Are you suffering from a vitamin D deficiency?
Several studies and mounting evidence suggest that a vitamin D deficiency is linked to chronic illnesses from ashthma, to cardiovascular disease and even certain cancers.
In a study entitled Prevalence and correlate of Vitamin D deficiency in U.S adults , it was found that the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency was 41.6% among the U.S sample group, with the highest incidence being reported in the black demographic (82.1%) and Hispanics (69.2%)
Regardless of age, race or gender, you are at risk for suffering from a vitamin D deficiency.
- What Is Vitamin D?
- What Is A Vitamin D Deficiency?
- What Are The Health Benefits Of Vitamin D?
- How Can You Increase Your Intake Of Vitamin D?
- Learn More About Vitamin D With Dr. Dominic Rowley
What Is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is key for the maintenance of minerals such as calcium and phosphorus. It helps absorb calcium playing a vital role in forming and maintaining strong bones and teeth. Vitamin D can also play an integral part in combating depression.
Vitamin D is sometimes called the “The Sunshine Vitamin” because your body can create its own source of vitamin D from sunlight.
The vitamin can be found naturally in foods such as oily fish, red meat, liver, and egg yolks. While we can all naturally achieve the required vitamin D levels from our diet and the sun during spring and summer, most of us fail to do so during autumn and winter.
Lack of vitamin D can lead to a persistent feeling of tiredness, fatigue, or weakness during darker winter months.
What Is A Vitamin D Deficiency?
Many of us may be suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and not realise.
SAD is defined as seasonal depression that is heavily associated with lack of sunlight during Autumn and Winter. The symptoms of SAD include feeling depressed, irritability, persistent low mood, and finding it harder to get up in the mornings. Vitamin D is said to play a part in maintaining serotonin activity which is why SAD, and depressive symptoms are often associated with a vitamin D deficiency.
SAD is often linked to the reduced sunlight that you will experience over the long autumn and winter nights.
Other symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency include:
- Chronic fatigue or tiredness
- Low mood or depression
- Catching colds and flus on a more regular basis than usual
- Muscular aches and pains
- Slow-healing cuts and bruises
- Back pain, especially localized in the lower back
It is recommended that you take daily Vitamin D supplements during autumn and winter as sunlight hours, the biggest natural source of the vitamin are dramatically reduced. If you are suffering from any of the symptoms noted above, it is important that you monitor and track your vitamin levels over an extended period of time, allowing you to improve your diet to include vitamin D rich foods and take the necessary supplements.
The LetsGetChecked Basic Vitamin Test will help you monitor your Vitamin D, Serum Folate, and Vitamin B12 levels from the comfort of home. If the results illustrate a deficiency, the medical team are on hand and will advise you on the necessary adjustments you can make to your diet.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Vitamin D?
In addition to its primary benefits, research suggests that vitamin D may also play a role in preventing certain diseases.
Vitamin D can regulate insulin levels and aid diabetes management. Furthermore, it can prevent cancer by regulating cell growth and promoting cell-to-cell communication.
Vitamin D deficiency has also been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, multiple sclerosis, autism, Alzheimer’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis and asthma severity.
Vitamin D might play an important role in regulating mood and warding off depression.
In one study of people with fibromyalgia, researchers found vitamin D deficiency was more common in those who were also experiencing anxiety and depression.
The workings of vitamin D in the brain isn’t fully understood. One theory is that vitamin D affects a number of chemicals called monoamines and how they work in the brain. Many anti-depressant medications work in this way, by increasing these monoamines in the brain.
Prevents Cold and Flu
The sunshine vitamin has a role in the strength of our immune system.
Some research that taking daily or weekly vitamin D supplements is useful in preventing respiratory tract infections. These are infections of the body’s airways, such as colds, flu, bronchitis and pneumonia.
Boost Weight Loss
Studies have shown that people taking a daily calcium and vitamin D supplements were able to lose more weight than subjects taking a placebo supplement. The scientists said the extra calcium and vitamin D had an appetite suppressing effect.
Based on recent research, doctors recommend 2,000 IU of vitamin D per day. Look for supplements that provide D3 (cholecalciferol) rather than D2 (ergocalciferol).
How Can You Increase Your Intake Of Vitamin D?
Vitamin D Fortified Foods
Fortified foods provide most of the vitamin D in the American diet, almost all of the U.S. milk supply is voluntarily fortified with 100 IU per cup.
Ready-to-eat breakfast cereals often contain added vitamin D, as do some brands of orange juice, yogurt, margarine and other food products.
Natural sources of Vitamin D in Food
Very few foods contain vitamin D naturally, but here are a few examples
- Fatty fish, such as tuna, mackerel, and salmon
- Beef liver
- Egg yolks
It can be difficult to maintain sufficient vitamin D levels each day through sun exposure and food alone, taking vitamin D supplements can help under the guidance of your physician, however, the only way to know if you suffer from a Vitamin D deficiency is to take a Vitamin Test.
Learn More About Vitamin D With Dr. Dominic Rowley
Written by Hannah Kingston | Approved by Medical Director, Dr. Dominic Rowley