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Should I take a Vitamin D Supplement?


Estimated reading time: 2 minute(s)

Taking Vitamin D is the latest trend in the supplement world. Lately, it’s one of the most commonly prescribed vitamins after routine check-ups, especially for women- and the data speak for themselves. It’s estimated that 60% of people between the ages of 50 and 60 have a vitamin D deficiency, with that figure rising to 80% in those over 65. So why is this happening? Read on, to learn more.

Vitamin D plays a role in more than 200 physiological functions. 

We tend to associate vitamin D with just sunshine and bone health, but the truth is that vitamin D is linked to more than 200 bodily functions:

  • Immune system: Lack of vitamin D results in a weak immune system, the body has no defense against bacteria and microorganisms from the outside and is more likely to suffer from colds and flu. 
  • Cardiovascular health: lacking in vitamin D has been associated with cases of strokes, heart attacks, and angina pectoris. 
  • Cancer: Vitamin D regulates cell multiplication. 
  • Altered menstrual cycles: helps balance hormones. 
  • Skin irritations: psoriasis, dermatitis, acne are linked to vitamin D deficiency. 
  • Mood: It plays a role in the activation of serotonin from tryptophan, so when there is a deficiency of this vitamin you can be more likely to suffer from asthenia, depression, muscle fatigue, anxiety, insomnia…
  • Bones and teeth: The primary function of vitamin D is to facilitate the absorption of calcium and phosphorus in the intestine which in turn strengthens our bones and teeth. 

Causes of vitamin D deficiency: 

Fat deficiency may be behind a deficiency in vitamin D. In recent years, high-fat foods have been demonized. Many people completely cut out fats from their diet for fear of suffering from diabetes, obesity, or hypertension. Fortunately, the latest studies show that a diet that includes healthy fats (olive oil, nuts, ghee, eggs…) is more than recommended. 

Another reason that points to an increase in those with a lack of vitamin D is the increased consumption of processed foods. Foods such as salty snacks, industrial cookies, frozen pizzas… alter the intestinal flora, preventing many nutrients from being absorbed correctly by the body. An example- vitamin D. 

A diet rich in vitamina D.

To ensure that you’re getting enough vitamin D, I highly suggest not overlooking the following foods- supported by many scientific studies

  • Fatty Fish, like tuna and salmon.
  • Seafood, such as oysters, shrimp, and prawns. 
  • Egg Yolk. Eggs are one of my absolute favorite foods, check out this post here where I share with you all the ways you can prepare them.  
  • Mushrooms
  • Avocado
  • Offal
  • Butter- always organic. 
  • Orange Juice
  • Yogurt
  • Flax and Sesame seeds 
  • Dairy products, milk, or cheeses fortified with active vitamin D.

Supplements- yes or no? 

The recommended levels are above 20 nanograms per milliliter (ng / ml), between 50 and 70 are optimal. Normally you would get these figures and a doctor would decide whether you should take supplements or not. There are groups that are more at risk of suffering from vitamin D deficiencies. Take note!

People with darker skin, people with obesity, people over 60 years of age, infants, and people who spend too much time indoors or live in countries with very few hours of sunshine are at risk. Also, at risk are, patients with kidney, intestinal, or liver diseases are. 

If you belong to one of these groups or have been feeling extra fatigued lately, down, have had trouble sleeping, or get muscle pain and get sick too often, it’s time to go to the doctor and ask for a blood analysis. Beware of self-medicating! There are many people who take vitamins on their own and as a result, have an excess of vitamin D which is not recommended either! 

Sun Exposure 

Essential. Sunbathing every day for at least 20 minutes without sunscreen (they block the absorption of UVB rays) is crucial to maintaining vitamin D levels. Vitamin D is 90% synthesized through ultraviolet radiation from the sun.  

Sadly, the fact is that we have been having to spend much more time indoors lately which has not helped with the increase in the number of cases of people with vitamin D deficiencies. I strongly urge you to start organizing a time in your day when you can just sit outside or go for a walk in nature. Now, that spring is around the corner it will be even easier to manage and I know that you will notice the difference. 

Niklas Gustafson
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Niklas Gustafson

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