Not only are natural products insufficient to provide the body with the required dose of vitamin D, but processed foods also lack it. Therefore, even though this substance is listed as a vitamin, it is not. Instead, it is a kind of hormone steroid, which the body does not get from food, but due to the reaction occurring under the influence of ultraviolet light.
To prevent mental pathologies, oncology, cardiovascular and autoimmune diseases, to resist most infections and other pathologies, optimizing the vitamin level significantly helps. Symptoms indicative of lack of vitamin D: excess weight, aching bones, darkening of the skin, age 50+, mood swings, problems with the gastrointestinal tract, head sweating.
At the end of the last century, few people seriously thought that our body might lack this vitamin. But with the development of technology, when it became much easier and faster to measure its amount in the blood, it became obvious that this problem is global and has become rampant. The lead researcher on this issue, Dr. M. Holick, states the following:
The American CDC notes that more than 30% of the population lacks vitamin D. And the numbers can be considered underestimated because the minimum level of it in the body was taken into account, which is not enough for 100% of health.
The survey confirmed that half of the children under 5 years old and 70% of children from 6 to 11 years old have low or very low levels of this vitamin.
Scientists dealing with this problem claim that this problem threatens 50% of the world’s population.
Black peoples (natives of Africa, India, or the Middle East) and people who spend most of their time under the roof of a building or heavily use sunscreens (they block vitamin production) are at a special risk group.
Older people suffer from a lack of vitamin D because they neglect to sunbathe and because its production decreases with age. After 70 years, the decrease in productivity reaches 30% compared to younger organisms.
How to tell if you have a vitamin D deficiency
The only 100% way to find out is through a blood test. But even without it, you can determine the lack of a vitamin if you pay attention to some signs and symptoms. Below you can familiarize yourself with them, and if at least one you correlate with yourself, you need to analyze the level of vitamin D in the blood immediately.
1. Dark skin
Dark-skinned people are much more likely to be deficient in vitamin D because they need ten times more UV light to get the same amount of this substance as white skin.
2. You are prone to depression and mood swings
It has been proven that exposure to sunlight increases serotonin, the so-called “good mood hormone” produced by the brain. A 2006 trial of 80 elderly volunteers found that people prone to depression were 11 times more likely to have low vitamin D levels than healthy people.
3. Age over 50
In this case, vitamin D deficiency is associated with several conditions. In people aged, it is produced less under the influence of ultraviolet radiation, but the kidneys process it with much less efficiency into a substance that the body can assimilate. In addition, older people are less likely to leave the premises.
4. Increased weight due to obesity or significant muscle mass
Since vitamin D is a fat-soluble hormone, the body’s fat stores it. Due to this, the intake of the vitamin increases in proportion to the amount of body fat. The same is true for people with high lean body mass.
5. Backache and arthritis
According to Dr. Holick, many diagnoses of chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia are misdiagnosed. Many symptoms similar to these diseases are due to a lack of vitamin D in the blood. Aching pain in joints is caused by calcium, which, due to a lack of this substance, penetrates the matrix of the skeleton, causing osteomalacia.
6. Sweating of the scalp
This is one of the most common signals of vitamin D deficiency. It is the one by which deficiency of this vitamin is often diagnosed in newborns, as manifested by increased neuromuscular excitability
7. Diseases of the intestines
In the presence of diseases of the gastrointestinal tract that affect the ability to absorb fats, the absorption of fat-soluble substances, including vitamin D, can be significantly reduced. Such diseases include gluten deficiency, intestinal inflammation, and Crohn’s disease.
Controlling the amount of vitamin D reduces the likelihood of heart and vascular diseases, oncology, and many others
Numerous trials have proven that diseases that kill more than a million people a year worldwide can be prevented by simply increasing the amount of vitamin D3 in the body. It also helps to prevent certain types of cancer.
This vitamin regulates the immune system, increasing its expressiveness, which helps to fight viral and infectious diseases more successfully.
If you monitor the level of vitamin D in the blood, then you can avoid:
- Cardiovascular disease. The substance helps to cope with hypertension and atherosclerosis and strengthens blood vessels, reducing the likelihood of heart attack and stroke. Unfortunately, Dr. Holick has shown that a lack of this substance doubles the risk of a heart attack, and the chances of a successful cure, in this case, are negligible.
- Diseases associated with a decrease in immunity. This vitamin is a strong immunomodulator; therefore, it is very important for preventing autoimmune pathologies such as multiple sclerosis or gastrointestinal inflammation.
- Viral and infectious diseases. Studies show that taking vitamin D daily during the cold season reduces the risk of getting sick by 40%.
- Genetic and metabolic disorders. One of the studies that Dr. Holick conducted on volunteers proved that taking a certain dose of vitamin D daily improved the functioning of almost 300 genes that regulate metabolism, immunity, and many other processes in the body.
How much vitamin D do you need to be healthy
When it comes to its amount in the body, it has already become clear to everyone that its level should be optimal and purely individual. Therefore, researchers are increasing this level every year.
It is estimated that the vitamin level in a healthy person who receives a lot of UV light is 50-70 ng/ml. And if you are under the sun more often, you will not have to take additional vitamin supplements. And the duration and volume of sunbathing will depend on several factors:
- If, for some reason, regular exposure to the sun is impossible, a solarium can be the solution. But it also needs to be chosen carefully – in most of such equipment, magnetic sources are used, which can provoke oncology. Nevertheless, it is easy to understand which system is used: magnetic ones emit a loud buzz, and electronic ones work silently.
- But if a solarium is not available, there is only one way out: you will have to use supplements with this vitamin. But for it to be beneficial, a supplement with K2 will have to be added to the diet.
How to tell if your body has enough vitamin D
To do this, you need to do a blood test twice a year, which almost any doctor can take.