place from 1988 to 2010. They used a liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry method in order to measure blood vitamin D levels in 38,700 people in the 1988-2006 surveys as well as 12,446 people in the 2007-2010 surveys.

The researchers found that vitamin D levels stayed stable from 1988 to 2006 but observed a 5-6 mmol/L increase from 2007 to 2010. They also found that non-Hispanic blacks (21-28%) and Mexican Americans (21-28%) were more likely to have vitamin D deficiencies when compared with non-Hispanic whites (6-10%).

The biggest difference the researchers found between pre- and post-2007 data was that certain groups — particularly people over 40, women, and non-Hispanic whites — used higher dose supplements between 2007 and 2010.

The study was published on July 6, 2016, in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Previous studies have associated vitamin D with reducing the risk of skin damage, reducing the risk of osteoporosis, combating diabetes, and improving age related macular degeneration. Additionally, pervious studies have found a connection between vitamin D deficiency and inflammatory bowel disease, adding more evidence that there may be a connection between gut health and vitamin D status.

Vitamin D can be found in milk, fortified cereals, fish, and eggs. Your body also processes vitamin D from the sun but it becomes harder for our bodies to process it as we age. A high quality vitamin D supplement is always a good option if you feel that you’re not getting enough through diet and sun.

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