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Vitamin D Deficiency Has Emerged as a Silent Epidemic
Date:3/26/2009

MIAMI, March 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Spring is here, so the Hispanic "got milk?" campaign is declaring it Vitamin D Season to raise awareness of the important role of the "sunshine vitamin."

Even though we have the ability to make our own vitamin D when the ultraviolet rays of the sun hit our skin, many Hispanics fail to get enough vitamin D. In fact, vitamin D deficiency in this country is being called a silent epidemic. The prudent use of sunscreen, sun-blocking pollution and long, cold winters indoors are partially to blame.

By springing forward in March you'll gain an extra hour of sunlight and more opportunities to catch some rays, but you can't always count on the sun to supply all of the vitamin D you need. That's why it's even more important to look to your diet for your D, according to registered dietitian Su-Nui Escobar, who officially launched Vitamin D Season today in an effort to extol the virtues of this vital vitamin and talk about milk as "liquid sunshine."

"It's alarming to see so many people fail to get enough vitamin D, especially when milk is such an easy and convenient source of this essential nutrient," Escobar said. "Now more than ever we're learning about the health risks linked to vitamin D deficiency."

Milk is one of the few food sources of vitamin D. In fact, it's the leading source of vitamin D in the American diet. The recommended three 8-ounce glasses of lowfat or fat free milk provide 75 percent of the daily value for vitamin D. Milk also provides eight other essential nutrients, including calcium, potassium and vitamin A, which many Hispanics also lack.

Vitamin D Has Been Dubbed a "Super Nutrient"

Vitamin D was once known as simply a bone builder. It's true that vitamin D works with calcium to keep bones strong, but new and emerging research suggests vitamin D may be far more versatile, offering an array of health benefits.
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SOURCE Milk Processor Education Program
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