Did you know an estimated 85% of people in the U.S. have a vitamin D deficiency?
I had a friend who was weak, tired and so low energy and couldn’t figure out what was wrong with her. Her doctor prescribed Vitamin D3 (without even testing her) and within 2 weeks she was feeling great.
This vitamin D deficiency is such an epidemic that my naturopathic doctor prescribes all of her patients Vitamin D3 in the winter months. Even in the summer because we work indoors and slather on sunscreen when we’re outside.
Benefits of Vitamin D
The biggest benefit of Vitamin D is that you need it to absorb calcium and promote bone growth.
So if you don’t get enough of this vitamin you run the risk of developing soft bones (osteomalacia) and fragile bones (osteoporosis.) We don’t want any broken hips as we age, right?
Vitamin D Deficiency Symptoms—Are You at Risk?
Serotonin (the happy brain hormone) greatly decreases without sun exposure. If your vitamin D levels are low, you’re 11 times more likely to be depressed.
Remember I said above about helping your body absorb calcium? Well, if your bones don’t get enough calcium they’ll start talking to you be aching.
If your head is sweaty and clammy more times than not, you may want to (run!) and get a Vitamin D test.
Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin. So if you have any GI problems that affect your ability to absorb fat, you may want to test your Vitamin D levels. Think Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, IBS or any gluten sensitivities you may have.
You don’t make Vitamin D well as you age. Sigh…gotta love aging. So if you’re over 50, go get checked.
Your natural pigment acts like a sunscreen, so the darker you are the more vitamin D (from the sun) you’ll need—up to 10 times more!
Overweight or High Muscle Mass
Fat and muscle collect Vitamin D. So more you have of each of those, the more risk you have to deficiency.
How much Vitamin D supplementation do I need?
Aaahhh—a loaded question. It depends…
Firstly, do you have any of the above deficiency symptoms?
Where do you live?
Cold climates that keep people indoors for months at a time will need more supplemental Vitamin D then those who don’t.
The Institute of Medicine recommends 1,000-4,000 international units per day. My naturopathic doctor recommends 5,000 IU’s per day.
Bottom line? Always check with your doctor before supplementing with Vitamin D.
Let me know in the comments below if you’ve ever found to be deficient OR if you supplement now. Has it made a difference?