Statistical data show that around 75% of American adults and 70% of American children are insufficient in vitamin D because they don’t get enough of it on a daily basis.
The problem with this vitamin is that we get the majority from the sun (our body synthesizes it when we’re exposed to sunlight) and it’s rarely found in food, so if we don’t get enough sun we develop a vitamin D deficiency.
However, there are some foods that are rich in it, so if you suspect you may be lacking it you should consume more of these foods because vitamin D is extremely important for the normal functioning of our body and in the prevention and healing of many health issues including cancer.
Vitamin D deficiency is often overlooked but it’s much more common than you think and there are some tell-tale sign which indicate you may be suffering from it.
So, what exactly is vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin which is stored in the liver and fatty tissues. This means that extra body fat can absorb vitamin D and prevent it from being used.
The vitamin differs from other vitamins as our body produces it on its own. While there are foods that contain the vitamin, we get most of it from the sun.
Eating vitamin D-rich foods also helps to increase the levels of the vitamin in your body and prevent certain diseases.
Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption for the bones to increase strength. A vitamin D deficiency leads to osteomalacia, a bone disorder that causes bones to be malformed. Being low in the vitamin can also be a contributor to breast, colon and prostate cancer.
8 health conditions linked to a deficiency in vitamin D include:
Allergies can significantly be reduced with adequate vitamin D levels. People with low vitamin D levels are more susceptible to allergies according to a study conducted on 6000 individuals.
Osteoporosis or brittle bone syndrome
When consuming the right amount of calcium and vitamin D, your bone thickness and health is improved greatly. You will have a much more decreased chance of sustaining a bone fracture.
Though a definitive cause of asthma is still up for debate, recent science points to vitamin D, and particularly the lack of it, as a major factor in its prevalence.
Especially in children, vitamin D has been shown to help reduce the severity and prevalence of asthma symptoms and may help quell the inflammation responsible for restricting airways and making it difficult for asthmatics to breathe.
Inflammation of the joints
Vitamin D helps to boost your immunity, and in return, it reduces inflammation in our joints. It strengthens your body so it can efficiently fight off diseases, infections, and inflammatory ailments like gout, arthritis, and rheumatism.
Depression and anxiety
When deficient in vitamin D, the brain can suffer from it as it heavily relies on the vitamin for essential function. Deficiency leads to memory loss, confusion, depression, and anxiety.
A recent study published in the Journal of Investigative Medicine has shown that people with hypertension fared better when their vitamin D levels were increased.
In addition to this, elevated blood serum levels of 25-hydroxy vitamin D, a marker of vitamin D, were found to help modulate vascular inflammation and other high blood pressure indicators.
Whether it is breast, cervical, prostate, colorectal, esophageal, gastric, endometrial, ovarian, pancreatic, or renal, cancers of all types have been shown to be more prominent between people with low levels of vitamin D. Conversely, those with the highest levels of vitamin D, or what are considered optimal levels, tend to be the least prone to developing cancer.
According to a 2011 study published in the journal AIDS, vitamin D deficiency significantly worsens the symptoms of metabolic syndrome in the case of HIV.
In the same study, the scientists have also discovered that everyone who maintains a healthy vitamin D levels through regular sunlight exposure (or supplementation) is at lower risk of developing type-2 diabetes.
Foods with vitamin D
The foods below have vitamin D in them:
- From organic orange juice.
- From fortified cow milk.
- From fortified cereals.
- From egg yolk.
- From dried shitake mushrooms.
- From fish liver oil too – It can be derived from the following types of fish salmon, herring, sardines, tuna, halibut, and mackerel.
What’s the recommended daily vitamin D dosage?
Adults under the age of 50 should take in 400-800 IU of vitamin D a day. If you are over 50 years old then 800-1000 IU is your suggested daily intake.