Vitamin D levels are inadequate in many individuals and daily need appears to be higher than previously thought. Vitamin D plays an integral role in calcium metabolism and bone health as well as healthy immune defense. Adequate amounts of vitamin D, an essential and fat-soluble vitamin, come from consistent exposure to sunshine and are difficult to obtain from dietary sources. Postmenopausal women, older individuals, and those with malabsorption, limited sun exposure, or certain illnesses may need higher intakes of vitamin D. As a fat-soluble vitamin, vitamin D is best absorbed when taken with a fat-containing meal.
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