Among the many vitamins our bodies need to function at optimal levels is Vitamin D. An extremely powerful and vital to our health nutrient, Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin produced by our bodies when our skin is exposed to sunlight. Responsible for aiding with calcium absorption, mood regulation, and immune system balancing, in addition to preventing a myriad of diseases, Vitamin D plays an important role in our bodies and its levels must be maintained to live a healthy and fulfilling life.
In recent years, due to increased time spent indoors, Vitamin D deficiency is on track to becoming a serious health concern affecting more than 1 billion people worldwide. An estimated 41.6% of adults in the US have insufficient Vitamin D levels in their blood, the number increasingly higher in the individuals who work and spend the majority of their time indoors and lack sun exposure, and the elderly population.
Now that we have established how important Vitamin D is to your well-being and health, it is important to address how Vitamin D deficiency presents itself in your body and how to increase the levels of this nutrient safely and effectively to help you lead a healthy and balanced life.
Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency, even with the significant impact it has on the quality of our life, is extremely difficult to diagnose without a blood test. The majority of people do not realize that they are Vitamin D deficient, as the symptoms are often masked by other factors and can be easily mistaken for other conditions. To help you identify whether you are at a high risk of having low levels of Vitamin D, we’ve compiled a list of common symptoms associated with this imbalance.
Getting Sick Often
Perhaps the most telling sign of all is a compromised immune system, as there have been multiple studies that found a link between Vitamin D levels and respiratory infections like bronchitis and pneumonia. Playing an important role in maintaining the immune system functions, if you are someone that gets sick often, low levels of Vitamin D could be a potential contributing factor.
Tiredness and Fatigue
A common symptom often confused with lack of sleep and rest, fatigue can have a devastating effect on our life. Vitamin D is an important yet overlooked factor when considering tiredness, and if you experience ongoing fatigue despite adequate amounts of rest, Vitamin D deficiency could be to blame.
Vitamin D is crucial in the process of calcium absorption, hence why experiencing bone pain could be a telling sign that your blood is low in Vitamin D. In fact, studies show that people with Vitamin D deficiency were almost twice as likely to experience chronic bone pain in their legs, ribs or joints when compared to those with adequate Vitamin D levels.
Depression and Mood Imbalances
There is a high correlation between depression and Vitamin D deficiency, particularly in older adults. Seasonal depression, apparent in cold winter months, has been proven to be alleviated by Vitamin D supplementation. Although there isn’t enough evidence to conclude that Vitamin D could be a sole factor for the development of depression, it plays an important role as proven by multiple observational studies.
Who Is At Risk For Vitamin D Deficiency?
All things get better with age, except Vitamin D levels. Studies show that a person's natural ability to produce Vitamin D decreases as they age, so it becomes more difficult to get enough from sunlight and diet alone. For instance, a baby will produce up to 10,000 IU per day which is reduced down to about 600 IU after puberty, that is a huge difference that explains why the majority of the adult population suffers from less-than-optimal Vitamin D levels! To ensure that your body remains healthy and functioning as you age, all adults must monitor their Vitamin D levels regularly and begin supplementation as early as possible to prevent any of the unpleasant symptoms that accompany Vitamin D deficiency. Supplementation is especially important for older adults who are already at higher risk for various diseases such as osteopenia and osteoporosis.
How To Increase Vitamin D Levels
As more people spend time indoors during the winter months, it is important to know how to maintain sufficient levels of this honorary nutrient. Vitamin D is created by exposure to sunlight, so taking a few minutes each day in direct sunlight will help maintain Vitamin D levels, for the time being, however, it is not a long-term solution. The majority of us are unable to spend a sufficient amount of time outdoors to truly replenish the Vitamin D that our bodies need to function, and there is only a limited small amount of vitamin D in each of the foods and dairy sources.
However, when you do have time to go outside in the sun, please be aware that spending excessive amounts of time outdoors requires adequate sun protection to prevent sun damage and skin cancer. Spending more than 20 minutes outdoors too often comes with risk of premature skin aging and UV damage, and while sun protection in the form of sunscreen is recommended, it blocks the absorption of Vitamin D through sunlight, defeating the aim of increasing your Vitamin D levels through sun exposure. Dietary changes are another approach that may be ineffective for those that suffer from Vitamin D deficiency. Although including foods such as fatty fish, leafy greens, and fortified foods can certainly improve your Vitamin D levels, those of us that are already deficient in this essential nutrient requires a more concentrated approach.
Vitamin D supplementation is a safe and effective way to raise and maintain optimal vitamin levels to improve health and overall well-being. There is a multitude of Vitamin D supplements easily available on the market and recommended by doctors and physicians. Elite Source Labs has created a unique and powerful blend of high-quality vegan ingredients to create a potent and effective Vitamin D supplement. By combining Vitamin D3 derived from plant-based lichen with Calcium and K2 (MK7), derived from fermented soybeans, a revolutionary blend was formed. K2 (MK7) serves a crucial role in promoting bone health by activating a protein that removes calcium from the soft tissues and activating osteocalcin, which holds calcium to the bone, a vital ingredient to take for those struggling with osteoporosis. Together, these powerful ingredients work in harmony to promote calcium absorption and distribution to combat Vitamin D deficiency and its dreaded side effects such as fatigue while the efficiently absorbed and directed Calcium works to improve and prevent aching joints and bone pain. Together, they form a potent supplement that can help lead you on the path of improved health and well-being.
Vitamin D is an essential vitamin that plays a vital role in the human body. The best way to get enough of it? Get outside! If you're feeling sluggish, tired, or have been diagnosed with any health issues related to low levels of this important nutrient, it may be the right time to consult your doctor about incorporating a Vitamin D supplement into your diet. To make sure you and your family are getting all the vitamins you need to lead a balanced and healthy lifestyle, incorporating supplements into your diet in addition to nutritious food sources like eggs, fatty fish, leafy greens, and various fortified grains.
Remember, the answer to optimal Vitamin D levels lies in proper nutrition, and daily supplements combined with sun exposure for a minimum of 10 minutes per day. This simple yet effective solution can improve moods as well as reduce risk factors associated with certain types of diseases such as osteopenia, osteoporosis, and some types of cancer.
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