Vitamin D deficiency is widespread, especially in Northern regions as well as in individuals who are housebound. The elderly are the most vulnerable to developing the deficiency. As described in Alive Magazine a recent study performed in a Massachusetts hospital determined that nearly 6 of 10 patients suffered from some degree of the deficiency. Hans Larsen, medical researcher, notes that according to Dr. J. E. Compston, writing in the British Medical Journal (November, 1998), the current recommendation for vitamin D is far too low. Compton notes that the individual must consume a minimum of 800 I. U. daily, twice the recommended amount, to ward of serious disease. However, certain illnesses greatly compromise vitamin D absorption or utilization, particularly kidney disease, liver disorders, celiac disease, and malabsorption.