Vitamin D Deficiency – Are You At Risk? Take The Quick-Test!

Vitamin D deficiency is one of the most prevalent deficiencies in our culture. Most people don’t understand this.

What is Vitamin D and what does it do?

Vitamin D is both a hormone and a vitamin. It’s a hormone because it’s created by the body when sunlight hits the skin, and it acts as a vitamin when it binds with calcium for proper absorption in the your body. Most people don’t think of vitamin D as an anti-aging nutrient, but without adequate Vitamin D, your body cannot absorb calcium or even muster essential fatty acids, such as Omega-3. It’s absolutely essential to have enough Vitamin D, yet many people don’t.

Signs of deficiency

The quick-test, described below, is one way to self-check for low levels of Vitamin D. It works because calcium is delivered to an area of the bones that is like a gelatin matrix. Then, this gelatin matrix hardens into sturdy bone. But calcium can only be absorbed into this matrix when it is joined by enough Vitamin D. If you have a Vitamin D deficiency, this matrix will revert back to gelatin near the surface of the bone. This causes tenderness and bone pain.

Are You “D” Deficient? Take the Quick test: Find out in 10 seconds

With your thumb, press on your sternum (breastbone). Is it tender or painful? Now, press on the tibia (shin bone) of both your legs. Are they sore or tender? If you answer “yes” to both of these tests then there’s a 93 percent chance you’re Vitamin D deficient.

Signs of deficiency

The quick-test provides an easy way of checking for low levels of Vitamin D.

This kind of bone pain can not only be seen in cases of osteomalacia (softening of the bones), but also in fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and even the pain associated with chronic depression.

Vitamin D deficiency can also result in obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and psoriasis. As the deficiency progress, it can eventually lead to osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer, especially of the breast, prostate and colon.

Why Are People Deficient?

People become deficient in Vitamin D primarily for cultural or environmental reasons. For instance, in cultures where women are totally clothed, including wearing veils, people are almost universally deficient in Vitamin D. Likewise, submariners who spend extended time submerged become deficient. Neither group gets much direct sunlight.

Causes of Vitamin D deficiency among North Americans also includes a lack of exposure to sunlight and insufficient consumption of cold-water fish, such as wild salmon, mackerel and sardines. These are good food sources of Vitamin D as well as calcium and Omega-3 fatty acids.

You will find many foods have been supplemented with Vitamin D, but this has not resulted in an overall increase in Vitamin D levels. This is likely because some food and supplement manufacturers rely on an inexpensive form of synthetic Vitamin D called “ergocalciferol” – this form is identified as Vitamin D-2.  Food sources of Vitamin D and supplements such as Bone Growth Factor and VitaCal-Mag D use Vitamin D-3 (cholecalciferol); this is the form your body makes from sunshine.

What Should You Do?

If your bones are tender or if you have a low blood level of Vitamin D, the solution may be as simple as increasing your exposure to sunlight. You should spend 20 minutes daily in the sun with 40 percent of your skin surface exposed. Try to make it morning sun. Evening sun is acceptable, but in any case, never allow your skin to burn.

When Taking a Vitamin D Supplement, always choose D-3

D is a “fat soluble” vitamin. That means that you can store it for several days. I often suggest that two capsules of Bone Builder or two tablets of VitaCalMag D be taken at every meal. This dosage can be reduced to one capsule or tablet per meal after six months if the tenderness has disappeared from the sternum and shin bones. It’s a good idea to get a blood test for appropriate bloodlevels of Vitamin D and use the results as a factor to help structure your supplement program.

Recommended Intake

Age Group (years)

Adequate Intake

Females

Males

1 – 50

200 IU

200 IU

51 – 70

400 IU

400 IU

70 +

600 IU

600 IU

You can also include Vitamin D-rich foods in your diet:

Food

Serving size

Vitamin D content (IU)

Cod liver oil

1 Tbs.

1,360

Salmon, cooked

3 ½ ounces

360

Mackerel, cooked

3 ½ ounces

345

Sardines, canned in oil

3 ½ ounces

270

Milk, Vitamin D-fortified

1 cup

98

Margarine, fortified

1 Tbs.

60

Liver, beef, cooked

3 ½ ounces

30

Egg

1 large

2

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