The U.S. population is slightly better off than other countries when it comes to vitamin D deficiency. The Institute of Medicine defines an insufficiency to be less than 11 nanograms per milliliter. That being said, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, some 10 percent of U.S. adults are vitamin D deficient.
While there are many risks associated with excessive sun exposure, the fact remains that a small amount of sun on the skin each day is a great way to improve vitamin D levels. We talk about the anti-aging benefits of vitamin E a lot, but here are some vitamin D truths you may not know.
1. Spice up the bland with a little fat
What? Yes, that correct. But not just any fats. Adding healthy fats like coconut oil, pine nuts, and extra virgin olive oil to your favorite turkey and potato dish can actually help the body to take advantage of vitamins A, D, E, and K found in your green vegetables. Plus, a little extra flavor makes the seemingly not so tasty but good-for-you foods more interesting and easier to eat.
2. Our body can store vitamin D
Our bodies are capable of storing vitamin D — sort of like a reserve, so that we have sufficient levels to survive the darker winter months. This is only true though if we have absorbed adequate levels of UVB rays during the summer months for the skin to synthesize to vitamin D. So if you live in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States like Washington or Oregon, you may want to consider jetting off to Raleigh or California for your summer vacations to spike up your vitamin D levels to get you through the rest of the year.
3. Everything in moderation
Most of us can do with a little boost to our vitamin levels, but too much of a good thing can be bad for you. If taken in excess for an extended period of time, vitamin D can cause calcium to be removed from bones which causing them become soften and weaken. General rule of thumb is to heed to your healthcare provider or the manufacturer’s recommended daily dosage for vitamin D.
The importance of vitamin D
Many of us have experienced vitamin D deficiency whether we realized it at the time or not. Maintaining an optimal level of vitamin D is vital for sustained good health. Low levels of vitamin D are often revealed as insomnia, mood imbalance, poor energy, and compromised immune system.
One final thought
In order for your body to promote bone growth and absorb calcium, it must have vitamin D. Low levels of vitamin D results in soft bones in children and fragile, malformed bones in adults. Vitamin D is also necessary for other important body functions.
If you’re not feeling your best, take advantage of our annual physical exam special offer this month. Call (919) 554-6754 to schedule an appointment with a Wake Health Medical Group medical provider.