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UV Foundation Announces: February is Vitamin D Deficiency Month
Date:2/3/2009

New Research is Discovering an Increasing Number of Negative Health Effects Resulting from Vitamin D Deficiency

MCLEAN, Va., Feb. 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- For the 2nd year, the UV Foundation is promoting awareness of Vitamin D deficiency and its negative health effects by dubbing February "Vitamin D Deficiency Month." Vitamin D deficiency is becoming a serious problem, especially in states above the 37th parallel because it is impossible to manufacture Vitamin D during the winter months in those states even if residents do get their daily dose of sunshine.

In addition to increasing the risk of heart disease, Parkinson's disease, rickets, and many types of cancer, Vitamin D deficiency is also linked to many common wintertime complaints such as fatigue, depression and aches and pains.

A Harvard Medical School study published in the New England Journal of Medicine has reported that 60% of Americans are Vitamin D deficient. And a majority of Parkinson's disease patients had insufficient levels of Vitamin D determined a new study from Emory University School of Medicine.

Moderate exposure to sunlight or UV light is the absolute best way to help the body manufacture the Vitamin D it needs. Unfortunately, during the bleak winter months it becomes harder to get the necessary amount of Vitamin D. In fact, it is impossible to get the requisite amount in cities north of 37 degrees latitude for as many as 6 months out of the year. That includes cities like Richmond, VA, St. Louis, MO, Sacramento, CA, and all cities farther north.

For those concerned about Vitamin D deficiency and who find it difficult to get the necessary amount of sunlight, there are other ways to get your dose of the "Sunshine Vitamin." Vitamin D supplements, oily fish and a diet rich in Vitamin D fortified foods will help fight against Vitamin D deficiency. However, experts agree that the easiest and most natural way to maintain correct Vitamin D levels is through sunlight and UV light, though it is important to always practice moderation when being exposed to UV light.

"New scientific studies continue to confirm the enormous health benefits of Vitamin D, while supporting significant health consequences of being deficient," said Tim Miller, Communications Director for the UV Foundation. "We launched 'Vitamin D Deficiency Month' to educate the public about the dangers of this growing problem and to 'shed some light' on potential solutions."

The UV Foundation is committed to funding educational efforts designed to increase the public awareness of the biologic effects of ultraviolet light.


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SOURCE The UV Foundation
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