The studies are ongoing but the evidence is clear, Americans are not getting enough Vitamin D. Long term deficiencies can have disastrous effects on your overall health. And unfortunately in the early stages, Vitamin D deficiency symptoms are not outwardly apparent.
What Are Some Vitamin D Deficiency Symptoms?
Regrettably, many young people who are deficient in Vitamin D but may not show deficiency symptoms until it has advanced to the point of bone fractures or the bone weakening disease known as rickets. A leading expert in the field of Vitamin D Research believes that up to one-third of young people are severely lacking in this valuable nutrient.
Vitamin D Deficiency Symptoms in Adults:
Vitamin D deficiency symptoms are much more subtle in adults. Muscle aches, generalized bone pain and muscle weakness are just some of the manifesting symptoms. In another recent finding among Danish women, the majority of those who had symptoms of fibromyalgia were found to have a severe vitamin d deficiency. Symptoms varied among the participants, but overall muscle pain and weakness was a common thread.
Nearly half of African-American women are deficient in vitamin D, making them far more vulnerable to aggressive form of cancer and Type I Diabetes.
Why Sunscreen Can Be Harmful To Your Health!
We all know the sun is extremely harmful to our health, right? In truth, the sun is your very best vitamin D source. In this age of constant use of sunblocks and self tanners, we may have thrown out the baby with the bath water. While it is true that too much sunshine on your skin to the point of burning is detrimental, our bodies actually manufacture Vitamin D by our skin being exposed (without sunscreen) to the sun for a certain amount of time each day.
Sunscreen virtually invalidates your body's ability to generate any Vitamin D because it prevents the UVB radiation that enables your skin to produce it naturally. So in an effort to protect ourselves from skin cancer, we have inadvertently subjected ourselves to many other types of cancer and diseases.
How Much Exposure Is Necessary?
Our bodies' amazing manufacturing system will produce enough Vitamin D in about 10 to 20 minutes of sun exposure per day. This is relative to your skin type. Darker skinned people may need a longer exposure each day. All skin types have to work up to this level, so they don't burn their skin. Another important fact is that we need more that just our face and hands exposed to get the maximum benefit. Ideally 40% of our body needs to be exposed during our daily sun bath.
Keep in mind however, that after that the length of exposure is important. While we need to stay in the sun long enough for our body to produce the vitamin D, staying in the sun for longer than that will not produce more vitamin D but will only cause damage to your skin. Again, stay in the sun without sunscreen just until your skin turns the lightest shade of pink. This should take about 15 to 20 minutes, but some people will need less and some will need more. This daily exposure could help alleviate many vitamin d deficiency symptoms.
Vitamin D Overdose:
The best way to acquire vitamin D is by exposing your skin to the sun and letting your body manufacture it naturally. It would be highly unlikely to experience a vitamin D overdose with sun exposure only. There has never been a documented case of this, according to the leading expert in the field, Dr. Holick. Our bodies' also have a marvelous regulatory system, that shuts down the production when your levels are at a healthy state.
Although also unlikely, it is possible to experience a vitamin d overdose when taking it as a supplement. Always make sure you supplement with vitamin D3 â€“ never the synthetic vitamin D2 ergocalciferol. Also having a vitamin D test to accurately test your levels is an important safeguard. Remember even if you levels are optimal during the summer months, it is very probable they could get dangerously low during the winter months when you are not outside.
Cut Your Cancer Risk:
Vitamin D is emerging as quite a phenomenon in the world of vitamins. There are over 800 studies at the present time which show the effectiveness of Vitamin D against cancer. By maintaining the optimum levels of vitamin D, you can reduce your risk of cancer by 50%!
People living further from the equator have an increased risk of dying from breast, colon, ovarian and prostate cancer because they have less sunlight shining on their skin to manufacture vitamin D, according to Dr. Holick.
In a four- year trial of 1,200 postmenopausal women it was discovered that among those women taking 1,000 IU a day of vitamin D along with calcium, the risk of all cancers was successfully lowered by 77%.
Also startling is the data regarding colorectal cancer: Individuals with higher levels of vitamin D were half as likely as the subjects with lower levels to develop this deadly disease.
Protection Against Heart Disease:
A recent study confirms the protective effect that vitamin D has on the heart. This protection is thought to occur by controlling the release of stress hormones which lead to inflammation and high blood pressure.
Further studies confirm this important link. In one clinical trial, the men whose blood work showed vitamin d levels below 30 nanograms were twice as likely to have a heart attack as those participants who had higher levels.
The same holds true for hypertension. Men and women with less circulating vitamin D were three times more likely to develop high blood pressure.
Vitamin D Deficiency Symptoms During the Winter Months:
In an ideal world, we would all move further south during the winter to warmer, sunnier climates so we could keep our vitamin d levels at an optimum level. However, as this is not an option for most people, supplementing with oral vitamin d or using a SAFE tanning bed are reasonable alternatives. A safe tanning bed has specific components that are not available in most commercial or home tanning beds which are definitely not recommended.
As mentioned previously, many adults don't recognize vitamin d deficiency symptoms until they have externalized into a recognizable disease. High blood pressure, inflammation, muscle and body aches could all be vitamin d deficiency symptoms you do not want to ignore.