Vitamin D Deficiency – Who is at Risk?

Unlike other vitamins, the majority of Vitamin D is not acquired from eating adequate food. Most of our vitamin D comes directly from sunshine. The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in the US is largely a result of the following:

  • people working indoors
  • avoiding sunshine out of fear of skin cancer
  • living in northern climates (see map)
  • overuse of sunscreen

Those at risk for vitamin D deficiency include:

  • The elderly Vitamin D Map
  • Those who live in northern latitudes (see map)
  • Dark skinned individuals
  • Those who avoid sun exposure
  • Those who use sunscreen (SPF >8 inhibits vitamin D synthesis by the skin.  This includes the use of cosmetics and lotions that contain SPF ingredients)
  • Those who work indoors
  • Individuals who wear long clothing such as robes or head protection
  • Breast fed infants whose mothers are vitamin D deficient
  • People who are obese
  • Those who have had gastric bypass and gall bladder surgery
  • Those with inflammatory bowel diseases
  • Those with celiac disease and gluten intolerance
  • Those who take cholesterol medications
  • Those who take steroid medications
  • Chronic antibiotic use

Are you at risk?

New research on vitamin D shows that the average person needs between 2,000 and 6,000 IU of vitamin D per day!  Many nutritionist recommend large amounts of dairy as a source of vitamin D.  Unfortunately, trying to get your vitamin D by eating dairy is the equivalent of trying to spit out a forest fire!  Protect yourself by getting adequate sunshine daily.  Have your doctor measure your 25 OH D levels (vitamin D blood test) to assess you for deficiency.  You can acquire pharmaceutical grade vitamin D here.

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