For all of the cold weather dwellers out there, 50% of you are vitamin D insufficient, while 25% are vitamin D deficient, according to the University of Buffalo.
Vitamin D is a unique vitamin in that it is created by the body when the skin absorbs sunlight. During the winter months, many are at risk secondary to a decreased exposure to the outdoors. In addition, winter days are shorter, yielding to even less sunlight. People of color, elderly, pregnant women, nursing women and children are at an even greater risk.
Researchers state that every cell in the body is responsive to vitamin D; therefore, a deficiency can be detrimental to health.
Vitamin D is necessary for healthy:
- Immune system
- Diabetes prevention
- Cancer prevention
- Muscle strength, particularly in the elderly
Research has not backed the use of vitamin supplementation in healthy people, with the exception of Vitamin D. Likely because many are even deficient in summer months, simply because a lot of time is spent indoors.
While it may make sense to supplement throughout the year, it especially makes sense to take a recommended 1,000u to 2,000u of vitamin D daily. It is also a good idea to have your doctor regularly check your levels.
Following the Mediterranean diet, may also help. Foods that are a rich source of Vitamin D include wild-raised salmon and oily fish, breakfast cereals, enriched milk and cod liver oil.
When considering preventative measures to maintain long-term health, vitamin D supplementation makes sense. Talk this over with your doctor and see if this is a lifestyle change that you should incorporate.