Vitamin D: Are You Getting Enough?

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Low vitamin D levels have been linked to an increased risk of osteoporosis, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, depression and rheumatoid arthritis, among other diseases.  And a study published in 2009 in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that 70% of Caucasians, 90% of Hispanics and 97% of African Americans in the US have insufficient blood levels of vitamin D.

The best way to determine whether or not you are deficient is to have your vitamin D blood levels measured, and you can ask your doctor to check vitamin D levels along with your regular diabetes tests, like HbA1c.   The easiest way to get vitamin D is by spending a little time in the sun.  It is crucial, however, to avoid sunburns.  Frequent short exposure (approximately 20 minutes) to the sun can be effective.  If necessary, you can take vitamin D3 supplements.

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