Are you experiencing persistent fatigue, body aches, and a weakened immune system? Does it seem like you're constantly falling prey to every cold and flu that crosses your path? If you can relate to these struggles, there's a possibility that you're among the numerous individuals who are deficient in Vitamin D.1
In this article, we will shed light on key candidates who are particularly susceptible to vitamin D deficiency. Curious if you fall into one of these categories or simply want to learn more about the importance of vitamin D? Read on and see what steps you can take to improve your vitamin D levels.
Groups Most Susceptible to Vitamin D Deficiency
Here are individuals who may be more susceptible to vitamin D deficiency. Let's see why these groups need to be mindful of their Vitamin D levels.
- People with Limited Sun Exposure
Spending long hours indoors and toiling without sunlight can hinder the body's vitamin D production.2 The UVB the sun plays a pivotal role in processing this essential nutrient in your skin.3 So, it's no surprise that call center employees and night shift workers could find themselves at risk of vitamin D deficiency.
- Individuals Who Are Overweight
Did you know that individuals with a higher body fat percentage are at a higher risk of developing vitamin D deficiency? Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that can get trapped within fat cells. When this happens, it could result in less vitamin D circulation in the bloodstream.4
Unfortunately, this can pose a challenge for individuals with obesity, as they may require higher doses of vitamin D to maintain adequate levels or address the deficiency effectively.
- Individuals with Darker Skin Tone
Individuals with darker skin tones have a natural protective pigment called melanin, which gives their skin its darker color. While melanin provides some advantages, such as increased protection against harmful UV rays. It also poses a challenge when it comes to vitamin D synthesis.5 Melanin acts as a natural sunscreen, reducing the skin's ability to produce vitamin D in response to sunlight.
Due to the higher melanin content, individuals with darker skin tones require more sun exposure to produce adequate amounts of vitamin D compared to those who have lighter skin. This means that they may need to spend more time under the sun. However, it is vital to find the right balance, as excessive sun exposure can still lead to skin damage. On top of that, it increases the risk of skin cancer.
- Patients on Certain medications:
Did you know that some medications can affect how your body processes and absorbs vitamin D? It's true! Some commonly prescribed drugs, like anticonvulsants, glucocorticoids (steroids), and certain anti-HIV medications, may disrupt vitamin D metabolism, putting you at a higher risk of developing a deficiency.
For instance, anticonvulsant medications, which are used to manage seizures, can interfere with the activation of vitamin D in your body.6 This means that the conversion of vitamin D into its active form may be impaired, reducing its availability for important functions in your body.
Glucocorticoids, on the other hand, are powerful anti-inflammatory steroids. They can also impact how your body handles vitamin D. They might interfere with the absorption of calcium, a vital nutrient that works closely with vitamin D to keep your bones and teeth strong and healthy.7 Incidentally, cortisol, widely known as the body's stress hormone, is a glucocorticoid. So if you are in a constant amount of stress, this can impact your body's Vit D conversion, as well.
Similarly, certain anti-HIV medications, such as protease inhibitors, can affect the metabolism of vitamin D.8 They can interfere with the enzymes responsible for activating vitamin D, potentially leading to lower levels of active vitamin D in your body.
- Vegans and Lactose Intolerants
Several types of diets or dietary patterns can put individuals at a higher risk of vitamin D deficiency.9 These include:
- Vegan or vegetarian diets:
Vitamin D is primarily found in animal-based food sources, such as fatty fish, egg yolks, and fortified dairy products. Vegans who completely avoid animal products and vegetarians who consume limited amounts of animal-based foods may have a higher risk of vitamin D deficiency if they do not obtain sufficient vitamin D other sources.
- Limited dairy intake:
Dairy products, including milk, yogurt, and cheese, are commonly fortified with vitamin D.10 Individuals who have lactose intolerance, dairy allergies, or follow a dairy-free diet may miss out on this packed source of vitamin D.
- Senior Citizens
As we age, our skin becomes less efficient at producing vitamin D sunlight. This is because changes in the skin's structure make it harder for sunlight to trigger the vitamin D process.11 In addition, older adults may also have reduced dietary intake of vitamin D-rich foods and decreased absorption of vitamin D in the intestines. These factors combined put older adults at greater risk of vitamin D deficiency.
- Individuals with malabsorption disorders:
Certain medical conditions, such as celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and Crohn's disease, can affect the absorption of nutrients, including vitamin D, the gastrointestinal tract.12
The damaged or inflamed intestinal lining may not be able to absorb vitamin D properly, even if it is present in the diet. As a result, individuals with malabsorption disorders may face challenges in maintaining adequate vitamin D levels.
If you find yourself deficient in vitamin D, there are several steps you can take to address the deficiency and improve your vitamin D levels. Here's what you can do:
- Sun exposure: Spend some time under the sun. Allocate at least two days per week, each lasting at least 20 minutes. The least dangerous time to be under the sun is typically during the early morning or late afternoon. This is when the sun is lower in the sky, and the intensity of ultraviolet (UV) radiation is generally lower compared to midday.13
Exposing your skin to sunlight can stimulate vitamin D production in the body. Remember to balance sun exposure with adequate sun protection to prevent sunburn.
- Dietary changes: Incorporate vitamin D-rich foods into your diet. Good dietary sources of vitamin D include fatty fish (such as salmon, mackerel, and tuna), fortified dairy products, egg yolks, and fortified cereals.
- Lifestyle modifications: Maintain a healthy lifestyle by engaging in regular physical activity and adopting a balanced diet. Adequate exercise and nutrition can support overall health, including vitamin D metabolism.
Consider a supplement:
Talk to your healthcare provider to determine your vitamin D levels through a blood test. Doing the test will help you assess the severity of the deficiency. Plus, it will guide your physician to give you appropriate treatment.
When selecting a vitamin D supplement, it's essential to consider reputable brands. They are more likely to adhere to strict quality control standards, ensuring that the vitamins you consume are accurately labeled. Additionally, they typically undergo rigorous testing and adhere to good manufacturing practices. This ensures the purity, potency, and overall quality of their products.
Kickstart your journey towards better health today by choosing Pharex® D-Vit 800.
Pharex® D-Vit 800 contains 800 IU of all-important Vitamin D3 or Cholecalciferol! It is a very powerful fat-soluble nutrient that can help boost your body’s immune system. It can also help improve calcium absorption, and regulate bone growth.
For optimal absorption, it is recommended to take Pharex® D-Vit 800 orally with a glass of water, preferably after a meal (preferably with 15g of healthy fat).14 In cases having a meal is not possible, you can still take the capsule on an empty stomach.
Pharex® D-Vit 800 can be found in all major drug stores nationwide. Each capsule is priced at Php 6.50, and it is also available in boxes containing 30 capsules, which are priced at Php 195.00 per box.
If symptoms persist consult a doctor.