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Vitamin D Pandemic

Vitamin D deficiency is a global public health issue. About 1 billion people worldwide have vitamin D deficiency and 50% of the population has vitamin D insufficiency. Most people in the United States consume less than recommended amounts of vitamin D.

An analysis of data from the 2015–2016 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) found that average daily vitamin D intakes from foods and beverages were 5.1 mcg (204 IU) in men, 4.2 mcg (168 IU) in women, and 4.9 mcg (196 IU) in children aged 2–19 years.

In fact, 2013–2016 NHANES data showed that 92% of men, more than 97% of women, and 94% of people aged 1 year and older ingested less than the EAR of 10 mcg (400 IU) of vitamin D from food and beverages.

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin. We most commonly know vitamin D is produced endogenously when ultraviolet (UV) rays from sunlight strike the skin and trigger vitamin D synthesis. It is naturally present in a few foods, added to others (fortified), and available as a dietary supplement. Foods that contain vitamin D include fatty fish, dairy, fortified orange juice, fortified milk (including soy, almond, rice, and oat milk), mushrooms, beef liver, and egg yolks.

We have all traditionally known that vitamin D is crucial for bone health, but most people had no idea that vitamin D has immunity-boosting properties. Here are some of the functions of vitamin D:

*builds strong bones by helping absorb calcium *energy booster *mood booster *IMMUNITY booster (fights off bacteria and viruses) *protects cognition *anti-inflammatory *important for neuromuscular function *may protect from osteoporosis

At-risk populations may include (This list is not all-inclusive): *diets low in vitamin D *milk allergy or lactose intolerance *ovo-vegetarian or vegan diet *limited sun exposure *people with darker skin *older people *obesity *malabsorption syndromes: celiac disease, short bowel syndrome, gastric bypass, inflammatory bowel disease, chronic pancreatic insufficiency, and cystic fibrosis may lead to vitamin D deficiency *certain medications reduce the absorption of vitamin D

How will you know if you are low in vitamin D? Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency are usually not obvious until the level has been constantly low. Some symptoms may include bone pain, joint pain, muscle pain, fatigue, muscle twitching and weakness. The only sure way to know is to get your vitamin D level checked! It’s a simple blood test and we offer it!

*This information is for educational purposes and is by no means inclusive and is not intended as either diagnosis, treatment, cure, or prevention of any disease. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Working closely with one’s healthcare provider is essential. Individuals have unique genetics, potential medication interactions to consider, and specific food, and supplement allergies. No claims of efficacy are claimed or inferred. Please review links to scientific literature.

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