Have you had your D today?

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If you’re a health-news buff, you know that getting enough of this vitamin is vital to your bones and just about every other body part: Vitamin D is key. Taking your daily dosage would make your “real age” as much as 1.3 years younger!

I’ve been taking the vitamin for about a year now, but just learned I’m not taking enough according to RealAge.com – a site I visit regularly.

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Adequate amounts of Vitamin D not only reduce fracture risk and maintain muscle strength but also appear to — among other things — protect your heart, reduce diabetes risk, and lower the odds of certain cancers.

Recent research identified key physiological functions in which vitamin D plays a pivotal role. And the list was long, including immune system function, insulin secretion, blood pressure regulation, and brain development .

In addition, 36 different organ tissues contain cells that respond to vitamin D. Given the total-body impact, it’s no wonder that D is making headlines as the vitamin of the year.

Is your D intake up to par? You can get it from tuna and salmon and fortified foods like milk and orange juice. But since I don’t drink milk or orange juice, a supplement is advised.

Sunlight is often your best source, which is probably why most people don’t get enough — especially during darker winter months. The RealAge Scientific Advisory Board recommends getting 1,000 international units (IU) daily if you’re under 60 years of age and 1,200 IU if you’re over 60. Just stay below 2,000 IU daily from food and supplements combined.

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