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As Winter Approaches, Risk for Vitamin D Deficiency Increases

The 'Sunshine Vitamin' is Critical during the Winter Season

NORTH BERGEN, N.J., Oct. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- With days growing shorter and cold weather approaching, many Americans will not be getting the necessary levels of vitamin D in the coming months, a deficiency that could put them at higher risk for such serious illnesses as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, depression and osteoporosis.

"Sunshine is a significant source of vitamin D," said Christiane Wert Rivard, a Registered Dietitian at The Vitamin Shoppe. "The body produces vitamin D when the skin is exposed to direct sunlight. However, as we head into these colder and darker months, it's essential to increase your intake of vitamin D since time spent outside is limited."

Vitamin D deficiency is believed to be an all too common problem that has received inadequate attention given the important role the vitamin plays in preventing disease.

Until recently, the "sunshine vitamin" was mostly known for improving bone health, but a number of recent studies have shown that its benefits go far beyond preventing bone loss. A new study in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that vitamin D may actually help you live longer. Recent studies have also linked vitamin D deficiencies to higher risk of cancer, diabetes and multiple sclerosis; and still other studies have found the vitamin could play a role in reducing heart disease and preventing pre-eclampsia in pregnant women.

"In addition to sunlight, another great source of vitamin D is fortified foods, such as milk and ready-to-eat cereals but many people just don't have the time to eat right," said Rivard. "Taking a vitamin D supplement is a great way to get more D in your diet, and now these supplements are available in a variety of forms designed to suit virtually every need."

The Vitamin Shoppe has identified the latest trends in vitamin D products:

Trend #1 - Vitamin D of the sea

Cod liver oil is a great source of vitamin D, but its unpleasant taste

has caused kids to cringe for generations. Taste improvements are among

the latest trends in cod liver oil products, including a more palatable

lemon flavor.

Trend #2 - Vegan options

Vitamin D deficiency is of particular concern to strict vegetarians and

vegans because their diet lacks fish, eggs and milk, which are common

sources of this essential nutrient. The industry has responded to this

need by developing vegan vitamin D supplements that are made without

using any animal products.

Trend #3 - Drink your D

For those who are lactose intolerant or just don't drink milk, there are

other ways to sip vitamin D. Liquid forms of the supplement allow

consumers to put a dropper full of vitamin D into drinks like juice and

smoothies or right into their mouth.

Trend #4 -Easy to take

Not everyone can swallow pills easily, and supplement manufacturers are

responding by making smaller "micro-tab" versions of tablets. A chewable

form of vitamin D is also available in a peppermint flavor.

"The best selling vitamin D remains the regular capsule, but these new product trends offer consumers more options to get their daily dose of vitamin D. Anyone who is interested in the benefits of vitamin D should always check with their health professional before buying a supplement," said Rivard. "Testing for vitamin D levels can help people understand the amount they will need to add to their daily diet."

About Vitamin Shoppe Industries, Inc.

Vitamin Shoppe is a leading specialty retailer and direct marketer of nutritional products based in North Bergen, New Jersey. The company sells vitamins, minerals, nutritional supplements, herbs, sports nutrition formulas, homeopathic remedies, and other health and beauty aids to customers located primarily in the United States. The company carries national brand products as well as exclusive products under the Vitamin Shoppe, BodyTech, MD Select, and VS Basics proprietary brands. The Vitamin Shoppe conducts business through more than 300 company-owned retail stores, national mail order catalogs, and two websites, and

SOURCE Vitamin Shoppe Industries, Inc.
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