Recently when I was attending a continuing education nursing workshop, I was informed about the need for increased amounts of Vitamin D in the aging population. Vitamin D is called the "sunshine vitamin" because the body can make it when exposed to enough sunlight. It is considered to be an essential nutrient needed by every cell in the body and works with calcium to build strong,healthy bones. Deficiency of vitamin D affects all age groups. Only three out of ten individuals (>1 year old) consume the recommended daily intake of vitamin D--and most individuals over 50 years do not achieve adequate intakes.(http://www.thedairyreport.com/)
Pasteurized milk has been fortified with vitamin D in the United States since the 1930's virtually eliminating the bone crippling disease of rickets in children. Ongoing research from the Institue of Medicine is suggesting that vitamin D may help support a healthy immune system, improve brain function, and may protect against diabetes,heart disease,hypertension, and certain cancers.
You may be at higher risk for Vitamin D deficiency if:
You have limited exposure to sunlight
Your diet is deficient in dairy or other sources such as cod liver oil,sardines, or salmon
You are aging
You are a woman
You have dark skin color
Milk is the leading source of Vitamin D in the American diet. Three 8-ounce glasses of low-fat or fat-free milk provide seventy-five percent of the current recommended daily value. More information about Vitamin D and ways to increase your intake can be found at http://www.dairyspot.com/ or http://www.getyourd.com/.
As a member of the "aging" population, I think I'll have another glass of milk!!