Do you know that there is a theory that the reason the dinosaurs died out is because an asteroid blocked the sun and prevented the lizards from producing enough vitamin D to support them? Supporters back this with the evidence that only nocturnal rodents survived dinosaurs and sunlight certainly weren’t an issue for them.
Vitamin D is crucial for maintaining strong bones and assisting with the distribution of calcium throughout the body. Many people who have a Vitamin D deficiency are not aware of it because they assume that consuming foods with Vitamin D, such as milk, will guarantee that the body gets an adequate amount. However, very few foods have the needed levels of Vitamin D. Vitamin D is an irregular vitamin. It is a steroid hormone and its primary source is not food, but the sun.
Signs You May Have A Vitamin D deficiency
Although the only way to know for sure whether you suffer from a Vitamin D deficiency is by blood testing, there are some symptoms that may be early indicators.
Your Skin Is Dark
According to Vitamin D researcher Dr. Michael Horlick, your skin pigment provides natural sunscreen and the more pigment you have, the more difficult it will be to obtain Vitamin D. That means that African Americans need 10 times more sun exposure to produce the same amount of the vitamin as a light skinned person and are at greater risk of Vitamin D deficiency.
You Feel Depressed
Serotonin, the chemical in your brain that keeps you happy, increases with exposure to light. A 2006 study showed that patients with low levels of vitamin D are 11 times more likely to be depressed than those who obtained adequate amounts.
You Are 50 Or Above
As skin ages, it doesn’t produce as much Vitamin D as it once did. Furthermore, kidneys are less efficient in changing Vitamin D into a form which is usable by your body. Vitamin D deficiencies are common in people 50 and over.
You Are Overweight Or Have High Muscle Mass
Since vitamin D is fat soluble it sinks or gets absorbed by body fat. If you are overweight, your body is going to need to collect more sun than the average person to compensate for the quick absorption rate. People with high body weights caused by muscle mass are similarly affected and should also make sure to get adequate sun exposure.
Many people who visit their doctors in hopes of seeking relief for achy bones and fatigue may be misdiagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia, when they are actually suffering from a lack of Vitamin D. It may be that the lack of vitamin D is interfering with the entrance of calcium into the collagen in the bones, resulting in the actual cause of bone pain.
Since Vitamin D is fat soluble, a condition that affects the ability to absorb fat may also be responsible for low vitamin D absorption. Common causes are gluten sensitivity, Crohn’s Disease and inflammatory bowel disease.
Treating Vitamin D Deficiency
The optimal amount of daily vitamin D is between 50 and 70 mg. The best way to ensure that you get your recommended dose is sun exposure. Since so many factors, such as age and skin color, influence the optimum amount of sun exposure a person needs per day, Dr. Horlick recommends that , as a general guideline, you should spend enough time in the sun for your skin to turn a very light pink, or about half the time it would take to get a light sunburn. Vitamin D supplements are also available at most drug stores.