Research shows vitamin D plays an important role along with calcium, in bone health. Vitamin D aids in the absorption of calcium and phosphorus in our bodies, helps bring calcium and phosphorus to our bones and teeth, regulates how much calcium remains in our blood, plays a role in the strength of our immune system and helps regulate cell growth.
If you don’t get enough vitamin D, you may have greater loss of bone mass which can lead to osteoporosis and you may be at greater risk for softening of the bones.
Vitamin D is also known as the "Sunshine Vitamin" because your body converts sunlight into vitamin D after it hits unprotected skin. However, be careful to avoid extended exposure to sunlight without sunscreen.
Since vitamin D is naturally present in very few foods, it is added to many and is also available as a dietary supplement. Some oily fish such as tuna and salmon, naturally contain vitamin D. Most milk and many types of orange juice, yogurt, cheeses, cereals, breads and soy drinks are fortified with vitamin D. Check the Nutrition Facts panel for vitamin D.
Reviewed January 2013