November 2 is Vitamin D Day ~ Are You “D-Ficient?”
“Vitamin D deficiency is a global pandemic that has serious health consequences for children and adults. Improvement in the world’s vitamin D status could significantly reduce risk of many chronic illnesses including cardiovascular disease,autoimmune diseases, type 2 diabetes and many deadly cancers as well as infectious diseases including upper respiratory tract infections, influenza and tuberculosis.” Michael F Holick, PhD, MD, Professor of Medicine, Physiology and Biophysics at Boston University School of Medicine, Author of The Vitamin D Solution: A 3-Step Strategy To Cure Our Most Common Health Problems
85% of the population are estimated to be deficient. Are you one of the 85% ~ or in one of these groups that may suggest deficiencies?
Here is a list of some of those groups:
- Those who get limited sun exposure (most of the continental U.S. has little direct sunlight) ~ Also our home, car and office windows block most of the sun’s wavelengths that our skin needs to produce vitamin D. Did you know that industrial areas with high-sulfur content air pollution (called acid haze) blocks the sun as well?
- Most of us use SPF which blocks the ultraviolet rays that can age skin and lead to skin cancer (benefits that are certainly important); however, it also prevents epidermal cells from making vitamin D.
- Those who are overweight have difficulty in getting enough vitamin D simply because vitamin D is fat soluble and hidden in their fat.
- If you are pregnant evidence suggests that vitamin D levels may be extremely important for you and your baby.
- As we age our skin loses the ability to generate vitamin D. Plus we tend to spend more time indoors as we get older.
- Darker-skinned people have higher melanin levels which block UVB radiation and limits the body’s ability to produce vitamin D3.
- Having a bowel disease such as IBS or Crohn’s
- Having kidney or liver disease
- What about diet? We find vitamin D in very limited quantities in eggs, liver and fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, canned tuna, and sardines. Cereals, milk and many milk substitutes are fortified with 40 to 150 IU per serving. But several independent tests have shown that vitamin D levels in fortified foods are spotty. And fortification may use a less effective plant-based D2 form of the vitamin. Mushrooms can be a source, particularly if they are briefly treated with UV rays when growing.
According to Dr. Stephen G Chaney, the University of North Carolina, “One of the greatest gifts that you can give your children may be to make sure that they get adequate levels of vitamin D3 from birth through adolescence. And that is particularly important in light of studies showing that 50-70% of our children may not be getting enough vitamin D.”
And of course, Vitamin D deficiency not only causes rickets among children but also precipitates and exacerbates osteoporosis among adults and causes the painful bone disease osteomalacia. Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with increased risks of deadly cancers, cardiovascular disease, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and type 1 diabetes mellitus.
Getting enough sunshine, eating those foods which contain Vitamin D and supplementing with high-quality Vitamin D3 can help to make sure you are not deficient. To learn more about this important vitamin go here.