Can a Vitamin D Deficiency be Causing Your Chronic Fatigue and Viral Infections?
Vitamin D Deficiencies, Causes and Solutions:
Soil quality is a major issue contributing to mineral deficiencies. Most soil today is less nutrient-dense than it used to be. One of the main nutrients that is missing in our soil is magnesium because farmers don’t rotate crops like they used to.
Other factors can affect your ability to absorb nutrients as well. Did you know that for many nutrients, the older you get, the more susceptible you are for deficiency? Lifestyle and other health conditions (like digestive problems) can limit your ability to absorb the nutrients you need.
Vitamin D Deficiency:
Vitamin D deficiency is extremely common. Over one billion people around the world aren’t getting enough Vitamin D.
Why It’s Important:
Vitamin D, also called the “Sun Vitamin,” is a fat-soluble vitamin in a family of compounds that includes vitamins D-1, D-2, and D-3. It affects as many 200 genes in the body!
Between 50 and 90 percent of the vitamin D in your blood is produced in response to sunlight exposure. Working indoors and hardly seeing the sun can lead to problems. Those with darker skin are at a greater risk because more pigmentation results in less vitamin D production. So are those over 50, who are more likely to become deficient as their skin thins and their intestines have a harder time absorbing the nutrient.
Vitamin D plays a role in practically every aspect of your health. It’s involved in regulating calcium absorption, maintaining a strong immune system, developing strong bones and teeth, and even fighting depression and promoting weight loss and breast health.
Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency
- You have chronic fatigue and catch a lot of viruses. Researchers at Newcastle University found a link between vitamin D and mitochondrial activity within the cells. Increased intake improved muscle function and energy levels and increased immunity to viruses.
- You sweat excessively. This is one of the first signs doctors look out for in newborns, adults, and everyone in between. If your head sweats more than the rest of your body, that’s a red flag of possible deficiency. Why this happens remains unclear; some researchers suggest “spinal sympathetic over-activity”.
- You feel depressed. The hormone serotonin, which affects your mood, increases with exposure to bright light. People with lower levels of vitamin D are multiple times more likely to be depressed than those who have healthy amounts.
Recommended Daily Amounts of Vitamin D:
Plenty of questions remain as to just how much vitamin D we need for optimal health. The Food and Nutrition Board set recommended daily allowances (RDAs) between 400 and 800 IUs daily. But these are strictly dietary allowances, and RDAs are the bare minimum we need to not experience adverse effects.
Just last year, researchers from UC San Diego and Creighton University challenged the guidelines, claiming that they underestimate the need for vitamin D by a factor of ten. These researchers support an RDA (again, a minimum amount) of around 7,000 IU/day from all sources.
Natural Sources of Vitamin D
Sunlight. Making sure you get some sunlight exposure every day is the best step you can take to eliminate deficiency. Shoot for 15 to 20 minutes around noon without sunscreen. Uncover a good portion of your legs, arms, and/or back for maximum benefits.
Fatty fish. Fatty fish like salmon, swordfish, tuna, and sardines are the best dietary sources of vitamin D you can eat.
Beef liver. Another nutritional powerhouse.
Eggs. The yolks in eggs also contain a decent amount of vitamin D.
We recommend a few brands of Vitamin D depending on the individual. We use Standard Process Cataplex D which is a whole food source of vitamin D. We also use a couple of liquid supplements – a D3 K2 spray and also a D3 Balance Formula.
If you need help determining what type of vitamin D might be good for you, don’t hesitate to call our office (678) 445-2746 or contact us through our web site:
Best of Health,
Dr. Chris Ambrosio D.C.