After getting blood work from their doctor, more and more people are finding out they have a deficiency in Vitamin D. Our body actually makes Vitamin D, but only after being exposed to necessary amounts of sunlight. It’s important to be aware of our levels of this vitamin because of the health of our bones and teeth depend on it. This supplement’s primary role is to absorb calcium and phosphate in our bodies. It has been reported that up to 40% of the U.S. population is lacking the proper amount in their body.
By Megan Johnson McCullough
Deficiency in Vitamin D is linked to colon cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer, depression, and weight gain. Recent studies have linked obesity to lower levels of the vitamin as well. This makes sense because Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin. This means it is stored in the liver and fatty tissue for future use. If it is not being used or absorbed properly, the liver is not able to perform all necessary functions with it.
Further studies are being performed to address whether excess belly fat decreases vitamin D levels or whether it is just being stored and not used in people with larger waistlines.
Consulting a doctor about your body’s specific daily need of Vitamin D can help ward off lower levels. 400-800 IU or 10-20 micrograms is recommended per day. Fish, specifically tuna, salmon, oysters, herring, shrimp, sardines, and mackerel are good food sources. Egg yolk and mushrooms also have vitamin D.
Dairy products can be fortified with the vitamin as well, such as some types of milk, soy milk, and cheeses. Breakfast items like orange juice, oatmeal, and cereal, all have vitamin D. Cod liver oil is a popular supplement many people will use to fulfill their daily intake of the vitamin.
Symptoms of Deficiency
Symptoms of insufficient vitamin D funds include bone pain and muscle weakness. Feeling weak is not conducive to workouts. Other culprits include Chron’s disease, celiac disease, and cystic fibrosis, which all inhibit the digestive tract’s absorption ability. Healthy kidney functioning is also needed to use the vitamin effectively.
Soaking up sunshine is the best way to get vitamin D. This is not always possible for all people and we know that sun exposure can be risky in excessive amounts. Sunscreen actually blocks the vitamin’s absorption. Diet alone makes getting enough hard. This is especially true for people following a vegan diet or that have milk allergies.
Be proactive in getting yearly physicals done along with blood work so you’re aware of your body’s proper functioning and utilization of vitamins and minerals. When signs and symptoms occur, action must be taken not delayed. So go ahead and add Vitamin D as another reason to get up, get out, and soak up some sun on the daily!