Vitamin D is extremely unique in the sense that it is perhaps the most studied nutrient of all time, yet the most underrated as well. Until recently, not much light has been shed on the powerful effects of vitamin D. But of course, as with anything else, there is also much fiction propagated regarding vitamin D and its effects. Vitamin D has been tied to preventing cancer, aiding in weight loss, fighting bone fractures, and much more.
Why then, are people so reluctant to experience its benefits? Vitamin D deficiency is so prevalent that there has actually been a resurgence of the rickets. With all the myths abound, the truth about vitamin D is hard to find. Find out what you need to know about vitamin D.
The Fundamentals of Vitamin D
- Vitamin D is produced by your skin in response to ultraviolet radiation from sunlight.
- Your body cannot create vitamin D behind glass, as the rays of sunlight cannot penetrate the glass. You will need to go outside or open the window to generate vitamin D.
- Sunscreens block your body’s ability to create vitamin D. Even the lower SPF sunscreens, such as SPF 8, hamper your body’s ability to generate vitamin D by 95%.
- It would require ten tall glasses of vitamin D fortified milk to reach the minimum daily levels of vitamin D into your system.
- Vitamin D3 can be purchased in supplement form, and is vastly superior to vitamin D2, which your body has trouble breaking down and absorbing.
- Most of us are deficient in vitamin D.
- Many reputable health experts recommend taking around 5,000 IU vitamin D per day, but this amount varies. The only accurate way to gauge how much you should be taking is to get a blood test.
Of course, the amount of sunshine it takes to meet your daily requirements varies quite largely. It depends on your geographical location, the time of day, the season, and the atmospheric condition. This is why many people choose to supplement with vitamin D3, the natural form the vitamin. Many lower-end multivitamins contain vitamin D2 which, as previously mentioned, is hard for the body to absorb and is also potentially toxic.
If you choose to get your vitamin D naturally via sunshine, then you should be consistently testing your blood for vitamin D levels. You can get this done by lab companies such as Quest. This is truly the only absolute way to determine if you are vitamin D deficient.
Some Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency
- Chronic Back Pain (One of the most common symptoms)
- Musculoskeletal Pain
- Irritable Bowel Disease
- Inflammatory Pain
- Nerve Pain or Neuropathy
- ‘Bone Pain’
Vitamin D deficiency is often missed, and never usually brought up by most mainstream medical establishments as a cure for any of these symptoms of conditions. The only way to find out if a vitamin D deficiency is the cause of your pain is to start taking in the correct amount (5,000 IU/day but varies for everyone – see first part of article) of vitamin D per day and see if the symptoms are relieved.
With the vast amount of deficiency, and the resurgence of the rickets, its amazing how often this vital nutrient is ignored. Vitamin D is a free vitamin that can help relieve a host of medical conditions, and prevent most forms of cancer. Take advantage of its benefits.