So the other day I went to my Doctor for my annual checkup and blood work thinking everything was fine only to find out that I was seriously deficient in Vitamin D. At first I thought, big deal I’ll take a vitamin supplement, it can’t kill me. Then I started reading up on what Vitamin D really does in the body. The fact that I am in a dark cave most of the time didn’t help.
Vitamin D is essential for strong bones because it helps the body use calcium from your diet.
Here’s a breakdown of some possible symptoms and who it can affect:
Low vitamin D can affect all ages. Common symptoms are low back pain, muscle weakness, muscle aches, bone pain, some types of chest wall pain and leg pain.
Some other possible symptoms are:
A deteriorated immunity system: Many cells in the body contain receptor sites for this vitamin, which also contain cells of the immunity system. D vitamin reduces the chance of developing autoimmune diseases such as MS, as well as boosting the activity of the mentioned cells.
Rickets: This is an ailment where the bone tissues fail to mineralize, and results in skeletal deformities and soft bones. It usually strikes only young children, due to a vitamin D deficiency, as well as a lack of phosphorus or calcium.
Unexplained health problems: Vitamin D has many wide-ranging effects on body cells, and if you have any unexplained health indications, a blood test should be done for vitamin D deficiency.
Depression: Low levels of vitamin D are likely linked with depression, as this nutrient, according to some studies, has helped reduce seasonal depression during the winter. The disorder SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) may also be caused by a lack of sun-rays.
Some long term possible issues are:
Cancer: A lack of this vitamin has been shown to have a high correlation with many kinds of cancer, and avoiding the sun can increase the risk of developing other kinds of cancers by causing low vitamin D levels.
Osteoporosis: The regulation of the absorbing of calcium and the balance of calcium in the bones is an important role of this vitamin. Furthermore, a recognized symptom of a lack of this vitamin is deteriorated and weak bones, with the most severe cases resulting in osteoporosis.
While there are very good sources of Vitamin D in foods, the amounts you would have to eat can add up quickly in both calorie and cost. Milk has 100 units for 8 oz, so you would have to drink ten glasses per day to get the recommended dose. Salmon (the farmed cheaper kind) is about 200 units per 4 oz, so you would have to eat 12 oz per day. This can all add up in cost. Wild salmon is about 500 units per 4 oz. but at a price of 25$ per lb can get pretty pricy. Cod liver oil also may work but the taste can be less than desirable, but at 400 units per tsp or so 2 to 2.5 tsp is just about the right maintenance dose. Sun exposure also helps the body produce Vitamin D
So with this information adding Vitamin D to your daily supplements would be the easiest and most cost effective way to get your daily allowance. .
The evidence shows that all adults should take or eat at least 700 to 1000 units per day to prevent falls and fractures.
So go get your Vitamin D!