Health Risks of Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D is known as the sunshine vitamin because it is produced naturally in your body upon exposure to sunlight. Our lifestyle and insufficient diet has a lot to do with its deficiency and professors at Harvard University estimate that one billion people worldwide have Vitamin D Deficiency. That’s about one seventh of the world’s population. Yes! Let that sink in.
This dangerous deficiency doesn’t present with symptoms until very late, but if and when it does happen, one is likely to have difficulty concentrating, fatigue, bone pain and an increased incidence in bone fractures.
Heart health has been linked to a below-average level of vitamin D ever since a study published in 2009 concluded that a patient of low Vitamin D was three times more likely to die of heart failure and five times more likely to die of sudden cardiac death. That’s a pretty scary statistic, considering how common this deficiency is.
Vitamin D has some pretty major functions in your body that you should be aware of to understand what goes wrong when it’s deficient. It’s linked to calcium re-absorption in the gut, and plays an important role in the balance between potassium and calcium in your blood. It is indispensable in ensuring sufficient bone and cell health, in addition to having anti-inflammatory qualities. Consequently, low levels of active Vitamin D in your blood will leave you more prone to frequent infection and will give rise to thin, brittle and soft bones. This can lead to several musculoskeletal problems, like rickets (owing to soft bones) in children and an increased likelihood of bone fracture.
Low levels of vitamin D have also been linked to a two-fold greater chance of getting depression. While we’re talking about the link between Vitamin D deficiency and psychiatric problems, it’s worth mentioning Alzheimer’s and Dementia, because a moderate deficiency has been tied to a 53 percent increased chance of developing Dementia as you age, whereas a severe deficiency was linked to a 125 percent increased shot of developing the same disease, with a 122 percent chance of getting Alzhimer’s.
Cutting edge research found that one is more likely to survive cancer if their Vitamin D levels are adequate. The study included that there was a 4 percent increase in survival chance for every 10 point higher your Vitamin D levels were. Breast cancer was the biggest here. According to this study, you’re twice as likely to get through breast cancer if your blood levels are what they should be. The Journal Clinical Cancer Research states that the chance of developing prostate cancer is four to five times higher if your levels are low.
You can check your Vitamin D levels with a simple blood test, and if found low, you would most likely be prescribed a Vitamin D supplement. If you’re looking for a more natural shot of Vitamin D, add more oily fish (tuna, salmon), beef, egg yolk and cheese to your diet. As it turns out, your skin’s ability to synthesize vitamin D deteriorates over the years, so it would be advisable to get this checked out regularly once you hit fifty to come up with a plan of attack for avoiding all of these complications.