Vitamin D Endemic Deficiency

Recent statistical information brings to light that Vitamin D deficiency is alarmingly on the rise. Likely reasons for this trend are a decrease in dairy consumption due to increases in vegan and vegetarian lifestyles, lactose intolerance and increase use of sunscreens. 75% of Americans do not get sufficient vitamin D. The average American diet provides only 100 IU per day. Dark skinned people in less sunny areas are particularly susceptible to deficiency.  

Low serum Vitamin D leads to bone loss, increase incidents of fractures, increased risk of colorectal cancer, possible increases of prostate and breast cancer, an increase in type 2 diabetes and hypertension and a decreased immune system. A recent Meta analysis found a 7% decrease in overall mortality from any cause with the use of a vitamin D supplement.

Current recommendations are to fortify with 400 IU of vitamin D daily. 600 IU if over 70 years of age. You can also try to get enough in your diet. Here is a list of excellent sources of dietary vitamin D.

Vitamin D capsules forming the letter D - Ultimate Health Personal Trainer Toluca Lake

1) Salmon

2) Catfish 

3) Tuna

4) Mackerel

5) Beef liver

6) Cod liver oil

7) Fortified milk

8) Fortified OJ

9) Fortified cereal

You should know that too much vitamin D can be toxic; supplements above 2000 IU may be questionable. Symptoms of toxicity are vomiting, nausea, constipation, loss of appetite, and heart rhythm abnormalities.

Another more natural way to increase vitamin D levels is short controlled sun exposure. Exposing 20% of your skin to sun for 10 minutes twice – three times a week is all it takes. Vary the area exposed to limit sun damage. Sun exposure will not result in toxic build-up and have been found to be the fastest more effective way to increase serum levels to normal.