Vitamin D: Are You Deficient, Like Most Americans?

assorted vitamins in bottle
Are you severely vitamin D deficient, like more than half of all Americans?  If so, then you are at increased risk for many diseases, including osteoporosis, cancer, heart disease, and autoimmune disease.  Nearly 80% of Americans have vitamin D levels below the ideal range of 35 and 50 ng/mL.

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Why so deficient?
Sunlight is a great source of vitamin D, however, Americans spend a great deal of time indoors and generally are not exposed to enough sunshine to maintain levels of vitamin D at adequate levels to support optimal health.  Furthermore, few foods naturally contain vitamin D. It is noteworthy that individuals with darker skin are at even greater risk of vitamin D deficiency.  In fact, some experts hypothesize that this may, in part, explain higher rates of cancer and other diseases among darker skinned people.  Prior to supplementation, I was severally deficient and had no idea until my doctor tested me, when my blood was drawn at the time of my annual physical exam.

The good news!
Correcting vitamin D deficiency is as easy as taking an oral supplement each day. Most people who are “D deficient” need to take more than 1000 IU of vitamin D (D3 Cholecalciferol) daily in order to reach optimal levels.  Follow up blood tests should be performed to be sure that your vitamin D reaches adequate levels.  Mine was easily corrected within months and has remained in the ideal range ever since.

…so ask your doctor about getting tested for vitamin D deficiency in order to determine whether supplementation may be appropriate for you.  It may be the easiest thing you ever do, to help prevent chronic disease and early death.