We’ve been hearing about the dangers of sunexposure for years — wrinkles and premature lines, brown spots, and, of course, skin cancer. Sunscreen is applied, hats are worn and UV-protective clothing is worn. Our teeth and bones suffer the consequences — we avoid the sun because it doesn’t activate our vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin that is essential for strong bones.

In addition to our obsession about UV protection, many studies show that the Dietary Reference Intakes of Vitamin D (RDIs), set in 1990s for vitamin D are not sufficient. New research shows that vitamin D wears longer than a year. “calcium absorption” hat. Vitamin D is a powerful defense player against heart disease, cancer, immunity, and other neuromuscular disorders. You can bet that the Institute of Medicine has given vitamin D supplementation a high priority.

Majority of Americans have a severe vitamin-D deficiency. The highest risk is for women. The Dietary Guidelines of Americans and American Dietetic Association show that nearly half the population doesn’t receive the recommended daily intake.

Our diets lack vitamin D, which can lead to some serious health issues. Research shows that vitamin D deficiency can increase the risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis.

The amount or lack of vitamin D produced by our bodies depends on many factors, including geography, age, skin colour, and how much SPF we use. Vitamin D is largely derived from the food we eat. Fish is one of few foods that are naturally rich in vitamin, including tuna, salmon and sardines. But it’s unlikely that our diets contain enough vitamin to compensate for the vitamin D deficiency. Milk, yogurt, some baked goods, and oil spreads often contain extra vitamin D.

How much should we be buying? We won’t be able to know until the IOM makes new recommendations. Visit your doctor to request a blood test for active vitamin D (25 hydroxy D). While it is still unknown how much vitamin D is needed to maintain optimal levels of blood, preliminary studies have suggested that the concentration should be somewhere between 40 to 80 nanomoles/liter. To determine how effective your diet in providing vitamin D, you can take this test at your annual checkup.

If you are over 50, you can eat the foods I have mentioned as high in vitamin D. A LUNA bar, which contains vitamin D and other vitamins, is another great way for women to get their daily dose. Your bones, teeth, taste buds and health will be grateful for it!

The pace of life today is rapid. The rise of digital technology has allowed people to communicate with each other via the internet and simultaneously check their children’s soccer scores. Consumers can expect the same conveniences and benefits from all businesses, except their insurance companies, thanks to the internet age. For many people struggling to pay their medical bills, this can seem like a long wait, even though 98 percent of claims for health insurance are processed in 30 days.

As nearly two-thirds American households earn less than 2002, being insured isn’t enough. It is important to find out how fast and easy your insurance company processes and pays claims. This is important for both financial and medical recovery.

According to a recent survey, 66% of workers would struggle to pay for the financial burdens associated with serious injuries and illnesses. Only 49% have enough money to cover out-of pocket expenses. Additionally, rising healthcare costs are forcing employers into cost-saving measures that are putting employees under greater financial pressure.

* Increasing employees’ health care insurance copayments.

* Increasing employees’ share of premium.

* Implementing high-deductible health plans with health savings accounts.

Some people might have to wait as long as a month to receive their insurance payments. Many insurance companies are able to provide customers with fast service thanks to modern technology and better understanding of their needs. This is one example. AflacIn the insurance industry, it is rare to find policies that allow for claims approval, processing, and payment within one day.

In the past, fast payment policies were a luxury. It’s a necessity. It is more important than ever that you have money available immediately for serious injuries or illnesses. Your insurance company should be able to respond quickly.

Aflac’s One Day Pay guarantee can be found on aflac.com/onedaypay.