Do you lack vitamin D?

Photo of clouds illustrates how avoiding vitamin D deficiency can improve your physical and mental health.

If you spend more time indoors and spend less time outdoors, your risk of becoming vitamin D deficient increases.

Research suggests that approximately one billion people worldwide are vitamin D deficient, which can have negative consequences for your health.

Sun exposure is the easiest way to stimulate vitamin D production in your body, making you particularly vulnerable if you do not spend enough time outdoors. To counteract this, you may need to supplement with vitamin D3.

Vitamin D is essential for systemic health, regulating cellular growth and gene expression, which is essential for cancer prevention, improving cell differentiation, and playing a crucial role in immunity, fertility, muscle strength, hormone balance, sexual health, energy, mood, and more.

Vitamin D deficiency

A vitamin D deficiency can have a severe impact on your physical and mental health.

Osteoporosis, poor immunity, depression, back pain, hypertension, diabetes, fibromyalgia, neurological disorders, such as multiple sclerosis, and poor outcomes across the board, including autoimmune conditions and Covid-19, are all linked to vitamin D deficiency.

The only way to confirm if you are vitamin D deficient is to have a blood test via your general practitioner.

However, several signs and symptoms can indicate a deficiency, including chronic fatigue, poor sleep, frequent muscle pain and weakness, bone and joint pain, hair loss, a weak immune system, and mood disorders.

Low levels of vitamin D can contribute to seasonal affective disorder, feelings of overwhelm, sadness, anxiety, forgetfulness, and depression.

Vitamin D-rich foods

Consuming vitamin D-rich foods such as salmon, swordfish, tuna, fortified full-fat dairy, sardines, beef liver, cod liver oil, and egg yolks can also help.

However, eating these foods alone will not deliver adequate vitamin D levels, and if you are following a vegan diet, you may be at higher risk of deficiency.

While some plant-based foods such as mushrooms and fortified plant-based milk may contain vitamin D, they may not provide enough to meet daily requirements.

While supplements can be a key factor in preventing vitamin D deficiency, it is essential to note that recommendations vary by country.

The recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin D for adults in the US and Canada is 600IU per day and 800IU for people over 70, while in the UK, the RDA is 400IU.

In Australia, the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin D for adults 19-50 years of age is 400-1000 IU per day, and for adults over 50 years, it is 800-2000 IU per day.

When choosing a supplement, always opt for vitamin D3 and look for products that are paired with vitamin K2, which helps optimize calcium metabolism.

Ensuring adequate vitamin D levels is crucial for your overall health and wellbeing.