Vitamin D: Most Searched Vitamin on the Internet
Gina Rogean, APRN
Vitamin D has the highest number of search queries on the internet. And vitamin D deficiency is more common than you think. It is estimated that nearly half of the population worldwide doesn’t have enough.
It is well known that sunlight helps your body produce vitamin D. Even though you may get a lot of natural sunlight, if your skin is darker you may not be able to produce enough of it. This is due to the larger amount of melanin in darker skin. Because the melanin absorbs more UVB rays, it requires longer sun exposure to produce the same amount of vitamin D than someone with less melanin.
Other reasons for having low vitamin D can be from not getting enough in your diet, malabsorption issues, or your body may not be converting it to its active form, calcitriol. Certain medications, such as cholestyramine, anti-seizure drugs, glucocorticoids, antifungals, and antiretrovirals, effect the absorption and conversion of vitamin D to its usable form.
Signs and symptoms of low vitamin D include fatigue, trouble sleeping, depressive mood, muscle weakness, loss of appetite, higher rates of infection, hair loss and can lead to a loss of bone density as well. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, ask your provider for a serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D level.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin. This means you should take your supplement with a meal that has some fat to aid in its absorption. Also, make sure you take a D3 supplement that has vitamin K2 with it. This ensures the calcium is absorbed by your bones instead of building up in your arteries.
Good sources of vitamin D can be found in fatty fish such as wild caught salmon, tuna, and sardines. Eggs and mushrooms are good choices too, as well beef liver. If you use a supplement, go with a good quality brand and make sure to store it properly.
There are many benefits to having a good amount of vitamin D. Besides energy, mood and immune support, studies show that vitamin D can reduce cancer cell growth and reduce inflammation. It also strengthens your bones and teeth, and that’s something you can take a bite out of.