Vitamin D is essential for bone growth and maintenance, and may be linked to cancer and cardiovascular disease. Over the last 10 years, blood panels commonly include Vitamin D, since approximately 40% of people in the US do not have sufficient levels of Vitamin D in the body. Vitamin D is synthesized in the body after exposure to the sun. However, most people do not get all the vitamin D they require from sun exposure alone, and therefore they must rely on foods. There are two types of vitamin D in foods, D-2 from plant sources and D-3 from animal sources. Recent research has shown that vitamin D-3 was twice as effective as D-2 in increasing blood Vitamin D levels. Many food and supplement companies currently use Vitamin D-2 in their products, and this finding may affect the retail sector. This is just another reason to read food labels and to make sure you are purchasing the most active nutrients to benefit your health.
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