According to a study in USA 32% of adults and children are vitamin D deficient. A test will determine this, however there are signs that may help to identity whether you are deficient. Also when choosing Vitamin D - do not use D2 but rather vitamin D3
- Darker skin, darker skin usually lack Vitamin D, it is said the these category of skin types need 10 times more sun exposure than pale skinned types, because darker skin pigment acts as a natural sunscreen. Melanin in the skin helps prevent skin cancer however this creates a lack in Vit D. Older adults with darker skin have an even higher risk of developing vitamin D deficiency ;
- The Blues (depression) low mood, research indicated that people who are depressed or have low mood tend to have a low Vitamin D supply. Many different psychological processes chemically take place with different necessary nutrients/supplements, SAD ( Seasonal Affective Disorder) are a result of lower levels of Vitamin D. SAD is a mood disorder which results in symptoms of Depression during the winter months when there is less sunshine. This is not really applicable in South Africa however in places like UK, certain areas higher in Europe where winters are cold and wet. Serotonin levels are affected which can change mood.
- If you are 50 years and over - it seems as seniors age their ability to synthesis Vitamin D from direct sunlight is reduces. Vitamin D is activated in the kidneys and this function decreases as we age. Seniors generally are not as active and in the sun much as they age. According to the International Society for clinical densitometry approximately 95 percent of seniors may be Vit D deficient. An elder person over 70 produces 30% less Vitamin D than a a younger person with the same sun exposure. Scientist confirm that one would need to be exposed to the sun for at least 30minutes full skin exposure twice a week, to obtain the necessary Vitamin D.
- Obesity, overweight or high muscle mass, these people. Vitamin D is fat soluble and if you are overweight or have high muscle mass, the body will need more D;
- Aching Bones and muscles - often these symptoms are misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome which in actual fact its a lack of Vitamin D.
- Sweaty Head is one of the first signs of a Vitamin D deficiency, many physicians used to ask new mothers if their newborn child experiences sweaty head, excessive sweating in newborns that is due to neuro-muscular irritability is still described as an early symptom of vitamin D deficiency
- Gut issues, gastrointestinal issues that affect your body ability to store fat - you may have low absorption of fat soluble vitamins like Vitamin D, certain gut conditions such as crohns, celiac disease and non celiac sensitivity and inflammatory bowel disease.
- Low Immune system. Usually vitamin D will assist with Asthma as well as many immune disorders.
What are the sources of Vitamin D? Grain products, orange juice, plain yogurt, beef liver, eggs, salmon, fruits and vegetables, oily fish like tuna, mackerel, cheese, Cod Liver oil. However grains are not always good for gut, and one would have to consume about 7-10 cups of vegetables to get the daily required amount of D needed. Some have dairy allergies or Vegan diet. Over exposure to the sun can have harmful effects causing cancer, skin damage therefore Vitamin D supplement would be better to consume.
Lack of Vitamin D can cause Asthma, cardiovascular disease, cancer, cognitive impairment in seniors. If you are not exposed to sun often, and your diet is poor. Perhaps you should look into Vitamin D.
Disclaimer: Please note that this post is based on opinion with regard to possible natural remedies and one should always conduct research and if you deem necessary, consult with your medical practitioner, regarding using certain natural products. Certain natural supplements may possibly interfere with medications like Warfarin in thinning of blood, people with kidney disorders should be aware of what they use as well.