Are You Getting Enough Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is not technically a vitamin

A vitamin is an organic chemical compound (or related set of compounds) that must be obtained from outside the body through diet.  In contrast, Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in very few foods, added to others, and available as a dietary supplement.  But it is also produced endogenously when ultraviolet rays from sunlight strike the skin and trigger vitamin D synthesis. Therefore, vitamin D is technically a pre-hormone and not a vitamin.

Vitamin D is an integral part of human health and longevity

Vitamin D plays a major role in building and maintaining strong bones by increasing the calcium that is absorbed through your intestines. Vitamin D regulates the immune system.  Without vitamin D the body’s T cells will not be able to react to a foreign substance (virus or bacteria) and won’t be able to protect us.

Vitamin D deficiency is linked to a host of health problems

Research suggests that vitamin D could play a role in the prevention and treatment of a number of different conditions.
  • Multiple Sclerosis – Dosage of Vitamin D found in multivitamins have been shown to reduce the risk of Multiple Sclerosis by 40%.
  • Cancer – Acording to the national cancer institute, a large number of scientific studies have investigated a possible role for vitamin D in cancer prevention.
  • Diabetes – Vitamin D deficiency may be tied to risk factors for type 2 diabetes among obese children.
  • Cardiovascular Disease – By raising low levels of the vitamin to normal levels, patients reduce their risk of heart disease by about 30%, an observational study finds.

80% of Americans are Vitamin D deficient  

A quick internet search shows that low vitamin D is linked to everything from an increased risk of cesarean sections to myopia (nearsightedness) to colorectal cancer.  And due to the modern lifestyle, the rates of vitamin D deficiency have been increasing in the US at alarming rates.   The good news is that Vitamin D can be improved through eating foods high in vitamin D, increasing sun exposure or by taking a daily multivitamin.

Are you Getting Enough Vitamin D?

If you aren’t sure if you are getting the right amounts of Vitamin D, your doctor can give you a quick blood test at your next appointment or you can take this quick quiz.

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