Vitamins take a hit but D-3 should be an essential part of your diet
Superhero vitamins were dealt a super-setback in fall 2012, when the Federal Trade Commission said manufacturers of Spider-Man and other character-branded supplements made bogus claims about what the pills could do for your kids' health.
We know there's a lot of iffy info about vitamins out there, but we're certain vitamin D-3 supplements should be an essential part of your health plan. Unfortunately, almost no one gets enough sunshine-made vitamin D-3 for it to do its job, and it's got a big job: reduce inflammation, regulate cell growth and protect your immune and neuromuscular systems. And its potential benefits don't stop there.
Women 65-plus who get enough D-3 have greater brainpower and less risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.
Pregnant moms with healthy blood levels of D-3 may avoid having underweight babies -- and the moms themselves are at lower risk of developing multiple sclerosis later in life.
Plus, enough D-3 seems to cut tooth decay in half and reduce the risk of bladder cancer and type 1 diabetes.
So what do you need to get all this D-3 power? The Endocrine Society says you should have a "D" blood level of 30 nmol/L; new Institute of Medicine recommendations say 20. But we say 50 to 80 is good. So get a blood test to see what your level is. And take daily supplements to help you maintain a healthy level. We recommend taking 1,000 IU of D-3 a day; 1,200 IU if you're over 60. And ask your doc about kids' supplements -- everybody needs them.
Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Medical Officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. For more information go to www.RealAge.com.