7 Signs You Should Invest in Vitamin D

Vitamin D is one of the many quintessential nutrients that we need to stay healthy. Not only does Vitamin D function to facilitate the absorption of calcium to strengthen skeletal health, but it also blocks the parathyroid hormone, which can cause damage to the bones by making them brittle and thin. All in all, if you get enough Vitamin D, your bones will thank you! Vitamin D’s impact doesn’t stop there – it also facilitates muscle function, boosts the immune system, helps regulate blood sugar levels and blood pressure, and some researchers even suggest that Vitamin D may prevent breast, prostate, and colon cancer.

The primary source of Vitamin D is sun exposure. Our bodies are capable of synthesizing Vitamin D, but the more time we spend indoors and away from the sun, the more vulnerable to Vitamin D deficiency we will become. If getting sun simply isn’t an option, you’re still in luck because certain foods and supplements are good secondary sources of Vitamin D.

Regardless of how healthy you feel, you should evaluate how much Vitamin D you consume to ensure that you are not deficient. Health Canada’s safe upper limit is 4000 UI per day, but Osteoporosis Canada advises healthy Canadians 19-50 to consume 400-1000 UI per day. If you are not getting enough Vitamin D, then you should invest in a Vitamin D supplement. Here are some signs that indicate that you may have to take your Vitamin D intake more seriously.

Recommended Intake

Ages 1 to 70: 600 IU daily
Ages 70+: 800 UI daily

Skin Tone
There is a well-established disparity gap when it comes to Vitamin D levels among different ethnicities. People with darker skin are more vulnerable to Vitamin D deficiency because dark skin requires longer exposure to the sun. Darker skin tones have more melanin in their skin, and this pigment acts as a natural sunscreen that slows down the production of Vitamin D.

Age
As we age, the body’s ability to produce Vitamin D also decreases. If you are over 50, you are more likely to be vulnerable to a Vitamin D deficiency. Since older populations tend to be more sedentary and spend less time outdoors, this is perpetuated.

Weight
People with excess body fat tend to have lower levels of Vitamin D, so if you are struggling with being overweight or obese you will be more susceptible to a vitamin D deficiency.

Aches and Pains
If you are experiencing fatigue, headaches, aching sensations in your bones, muscle pain, muscle cramps, joint pain or any type of chronic pain for no apparent reason, you should consult a doctor, but this could also mean you are in need of more Vitamin D.

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Excessive Sweating
If you sweat profusely while participating in light to moderate activity, then this could be a reason for concern. Excessive sweating while seated and not participating in activity is a symptom of vitamin D deficiency, but you should consult a doctor to see if there are any other issues.

High Blood Pressure
Those who have high blood pressure, unexplained weight gain, and trouble sleeping or concentrating may be in need of Vitamin D.

GI Issues
Vitamin D deficiency can cause problems like constipation, diarrhea, and indigestion. If you are experiencing some of these issues, and have not made any lifestyles changes recently, Vitamin D deficiency may be a possibility.

Dietary Supplements
You can consider cod liver oil, swordfish, salmon, tuna, orange juice, milk, yogurt, margarine, sardines, beef liver, egg yolk and Swiss cheese. You can also opt for some supplements. Consult your nutritionist or dietician to pick the best Vitamin D supplements.

Be proactive and preventive in your approach. Don’t wait until you experience the symptoms, check to see if you are consuming enough vitamin D!

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