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Glossary Term

vitamin D     (VY-tuh-min ...)

A nutrient that the body needs in small amounts to function and stay healthy. Vitamin D helps the body use calcium and phosphorus to make strong bones and teeth. It is fat-soluble (can dissolve in fats and oils) and is found in fatty fish, egg yolks, and dairy products. Skin exposed to sunshine can also make vitamin D. Not enough vitamin D can cause a bone disease called rickets. It is being studied in the prevention and treatment of some types of cancer. Also called cholecalciferol.