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Vitamin D deficiency is the single most common vitamin deficiency in society; with many symptoms. While most of our vitamins we get from food, the one we do not primarily get from food may also be the most important one. Vitamin D, otherwise known as “The Sunshine Vitamin”, earned such a title through our primary source of the vitamin being the sun.
For decades, we thought the primary importance of Vitamin D was that it supports Calcium absorption to support bone strength.
We have since learned that Vitamin D deficiency increases risk of:
Unfortunately, as a society we are getting far less Vitamin D than previous generations and our ancestors because we spend so much more time indoors, and therefore less sun exposure.
It is estimated almost one billion people suffer from Vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency. What are considered healthy levels of Vitamin D have continued to increase as we understand the difference between optimal levels and where our society stands.
Fortunately, this prevalent and risky condition is easily able to correct. Simply increasing exposure to the sun, especially in short bursts during peak sun hours in the late morning and afternoon can significantly increase levels. Because of the risks of sun exposure, many look for alternative ways to increase Vitamin D and fortunately there are several options. Many foods contain Vitamin D, especially fish and Vitamin D fortified foods such as dairy. For those that can not get enough Vitamin D from the sun or food, one can take a Vitamin D supplement, with popular initial doses ranging from 1000 IU to 5000 IU daily.
Like all things, with Vitamin D more is not necessarily better. Some recent research suggests that excessively high Vitamin D levels may increase inflammation as well. Therefore, there is likely an ideal range of Vitamin D levels, and this range likely varies based on our ancestry, as different ancient societies evolved to varying amounts of sun exposure.So many suffer the multiple serious effects of Vitamin D deficiency because they do not even know they have the condition, or that the effects can be reversed. Fortunately, for the first time, you can now test their Vitamin D levels from home. In addition to Vitamin D, with the EverlyWell Inflammation panel you can now test your levels of inflammation with a marker of inflammation, the high-sensitivity c-reactive protein, or hs-crp. Knowing how your Vitamin D correlates with your hs-crp can help you find and achieve your ideal levels of Vitamin D, thereby improving your mood, energy, risk of future diseases.