Vitamin D deficiency is a common issue around the world. But many people are unaware that they have it or are at risk of contracting it. Some of us might believe we’re not Vitamin D deficient because we consume vitamin D-rich foods like milk. But surprisingly, we might still have the deficiency.
Perhaps this is because the biggest source of Vitamin D is the sun! If you don’t know yet, vitamin D is obtained mostly from sun exposure and not mainly from the diet. To find out if you need more vitamin D, we will discuss some pointers and tell you what to look out for if you think you may be at risk.
FACTORS AFFECTING VITAMIN D ABSORPTION
- DARK SKIN TONE
This is because the body’s skin pigment is a natural sunscreen. With more pigment in your skin, you need more sun exposure to produce vitamin D
You need more vitamin D if you’re overweight or obese. Because vitamin D is a hormone- like and fat-soluble element, your body fat will be like a sink that’s going to collect it. This simply means you will need more vitamin D if you’re obese than you would if you were slimmer.
- OVER 50 YEARS OF AGE
Your skin will stop to produce enough vitamin D as you age. And your kidneys won’t work efficiently to convert the vitamin into its usable form as well. So there’s a higher chance of contracting the deficiency. Also, people over 50 spend more time indoors, leading to lack of sun exposure — a fact that increases risk.
DAILY SIGNS YOU MAY NEED MORE VITAMIN D
- FREQUENT ILLNESS
Vitamin D can strengthen your immune system by fighting off bacteria and viruses, which would otherwise lead to illness. Certain studies had it that its deficiency could lead to colds, pneumonia and even bronchitis. Vitamin D can easily interact with the cells that fight infection. So more time outdoors in the sun, the greater the chances of remaining healthy.
Another top sign (but an often overlooked one) of vitamin D deficiency is tiredness. If you’re always fatigued, the quality of your life may be affected. To combat this sort of tiredness, you may want to take vitamin D supplements to improve energy levels.
One of the most significant benefits of vitamin D is its ability to maintain bone health by aiding in calcium absorption. Suffering from lower back pain frequently can be a sign of vitamin D deficiency.
Another sign of lack of vitamin D is a negative mood, which if left untreated, can become depressed. Lower Vitamin D levels are linked to a poor mood. This is because the vitamin directly affects serotonin levels in the body. Serotonin is a chemical which contributes to well-being and happiness. Hence, people with low levels of Vitamin D were more prone to depression than those who received enough doses of it.
Have you just had an injury or surgery and your wounds are not healing fast enough? This may be a sign that you need more Vitamin D. Vitamin D increases the production of certain compounds needed for new skin cell formation that can aid in wound healing. It also helps in fighting infection and controlling inflammation, which is essential in wound healing.
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to give or replace medical advice. Its contents are for general reference only. Consult your GP for proper medical advice regarding Vitamin D if you have been diagnosed for the deficiency.