What Is Vitamin D?
Did you know that Vitamin D is often called the “Sunshine Vitamin” because our skin can produce it when exposed to sunlight? Did you know that some people have genetic markers that prevent them from producing Vitamin D from sunlight? Fortunately there are good supplements available and Vitamin D can be absorbed from specific foods.
Here are some fantastic reasons to make sure you’re getting enough Vitamin D:
1️⃣ Stronger Bones: Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium, essential for maintaining strong bones and preventing osteoporosis.
2️⃣ Immune System Support: It plays a crucial role in immune function, helping to defend your body against infections and illnesses.
3️⃣ Mood and Energy: Adequate Vitamin D levels are linked to improved mood and energy levels, especially during those gloomy winter months.
4️⃣ Heart Health: Some studies suggest that Vitamin D may contribute to a healthy heart by reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
5️⃣ Skin Health: It can help improve skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema.
So, whether you soak up the sun, enjoy Vitamin D-rich foods, or take supplements, prioritize your Vitamin D intake for a healthier, happier you! 😊🌈 #VitaminD #SunshineVitamin #HealthAndWellness
What is Vitamin D Deficiency?
Vitamin D deficiency can manifest through various symptoms, and they can vary in severity. Keep in mind that many of these symptoms would be mild for the average person, unless your Vitamin D levels get extremely low. Here are common symptoms and signs of a deficiency:
Bone Pain: Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption, and when you lack it, you might experience bone pain and muscle weakness. This can sometimes be misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome.
Fatigue: Feeling chronically tired and lacking energy is a common symptom of Vitamin D deficiency. It can affect your overall well-being and productivity.
Mood Changes: Low levels of Vitamin D have been linked to mood disorders like depression and seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Adequate Vitamin D can help regulate mood and ward off depressive symptoms.
Muscle Weakness: Weakness in your muscles, particularly in the proximal muscles (those closest to your torso), can occur due to insufficient Vitamin D.
Bone Loss: Severe Vitamin D deficiency can lead to conditions like osteoporosis and osteopenia, characterized by decreased bone density, increased risk of fractures, and even joint pain.
Impaired Wound Healing: Vitamin D plays a role in the body’s ability to heal wounds, and deficiency may slow down the healing process.
Frequent Infections: A weakened immune system is another consequence of insufficient Vitamin D, making you more susceptible to infections and illnesses.
Hair Loss: Although not as common as other symptoms, hair loss or excessive hair shedding can occur in cases of severe Vitamin D deficiency.
Cognitive Impairment: Some studies have suggested a potential link between Vitamin D deficiency and cognitive decline, including an increased risk of conditions like Alzheimer’s disease.
Gastrointestinal Symptoms: Digestive problems such as diarrhea, constipation, or abdominal discomfort may occur, as Vitamin D is essential for gut health.
Weight Gain: Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with weight gain and obesity. It may play a role in regulating appetite and metabolism.
Joint Pain: Joint pain and muscle aches are common symptoms of deficiency, which can sometimes be mistaken for arthritis.
It’s important to note that these symptoms can also be caused by other health conditions, so it’s crucial to consult a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis if you suspect a Vitamin D deficiency. A blood test can confirm your Vitamin D levels, and if deficient, your doctor can recommend appropriate treatment, which may include supplements and dietary changes. Supplements may be prescribed at a therapeutic dose, rather than a typical dose.
Where Can I Get Vitamin D, Other Than The Sun?
Vitamin D can be absorbed through dietary sources, and here are some foods that are naturally high in Vitamin D or fortified with it:
Fatty Fish: Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, trout, sardines, and tuna are excellent sources of Vitamin D. A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of cooked salmon can provide over 500 IU (International Units) of Vitamin D.
Cod Liver Oil: Cod liver oil is one of the most potent sources of Vitamin D. Just one tablespoon can provide more than the recommended daily intake.
Egg Yolks: While egg whites contain little Vitamin D, egg yolks are a decent source. One large egg yolk typically contains about 40 IU of Vitamin D.
Mushrooms: Some varieties of mushrooms, such as maitake and shiitake, can naturally produce Vitamin D when exposed to sunlight or ultraviolet (UV) light. Additionally, commercially grown mushrooms are often exposed to UV light to increase their Vitamin D content.
Fortified Foods: Many foods are fortified with Vitamin D, meaning it’s added during processing. Common examples include fortified dairy products (milk, yogurt, and cheese), plant-based milk alternatives (soy milk, almond milk, etc.), orange juice, and breakfast cereals.
Beef Liver: Beef liver is a rich source of various nutrients, including Vitamin D. A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of cooked beef liver can provide around 50 IU of Vitamin D.
Cheese: Some cheese varieties, like Swiss and cheddar, contain small amounts of Vitamin D, though the levels are not as high as in fatty fish or fortified dairy products.
Pork: Pork is another source of Vitamin D, particularly in cuts with higher fat content. Pork chops, for example, can provide some Vitamin D.
Tofu: Certain brands of tofu are fortified with Vitamin D. Check the label to see if it has been fortified.
Fortified Cereals: Breakfast cereals, especially those labeled as “fortified,” can be a good source of Vitamin D. Though please be choosy due to the high sugar content in most cereals. This would be the least favorable option.
It’s important to note that the Vitamin D content in foods can vary widely depending on factors like the type of fish, farming methods, and fortification levels. Additionally, sunlight exposure remains one of the most effective ways for your body to naturally produce Vitamin D. If you have concerns about your Vitamin D intake or suspect a deficiency, consult with a healthcare professional, like our Naturopathic Physician, for guidance on supplementation and dietary adjustments.
Vitamin D Supplements:
Dosage: The recommended dosage of Vitamin D can vary depending on factors such as age, sex, and individual health needs. Generally, the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for Vitamin D ranges from 600 to 800 IU (International Units) per day for most adults. However, some people may require higher doses to correct deficiencies.
Monitor Blood Levels: If you are taking Vitamin D supplements, it’s a good idea to have your blood levels of Vitamin D checked periodically. This will help determine if your dosage is adequate or if adjustments are needed.
Timing: Vitamin D supplements can be taken at any time of the day with or without food. It’s often recommended to take them with a meal containing healthy fats and magnesium, as this can enhance absorption.
Don’t Overdo It: While Vitamin D is essential for health, excessive intake can lead to toxicity. Avoid taking excessive doses without medical supervision. The tolerable upper intake level (UL) for Vitamin D for most adults is 4,000 IU per day, but this can vary depending on individual factors.
Consider Your Sun Exposure: If you get regular, adequate sun exposure, you may not need as much supplemental Vitamin D. However, the amount of sunlight required can vary depending on factors like skin color and geographical location.
Interaction with Medications: Some medications can interact with Vitamin D supplements, so it’s essential to inform your healthcare provider about all the medications and supplements you are taking.
Be Patient: It can take several weeks or even months of regular supplementation to correct a Vitamin D deficiency. Stick to your recommended dosage and be patient.
Natural Sources: Whenever possible, try to obtain Vitamin D from natural sources like sunlight and dietary sources (fatty fish, fortified foods) before resorting to supplements.
Remember that individual needs for Vitamin D can vary, so it’s crucial to work with a healthcare provider to determine the right supplementation strategy for your specific circumstances. They can tailor recommendations based on your health status and risk factors for deficiency. At Remedy Wellness Centre our nutritional practitioners, including our Naturopathic Doctor can recommend specific supplements that are known for their high quality and bioavailability, as well as ensure you are pairing it with other supplements needed for absorption. Your order can be shipped to your house via FULLSCRIPT, our online supplement dispensary.
How Do I Find Out If I Can’t Absorb Vitamin D from the Sun?
Genetic Testing is an option, to see if you have the genetic markers. This wouldn’t typically be your first step. If you are experiencing Vitamin D Deficiency symptoms, talk to a doctor about having your blood levels tested. You would need to do this with the genetic testing anyways. If you want to investigate further, then genetic testing is a very affordable option that gives you a boat load of information. You can then use that information to work with a nutritional professional, such as our Naturopathic Doctor, to decide which things to prioritize focusing on.
All you need is a 23andMe® or Ancestry® DNA Kit. If you’ve already done one, great! Once it’s completed, your raw DNA data can be very easily downloaded and then uploaded to your Pure Genomics Account for FREE.
Scroll down to the bottom of this page and send us a quick email. We will set up your Pure Genomics Account free of charge. It will automatically send you instructions on how to download and upload your raw DNA data. Its very easy!
Learn More About Genetic Testing Here
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