(Flickr photo (cropped) by Francis Bourgouin).
Early vitamin research identified vitamin D as the way to treat rickets, or malformed bones. More recent research confirms that vitamin D is indeed essential for strong healthy bones. But its effects go far beyond bone. Inadequate vitamin D has been linked to a higher risk for many different cancers, cardiovascular complications, arthritic joints, type 2 diabetes and muscle weakness.
Although referred to as vitamin D, it is not so much a vitamin as the precursor to a hormone. How does it work? Why are do so many Americans have low levels of vitamin D, and how should they be getting more?
Guest: Bruce W. Hollis, PhD, is Professor of Pediatrics and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Director of Pediatric Nutritional Sciences at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, SC