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D (Vitamin D)

Vitamin D is called the sunlight vitamin because the body produces it when the sun's ultraviolet B (UVB) rays strike the skin. It is the only vitamin the body manufactures naturally and is technically considered a hormone. Vitamin D is essential for building strong bones and teeth. Vitamin D also helps to strengthen the immune system.

While just 10 to 15 minutes in the summer sun a few days a week supplies adequate amounts of vitamin D, those who can't get out in the sun may need a supplement. In winter, people in northern climes who don't get enough sun may also need additional amounts of the vitamin. Unfortunately, the body's ability to manufacture vitamin D appears to decline with age, so older adults may need to get more vitamin D through diet (fatty fish have good amounts) or supplements, whether they're exposed to sunlight or not. Surprisingly, even younger adults may have inadequate stores of this vitamin.
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