Vitamin D deficiency is now recognized as a global pandemic. As one study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition states, “The major cause of vitamin D deficiency is the lack of appreciation that sun exposure in moderation is the major source of vitamin D for most humans.”(1)
Because very few foods contain vitamin D naturally – and vitamin D-fortified foods often don’t include enough vitamin D to satisfy a person’s dietary requirements – supplementing with vitamin D is one of the best ways to get the vitamin D you need.
The Risks Of Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency can cause rickets in children, and precipitates and exacerbate osteoporosis and the painful condition osteopenia. It has also been associated with an increased risk of common cancers, hypertension, infectious diseases and autoimmune diseases.
Causes of Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency is caused by a lack of sun exposure, which is all to common in our modern society. But even in areas where people spend significant time outdoors, people run the risk of becoming deficient in this important vitamin. Those with darker skin are particularly at risk, as melanin can inhibit the amount of vitamin D absorbed from UV rays.
Vitamin D And HIV
A new study has associated vitamin D deficiency with HIV/AIDS progression and mortality.
“Seasonal decline in UVB radiation, darkly pigmented skin, low nutritional vitamin D intake, and genetic variation can increase risk of deficiency,” the study explains.
“In two ethnically distinct groups of young adults in Cape Town we found high prevalence of seasonal vitamin D deficiency resulting from inadequate UVB exposure. The deficiency was associated with increased permissiveness of blood cells to HIV-1 infection, which was reversed by vitamin D3 supplementation.”
“Vitamin D may be a simple, cost-effective intervention, particularly in resource-poor settings, to reduce HIV-1 risk and disease progression,” the study concludes.(2)
Other Benefits Of Vitamin D Supplementation
Vitamin D supplementation has been associated with reduced rates of cancer, cardiovascular disease, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and type 1 diabetes.
“Although chronic excessive exposure to sunlight increases the risk of nonmelanoma skin cancer, the avoidance of all direct sun exposure increases the risk of vitamin D deficiency, which can have serious consequences,” one paper explains.(3)
Treating Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency can be treated easily with vitamin D supplementation. One study explains that while the demarkations between vitamin D deficiency, insufficiency, and optimal concentration are controversial, “vitamin D in doses of 800-5000 IU/day improve musculoskeletal health… In patients with documented vitamin D deficiency, a cumulative dose of at least 600,000 IU administered over several weeks appears to be necessary to replenish vitamin D stores.”(4)
If you’re experiencing signs of vitamin D deficiency – bone pain, muscle weakness, and fatigue – or you are HIV-positive, consider getting your Vitamin D levels checked out by your doctor. Chances are if you are deficient, supplementation can restore your levels in a matter of weeks.
- Sugar Addiction Kills More People Than Illegal Drugs
Calling All Sugar-Fiends! Did you know that little white stuff you sprinkle into your coffee, that’s hidden in your granola …
- 5 Foods You Should Stop Eating (and What To Eat Instead)
There are many foods in this world you would have been better off never eating. This is especially true for …
- The Best Berries for Fighting Off Free Radicals
Of all the superfoods – foods with high amounts of nutrients, especially antioxidants – berries are thought to be some …
- Orange Juice Not As Healthy As You Think
Just because it’s made from fruit, doesn’t mean it’s the best choice. Orange juice is a breakfast staple, right? Well—it …
- The Most Healthy Yogurt In Existence?
Greek yogurt is one of the latest health food crazes – but is it really better for you than any …
- Eating at Home Vs. Eating Out. 4 Compelling Reasons To Cook Your Own Meals.
How many meals per week are you eating away from home? Over the last 40 years, more and more people …
- A Green Smoothie That Doesn’t Taste Like Grass!
If you’re looking for a super-clean, super-tasty start to the day when you wake up in the morning, be sure …
- 5 Natural Herbs For The Festive Season
The ‘festive season’ has begun and it’s only a few weeks to go until Christmas! Very soon our lives will …
- 6 Amazing Ways You’re Not Using Turmeric But Definitely Should!
Turmeric is definitely one of the world’s healthiest spice. This mighty root is known for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant antibacterial, antiseptic and healing properties …
- 16-Year-Olds Win Google Science Fair With a Simple but Brilliant Food Hack
A strange observation led to an innovative discovery and the top prize of Google’s 2014 Science Fair. While 16-year-old Emer …
- 5 Everyday Foods That Can Help Prevent Kidney Stones
The pain from having a kidney stone can be excruciating. This is why it is vital you ensure you are …
- Boost Immunity With These Coconut Oil Recipes!
The health benefits of coconut oil are getting a lot of press these days in the natural health community. Coconut …
- No One Ever Told You Onions Could Do These Miraculous Things
Onions have many uses beyond flavoring dishes in the kitchen. For centuries they have been used for a wide variety …
- 5 Strawberry Recipes for The Beginning of Summer
Berry season is just around the corner, with ripe and juicy strawberries suddenly becoming available. Strawberries are delicious and nutritious, …
- 5 Deadly Reasons to Stop Eating High Fructose Corn Syrup
There is on-going debate about the nutritional impact of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). The Corn Refiner’s Association has published …