The Truth About Vitamin D

It may seem like Vitamin D is all sunshine, but what most people don’t know is that Vitamin D is a critical component of your overall health. Did you know that approximately 42% of the population is impacted by Vitamin D deficiency according to the National Institutes of Health database? You would think these high numbers would be a cause for concern, but it seems as though this isn't taken as seriously as it should be.

Vitamin D is so much more than an essential vitamin. It’s actually classified as a hormone and has a tremendous impact on our immune systems. A majority of chronic illnesses stem from a lack of Vitamin D. It’s even been found that specific populations are more prone to this deficiency than others. According to The Harvard School of Public Health, people with darker skin tend to have lower blood levels of vitamin D because the pigment (melanin) acts like a shade, reducing production of vitamin D. 

Common symptoms of a Vitamin D deficiency include; fatigue, hair loss, inflammation, muscle weakness, not getting restorative sleep, a loss in appetite, weakened immune system, and bone pain. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it may not mean you are experiencing a deficiency, but we still advise getting your levels checked to rule it out. 

So now that we’ve covered just how serious Vitamin D is, how do you increase your exposure to it? It’s not as simple as getting more sunshine - which is still important. Here are some proactive steps you can take to improve your Vitamin D levels. 

Invest in a Good Quality Supplement 

The best way to raise your Vitamin D intake is to invest in a good quality supplement. The Recommended Dietary Allowance of Vitamin D in men and women who are 19 years and older is 600 IU. We recommend 

Incorporate Vitamin D Rich Foods Into Your Diet

There isn’t a wide variety of foods that contain a tremendous amount of Vitamin D, however, there are some options that can be beneficial. Fatty fish like; salmon, tuna, sardines and swordfish contain a decent amount of Vitamin D. Another great option is cod liver oil. Foods that have a smaller amount of Vitamin D, but are still great to incorporate into your diet are egg yolks, D2- and D3-fortified dairy or orange juice, and beef liver. Just a reminder, adding Vitamin D into your diet through food alone is not enough to have a huge impact on your overall levels. 

If you suspect you’re struggling with a lack of Vitamin D, talk with us here at Livewell about getting your levels checked. Once we identify the intensity of your deficiency, we can put in place an action plan to combat the symptoms you may be experiencing. Whether it's through supplements, IV therapy or all of the above, we are here to help!