Vitamin d is important to our body in multiple ways. It helps with the regulation of calcium which aids in the maintenance of healthy bones, teeth and is required for phosphorus absorption. Vitamin d3 is fat soluble so if a persons fat intake is too low or their fat absorption is compromised this can lead to a deficiency in the vitamin, even when a person is using supplements to get adequate amounts of the vitamin.
In the 1900s, rickets a childhood bone disorder caused by not getting enough vitamin D impacted a large number of children. In fact, around 80 percent of children in Boston had rickets at that point in history. The way the government combated this epidemic was by including vitamin d into milk to help ensure calcium was properly absorbed. One-third of the people who suffer from hip fractures are deficient in vitamin D.
Vitamin d is also an important factor in ensuring our immune system is strong. Several autoimmune diseases have shown to surface with people that have low levels of vitamin d specifically psoriasis and eczema. Some cases of psoriasis have even gone into complete remission after being treated with high doses of vitamin d.
People with low levels of vitamin d3 are at an increased risk for developing
low vitamin d side effects
- Cardiovascular disease
- Cognitive impairment in older adults
- cardiovascular disease
- Severe asthma in children
- Cancer of the prostate or beasts
- Weak and / or brittle bones
Causes of Vitamin D Deficiency
There are many possible reasons for a individual having a deficiency: You don't consume the recommended levels of the vitamin with your diet. This is likely if you follow a strict vegan diet. Most natural food sources of vitamin d are animal based. Minimal exposure to sunlight. With minimal exposure to sun you may be at risk of deficiency. If your not in the sun or have strong sunscreen protection your skin will not create much vitamin d. Direct sunlight is required things like windows remove the ultraviolet ray required for vitamin d production You are a dark skinned individual.The pigment melanin reduces a person's ability to make vitamin D in response to sunlight exposure. Studies are starting to showthat older adults with dark skin are at an increased risk of developing a vitamin D deficiency. Your kidneys cannot convert vitamin D to its active form. As people age, their kidneys are less able to convert vitamin D to its active form, thus increasing their risk of vitamin D deficiency. Your digestive tract cannot adequately absorb vitamin D. Certain medical problems, including Crohn's disease, cystic fibrosis, and celiac disease, can affect your intestine's ability to absorb vitamin D from the food you eat. You are obese. Vitamin D is extracted from the blood by fat cells, altering its release into the circulation. People with a body mass index of 30 or greater often have low blood levels of vitamin D.
Sources of vitamin d
The most obvious source is the sun since our skin is able to use the light and create vitamin d for our bodies. Other sources include milk (vitamin d3 is added to many and is called fortified milk), oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, meat and eggs. Infant formulas contain vitamin d and it is common for doctors to advise women breastfeeding to buy a vitamin d3 supplement for babies and themselves.
To find out if you are low in vitamin D, ask your doctor to test your blood for 24 hydroxy vitamin D. If you have low levels, you need more vitamin D. Drink vitamin D-fortified skim milk or take a supplement containing 400 international units of vitamin D. And get a little sun.
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