This time of year, we’re all indoors more often, meaning we often don’t get enough of the sunshine vitamin (D). A recent study found that low AND high vitamin D levels were associated with an increased likelihood of frailty in older women. Women with vitamin D levels in the normal range were at the lowest risk. And different races react physically in different ways. For instance, low levels of vitamin D, the essential nutrient obtained from milk, fortified cereals and exposure to sunlight, doubles the risk of stroke in whites, but not in blacks. And stroke is the nation’s third leading cause of death, killing more than 140,000 Americans annually and temporarily or permanently disabling over half a million when there is a loss of blood flow to the brain.

Results of a new study fail to explain why African Americans, who are more likely to be vitamin D deficient due to their darker skin pigmentation’s ability to block the sun’s rays, also suffer from higher rates of stroke. Of the 176 study participants known to have died from stroke within a 14-year period, 116 were white and 60 were black. Cardiologist Erin Michos says, "Something else is surely behind this problem. Don’t blame vitamin D deficits for the higher number of strokes in blacks."

The cure may not only be more sunlight, but MUSHROOMS! A recent 24-month review on dietary reference intakes for vitamin D and calcium validated the importance of vitamin D as an essential nutrient for promoting bone health. Mushrooms are unique for being the only source of vitamin D in the produce aisle and one of the few non-fortified food sources. They’re the exception to the rule that plant foods don’t naturally contain vitamin D.

With all the (often contradictory) information out there today, it’s hard to figure out WHAT to eat. If that’s your problem too, you need to download Anne Strieber’s famous diet book, "What I Learned From the Fat Years." Using scientific principles, she devised a diet that helped her to lose 100 pounds and YOU CAN TOO.

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