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!