Vitamin D: Are You Getting Enough?
Posted by Catherine Morgan on May 30, 2009
Are you getting enough vitamin D? Would you know if you weren’t? Apparently, most of us are deficient in vitamin D, and that is putting us at greater risk for heart disease, osteoporosis, some types of cancer, diabetes, and possibly other chronic medical problems (like asthma, arthritis, and multiple sclerosis).
You might be surprised to learn how important vitamin D is to your overall health, and how easy it is to make sure you’re getting enough.
A study published this past week indicates that increasing your levels of vitamin D may help older people stay mentally sharp. Your body can produce vitamin D by exposing your skin to the sun as well as through the diet. Sources of vitamin D include oily fish, liver, mushrooms and fortified products, such as orange juice.
Vitamin D deficiency may be characterized by muscle pain, weak bones/fractures, low energy and fatigue, lowered immunity, symptoms of depression and mood swings, and sleep irregularities. Women with renal problems or intestinal concerns (such as IBS or Crohn’s disease) may be vitamin D deficient because they can neither absorb nor adequately convert the nutrient.
From BlogHer HeartStrong…
A recent study (The Framingham Offspring Study) published earlier this year reported an increased risk for heart disease in people whose Vitamin D levels were low. People with high blood pressure were at an even higher risk than people with normal blood pressure.
From The National Women’s Health Network – Basking in the Benefits of Vitamin D…
Although we have known for ages that Vitamin D is a crucial for healthy bodies, it has received extra attention in the media lately that may have left you wondering what all the fuss is about. If you’re as skeptical about hyped up new health trends and dietary supplements as I am, then you probably haven’t gone out and bought every bottle of Vitamin D pills at your local health food store. However, the more I read and understand about it, the more inclined I am to soak up the sun and drink a tall glass of fortified soymilk.
Studies conducted by the American Heart Association indicate that low levels of vitamin D may be associated with an increased risk for PAD, which occurs when the arteries in a person’s legs narrow or become clogged with fat. The association estimates that 8 million Americans are affected by PAD.
I never realized until I was diagnosed with a serious Vitamin D deficiency what all problems this could cause. My doctor was very concerned because my levels were dangerously low and he immediately put me on a high dose Vitamin D supplement. Some other health problems my doctor told me Vitamin D deficiency could cause include heart disease, chronic pain, Fibromyalgia, hypertension, arthritis, depression, inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, PMS, Crohns Disease, cancer, MS and other autoimmune diseases.
Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin and exists in several forms. Some of these are basically inactive in the body and have limited ability to function.
Why is it important for fertility? Well, you need it in order for your body to produce sex hormones. And without the right amount of hormones in your system, you can suffer from pcos, PMS, and infertility. Vitamin D is also key in regulating cell growth and deciding how those cells grow.
In the news from PR-USA…
Pregnant women with low levels of vitamin D may be more likely to suffer from bacterial vaginosis (BV) – a common vaginal infection that increases a woman’s risk for preterm delivery, according to a University of Pittsburgh study. Available online and published in the June issue of The Journal of Nutrition, the studymay explain why African-American women, who often lack adequate vitamin D, are three times more likely than white women to develop BV.
I’m reading that sunscreens block Vitamin D absorption — should I be worried about that?
No, and you definitely should absolutely not skip the sunscreen in order to get some Vitamin D. If you’re wearing sunscreen daily on your face (which I wholeheartedly recommend) then you are getting enough incidental exposure during your normal day to boost your Vitamin D intake. But for a day when you know you will be out in the sun for a long time, especially around water, please lotion up. The damage that even a mild sunburn does to your skin is not balanced out, in any way, by the Vitamin D you will get from being sunscreen free.
Take this quick vitamin D quiz at Fit Sugar.
- Vitamin D and Sun
- Why Vitamin D Is Important In The Winter
- From Menopause The Blog – A New, In-Home Test For Vitamin D Deficiency
- From The Diet Pulpit – Low Vitamin D and Other Health Issues
- Lack of Vitamin D Associated With Dementia
- From The Mayo Clinic – Vitamin D: Benefits In Pregnancy