Vitamin D deficiency in America has become a widespread problem.

A recent CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) report indicated that 1/3 of Americans aren’t getting enough vitamin D.

One quarter were at risk for vitamin D inadequacy and 8 percent at risk for deficiency.

Individuals with darker skin tones are even more likely to be low in vitamin D than those with lighter skin.

Low vitamin D levels can occur when:

  • The recommended intake is low over time
  • A person has limited sunlight exposure
  • The kidneys cannot convert vitamin D 25(OH) to its usable form
  • The absorption of vitamin D in the gut is inadequate
  • Vitamin D deficient diets like in milk allergy, lactose intolerance, ovo-vegitarianism and veganism

Vitamin D deficiency results in:

  • Ricketts in children resulting in soft bones and skeletal deformities
  • Osteomalacia in adults resulting in weak bones, bone pain and muscle weakness
  • May contribute to obesity and reduced mental clarity

Groups who are at risk of vitamin D deficiency:

  • Breast fed infants
  • Older adults
  • People with limited sun exposure
  • People with dark skin
  • People with fat malabsorption
  • People who are obese or have undergone gastric bypass surgery

Adequate levels of vitamin D can help promote good health as it:

  • May prevent certain cancers such as colon, prostate and breast, and prevent cardiovascular disease
  • May enhance the immune system
  • Promotes skeletal health by the prevention of osteoporosis and may enhance physical performance
  • May have a role in the prevention of type I and type II diabetes, glucose intolerance, hypertension and multiple sclerosis

Where can you get vitamin D? Here is what is described as the dietary guidelines for Americans:

  • Emphasize a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products. Milk is fortified with vitamin D and many ready-to-eat cereals and some brands of yogurt and orange juice. Cheese naturally contains small amounts of vitamin D
  • Includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts. Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel are very good sources of vitamin D. Small amounts of vitamin D are also found in beef liver and egg yolks.
  • Is low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars. Vitamin D is added to some margarines.
  • Stays within your daily calorie needs.

How much is vitamin D is recommended for children and adults per day?

  • Children 400 IU per day
  • Adults 600-1000 IU per day

So have your vitamin D level measured today and make sure you are getting adequate vitamin D intake in your diet for good health!