Did you know that most of us are dangerously deficient in this essential vitamin?
I used to just assume that my Vitamin D levels were normal…after all, as a physician I knew about the importance of Vitamin D, and I exposed my skin to the sun every day. But when I finally had my levels checked, I was shocked to discover that my Vitamin D levels were severely low…so low that I couldn’t believe my body was still functioning!
EVERY SINGLE cell and tissue in your body needs vitamin D for its optimal functioning.
Here are 6 Signs You May be Deficient in Vitamin D
If you suffer from:
- Frequent infections (colds and flu).
- Being overweight.
- Trouble sleeping.
- Heart disease, diabetes, cancer, or autoimmune diseases. Research suggests that vitamin D can help lower the chances of developing these conditions.
- Achy bones or have suffered a bone fracture, or you have poor teeth.
Vitamin D helps your body to absorb calcium from your intestines. Without vitamin D, your body will not be able to get enough calcium, which is needed to form strong bones and teeth. This can cause you to have a disease called “osteoporosis”, which means that your bones become brittle and you can have fractures of your hip, wrist, or vertebra (bones of the spine). It can even cause you to shrink- osteoporosis can cause you to lose up to 15cm (6 inches) of your height!
How can I get more Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is sometimes called the “sunshine” vitamin. When rays from the sun reach our bare skin, it sets off a process in the body that produces vitamin D. So by going outside (around mid-day) and exposing your skin to sunlight each day, it will help your body to produce vitamin D. And remember that windows block most of the sun’s wavelengths that your skin needs to produce vitamin D.
People who are at risk for Vitamin D deficiency include:
- People with limited sun exposure.
- Overweight people- vitamin D is fat soluble and therefore hidden in your fat.
- Pregnant women- vitamin D levels during pregnancy may be critically important for you and your baby.
- The elderly- your skin loses the ability to generate vitamin D. Plus, the elderly tend to spend less time outdoors.
- Dark-skinned people- have higher melanin levels, which blocks UVB radiation and limits the body’s ability to produce vitamin D3.
If you fall into any of these high-risk groups, or if you suffer from any of the above 6 signs, PLEASE have your vitamin D level checked as soon as possible.
If you discover that you need to take a supplement, take only Vitamin D3. The dosage needed varies greatly from person to person, so it’s best to monitor your levels until you find the dosage which is right for you.
Don’t forget Vitamin K
When you are supplementing with Vitamin D, it’s also important to make sure you’re getting enough Vitamin K2. Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium, but it’s the vitamin K2 which helps direct the calcium to the bones, where it is needed. Without adequate vitamin K2, the calcium will be deposited in your arteries, joint spaces, and organs instead! This can increase your risk of developing coronary artery disease, osteoarthritis, cancer, kidney stones, and hypothyroidism.
You can optimize your K2 levels by consuming vitamin K-rich foods, such as natto (fermented soy), fermented dairy (such as kefir and fermented cheeses), and raw grass fed butter. You can also take a vitamin K2 supplement. I take a combination supplement during the winter months which contains both vitamin D3 and vitamin k2.