is the VOA Special English Health Report.
Vitamin D helps bones and muscles
grow strong and healthy. Low
levels of vitamin D can lead to
problems such as rickets, a
deformity mainly found in children. Osteoporosis, the thinning of bone, is a
common problem as people, especially women, get older.
But more and more research is suggesting that vitamin D might also help
prevent many diseases.
The easiest way to get vitamin D is from
sunlight. The sun's ultraviolet
rays react with skin cells to produce vitamin D. But many people worry about
getting skin cancer and skin damage
from the sun. As a result they cover their skin or wear sunblock or
stay out of the sun. Also,
darker skinned people produce
less vitamin D than lighter skinned
people. Production also decreases
in older people and those living in northern areas that get less sunlight.
Not many foods naturally contain vitamin D. Foods high in this vitamin include
oily fish such as salmon,
mackerel, and fish
Boston University researchers reported last year that
farmed salmon had only about
one-fourth as much vitamin D as wild salmon.
Small amounts of D are found in beef
liver, cheese and egg yolks.
And some people take dietary supplements containing the vitamin. But most of
the vitamin D in the American diet comes from foods with D added, like milk.
In nineteen ninety-seven, the United States Institute of Medicine established
levels for how much vitamin D healthy people need.
It set the daily amount at two
hundred international units from birth
through age fifty. It set the level at four hundred I.U.s through age
seventy, and six hundred for age seventy-one
But some groups say these amounts are not high enough. They are hoping that
the new research findings will
lead to new recommendations.
Research in the last several years has shown that low levels of vitamin D may
increase the risk of heart attacks
in men and deaths from some cancers. Other studies have shown that people with
rheumatic diseases often have
low levels of vitamin D.
More doctors are now having their patients tested for their vitamin D levels.
But as research continues, some experts worry that if people take too much
vitamin D, it might act as a poison.
Also, skin doctors warn people
to be careful with sun exposure because of the risk of skin cancer.
And that's the VOA Special English Health Report, written by Caty Weaver.
músculos; healthy: sanos, saludables; can
pueden conducir a;
raquitismo; sunlight: la luz solar; skin damage: daños
dermatológicos; stay out: se alejan; darker
skinned: de piel más oscura;
lighter skinned: de piel más clara; decreases:
se reduce; oily fish: pescados con alto
porcentaje de aceite; tuna: atún; mackerel:
caballa; liver oils: aceites de hígado;
farmed salmon: salmón de criadero; beef liver:
egg yolks: yemas de huevo;
it set: fijó, estableció; through age fifty:
hasta los 50 años de edad; and over: y más, en
findings: descubrimientos; heart attacks: ataques
rheumatic: reumáticas; poison:
veneno, elemento tóxico; warn people: advierten a