Learn More About Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that we produce as a result of exposure to the sun. Living in a cold climate, and spending much of our time indoors, puts us at risk for vitamin D deficiency. Canadian research shows that up to 73.5% of men and 77.5% of women have inadequate levels of Vitamin D.
Vitamin D regulates both the immune system and neuromuscular system, and acts as an antioxidant throughout the body. Since its roles in the body are so widespread, inadequate Vitamin D levels are associated with a long list of health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, cold and flu, and depression.
Why do we need vitamin D?
- Bone Health: Vitamin D allows us to absorb calcium and promote bone growth. Low vitamin D contributes to low bone density, known as osteoporosis, which leads to increased risk of fractures.
- Enhances Mood: Vitamin D is necessary for the production of serotonin, which is a hormone that makes us feel happy. Evidence supports using Vitamin D supplementation as part of treating depression.
- Powerful Antioxidant: Helpful in preventing autoimmune disease, chronic pain, diabetes and heart disease.
- Immune System: Vitamin D is required for our immune system to function optimally. Adequate levels of Vitamin D help to prevent getting sick, fight infections, and to help prevent and treat autoimmune diseases.
Dr. Hilary’s Lifestyle Tips For Optimizing Vitamin D
- Sun Exposure: We need about 15 minutes of our arms and legs exposed to the sun daily, during peak sunshine hours, without sunscreen, to produce adequate vitamin D levels. If you burn easily and shy away from the sun, or keep covered and wear sunscreen, we’re likely not getting enough vitamin D.
- Nutrition: It is possible to get small amounts of vitamin D from fortified foods, including milk products. However, research shows that even people who consume the most amount of dairy (toddlers and seniors), are still not reaching adequate blood levels of Vitamin D. Food sources do not provide enough Vitamin D to be considered a viable source.
- Supplementation: It’s important to take a Vitamin D supplement as part of a health and wellness routine, especially during the winter months and if you have low Vitamin D levels. WHOLE FOOD VITAMIN D provides a highly absorbable, vegan, food- source of Vitamin D to optimize your level of this vital nutrient.
- Lab Testing: We should be tested at least once each year to make sure we’re achieving adequate levels of vitamin D. The next time you’re having blood work done you should request vitamin D testing, as it’s not typically part of general annual screening.
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that we produce from being in the sun. Living in a cold climate, wearing sunscreen, and not enough exposure to the outdoors significantly increases our risk of being deficient in Vitamin D. Low Vitamin D levels increase our risk for osteoporosis, heart disease, weakened immune system, low mood, and diabetes.