WHY VITAMIN D DEFICIENCY IS SO COMMON AND HOW IT AFFECTS YOU
If you live in a colder region of the world, it’s common for Vitamin D deficiency to occur. It’s more likely to happen during the autumn and winter months when it becomes dark earlier in the evening, and the temperature plummets, forcing us to stay indoors.
Once Daylight Saving Time ends, we also lose a valuable hour of sunshine that creates Vitamin D that our skin can absorb.
We can acquire Vitamin D in several ways:
- Exposure to UV light (spending time in the sun)
- Diet (eating nutrient-dense foods)
- Supplements (capsules and liquid drops)
Why is Vitamin D so important, especially during the winter? Vitamin D is essential for healthy bodily functions. Here’s what it can do.
STRONG BONES AND TEETH
Having normal bone density can prevent the risk of conditions, such as rickets and osteomalacia. Rickets is a disorder that causes children to have weak and soft bones, and in adulthood, the condition is referred to as osteomalacia.
Calcium and Vitamin D work together, hand in hand, to help maintain strong bones and teeth. Weak bones can lead to osteoporosis, a condition where there is loss of bone density, which is the leading cause of fractures in older adults. Vitamin D helps to increase the absorption of calcium from the food we eat.
Vitamin D helps regulate cell growth, and can reduce the production of cancerous cells in the body. Vitamin D impacts more than 200 genes, which impacts cell growth. This is applicable to various types of cancer, including breast, prostate, skin, and colon cancer.
INSULIN LEVELS FOR DIABETES
Vitamin D can help balance blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes, and can help reduce the risk of insulin resistance.
Vitamin D deficiency in pregnant women can increase the risk of preeclampsia, a condition that causes a sudden increase in blood pressure and swelling in extremities. This can cause the need for a cesarean section (C-section).
Vitamin D is also associated with reducing the risk of:
- Cardiovascular disease, like heart disease and stroke
- High blood pressure
- Respiratory infections, like the common cold and influenza
- Cognitive disease, like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s
- Autoimmune conditions, like Rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBS), eczema, psoriasis
Do you suspect you may be deficient in this vitamin?
SIGNS OF VITAMIN D DEFICIENCY:
- Frequent illness
- Bone and muscle pain
- Mood disorders and depression
- Lack of wound healing
- Hair loss
It’s important to have your Vitamin D levels tested frequently by your doctor, especially during the winter months.
During this time of the year, it’s beneficial to eat more foods rich in Vitamin, like flax seed, mushrooms, kale, broccoli, egg yolks, and fatty fish.
In addition to eating nutrient-dense foods, supplementation may also be beneficial to help maintain normal Vitamin D levels, with the option of capsules or liquid drops.
Suspect that you have Vitamin D deficiency? Want to learn more about supplementation? Book an appointment with one of our Naturopathic Doctors today or come in and speak with our pharmacists.
Call the clinic at (416)504-9355 or book online.