Did you know that nearly half of Americans are vitamin D deficient? Just because summer is over doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get your daily dose. In one of our past blogs, we looked at the benefits of vitamin D. But what can a lack of vitamin D do to the body? Vitamin D deficiency leads to weakened bones and teeth. However, a vitamin D deficiency can express itself in many other ways.
How Does a Lack of Vitamin D Affect the Immune System?
If you keep getting sick from the cold and flu, you may have an underlying vitamin D deficiency. According to a study recorded by Cynthia Aranow, M.D. in 2011, “vitamin D deficiency is associated with increased autoimmunity and susceptibility to infection.” Low levels of vitamin D were also found in those suffering with Candida, yeast, bacterial overgrowth, and various digestive disorders.
Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to increased autoimmunity expressed in diabetes, lupus, and Sjogren’s syndrome. The good news is that vitamin D has been used to treat serious illnesses like these. Consistent consumption has shown measurable success in slowing disease progression.
How Does It Impact Hormone Balance?
Vitamin D is commonly referred to as a “vitamin,” but, in fact, it is more accurately a prohormone. This means that it is a substance that is converted to a hormone by the body. Leading endocrinologist Dr. Zaidi, author of “Power of Vitamin D,” explains how it works. Once the skin produces hormone D after exposure to the sun, it then circulates through the blood affecting almost every organ system of the body. This explains why the manifestations of hormone D (vitamin D) deficiency are so varied. The symptoms include chronic fatigue, chronic pain, depression, anxiety, and other emotional disorders. It can also manifest as osteoporosis, heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, asthma, multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and even memory loss.
How to Get Your Vitamin D
Although salmon, yogurt, and mushrooms are rich in vitamin D, our body can only absorb 10 percent of the recommended daily dose of vitamin D through diet. Several other variables make it difficult to specify the amount of time you need to spend in the sun to meet the appropriate vitamin D dosage. What region of the country or the world you live in? What season of the year is it? How much melanin is in your body? Melanin serves as a natural sunscreen. This means that the higher the content of melanin in the skin, the longer you would need to stay in the sun to absorb the right amount of vitamin D.
In conclusion, the effects of vitamin D deficiency are far-reaching. No wonder why medical experts are proposing that vitamin D may be the number one vitamin deficiency in America. With the effects being so widespread, doctors are regularly recommending a daily vitamin D supplement. Your doctor can prescribe it to you (vitamin D2). However, studies show how the human body more easily absorbs over-the-counter vitamin D, and more naturally.
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