Are you getting enough Vitamin D?

Jul 12, 2017

Have you had a blood workup lately and been told you are deficient in Vitamin D? Does it seem like you have other friends or family who have been told the same thing lately? Don’t worry, it isn’t a conspiracy between your doctors and the vitamin manufacturers.

A 2011 article in Nutrition Research suggested over 40% of Americans have a Vitamin D deficiency. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost no Americans have Vitamin D levels that are too high. There are multiple reasons for our lack of this vitamin, including lack of sun exposure and our diets. Those most affected can be babies, because of the lack of Vitamin D in breast milk, and older people because of the decline in our skin’s ability to make vitamin D when exposed to sunlight and our kidneys’ ability to convert Vitamin D to its active form as we age.

Vitamin D is important for bone health and may protect against diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and certain cancers. This is why more physicians are now looking for the deficiency in blood tests. Various studies have shown it is almost impossible to get enough Vitamin D from your diet alone. Daily sun exposure and a supplement are needed. Many people can get the sun exposure they need just by being outside at midday for 10 minutes. You can get a good quality supplement in most grocery or drug stores. Consumer Reports found that the more costly subscription-style vitamins performed no better than their less expensive counterparts. 

Resources:
https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-Consumer/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21310306
http://www.seattletimes.com/life/lifestyle/more-doctors-focus-on-vitamin-d-deficiencies/
http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2013/05/most-vitamin-d-supplements-measure-up-our-tests-find/index.htm
http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMra070553
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0735109708031756