Vitamin D is among the most common nutrients in the news, and that is good because many people have low levels of this essential nutrient. More than 1 in 4 Americans may be at risk for vitamin D deficiency, with consequences including threats to bone health and increased risk for autoimmune diseases and heart disease, among others.
Luckily, it is not hard to find out if you are at risk for vitamin D deficiency or if you need more. And, Netrition has many types of Vitamin D supplements. Ask your healthcare provider which may be best for you to take, and be sure you are doing what you can for your nutrition and health.*
Vitamin D and Bone Health
Vitamin D is and bone health go hand-in-hand with bone health. Here are some reasons why.
- Your body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium properly.
- Vitamin D is needed to keep levels of calcium normal in the blood and to maintain normal calcium levels in bone.
- Vitamin D affects phosphorus in the body, and that is another essential mineral in bone health.
Low vitamin D levels in childhood can lead to rickets, or poorly formed bone. In adults, low vitamin D can lead to osteomalacia, or soft bones.
Other Reasons Why Vitamin D Is Important
There are many more reasons why vitamin D is important. It is related to these systems and effects in the body.
- Normal growth and differentiation of cells, which lowers the risk for calcium.
- Regulation of the immune system and immune response, which can lower the risk for autoimmune conditions and possibly infections.
- Regulation of the insulin response, which can help lower the risk for diabetes.
- Effects on blood pressure, which can help lower the risk for hypertension and heart disease.
- Fetal growth and development, making it critical for pregnant women to get enough.
Vitamin D is also involved in maintaining normal levels of inflammation. Too much chronic inflammation is linked to the development of chronic diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Vitamin D is involved in all sorts of disease processes, and having enough of it can help keep your risk at normal levels.
Signs of Low Vitamin D
How do you know if you are low in vitamin D? After all, you will not be able to feel if your bones are low in calcium, or if your blood sugar or blood pressure are out of range. One way you may be able to notice low vitamin D levels is if your muscles have pain or are weak.
Still, you cannot depend on signs of vitamin D. It is better to test your levels if you are worried about your vitamin D levels.
Benefits of Vitamin D
If you are low in vitamin D, taking vitamin D can help normalize the risks or symptoms. For example, having adequate levels of vitamin D is linked to lower risk for cognitive decline with age, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and certain types of cancer. It is also linked to lower risk for autoimmune conditions, such as type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis.
Risk Factors for Low Vitamin D
Are you at risk for vitamin D? Many Americans are. You may be at higher risk if you have one or more of the following risk factors.
- Your dietary intake is low, which is especially likely if you avoid dairy products and do not eat fatty fish.
- You live in a northern climate.
- You wear sunscreen when you go outside.
- You cover your skin with clothing when you go outside.
- You have darker skin or are an older adult.
Even without these risk factors, you could have low levels.
Testing Vitamin D Levels
Talk to your healthcare provider if you have risk factors for being low in vitamin D, or if you have signs of being low in vitamin D. It is easy to test for vitamin D in the blood. The blood test is a standard test that most labs can do, and you do not need to fast to get accurate results. If you are low in vitamin D, you can ask your healthcare provider about next steps, such as taking supplements.*
Sources of Vitamin D
These are the most common food sources of vitamin D.
- Fortified milk.
- Fortified cereal.
- Fatty fish.
- Egg yolks.
- Irradiated mushrooms.
Most people do not get enough vitamin D from food. You can also make vitamin D from the sun, but not everyone gets enough exposure to the sun. If you are not getting enough vitamin D from food and sunlight, your doctor may suggest supplements.
Ways to Get More Vitamin D
- Soft gels.
- Vegetarian capsules with vitamin K2 or calcium, magnesium, and vitamin K.
- Collagen Peptide Powder with vitamin C, biotin, vitamin B6, niacin, pantothenic acid, hyaluronic acid, and keratin.
- Gummies with Ashwaghanda in a delicious mixed berry flavor.
- Liquid drops, in regular with 400 IU or extra strength with 1000 IU, that you can dissolve in a favorite beverage and not even taste as you take it.
Ask your doctor which source may be best for you, and how much vitamin D to take. It can vary depending on your age, gender, and other personal factors.
Vitamin D is a crucial vitamin for bone health and so much more in all stages of the life cycle. Though many Americans are low in vitamin D or at risk for deficiency, it is easy to find out if you have low levels. If you do, talk to your healthcare provider about your options. A Vitamin D supplement could be right for you. Netrition has Vitamin D in a variety of easy-to-take, convenient forms that can turn concerns over vitamin D into a thing of the past.*
*The Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated these statements. Netrition products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Anyone with a medical condition should seek the advice of a licensed medical practitioner. Individual results may vary.