Vitamin D deficiency

This is the third article in the series of key nutritional deficiencies to avoid so that we can enjoy life in good health.

Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride believes, “Our recent misguided fear of sun and avoidance of cholesterol-rich foods have created an epidemic of vitamin D deficiency in the Western world.” Studies show a link between vitamin D deficiency and insulin resistance, demonstrating that it is essential for controlling blood sugar. Deficiency is also believed to cause or contribute to heart disease, high blood pressure, auto-immune illness, obesity, osteoarthritis, muscle weakness, cancer, and weakened immune system.

Foods that are good sources of vitamin D:
•    wild fish
•    cod liver oil
•    shellfish
•    butter
•    egg yolks

Exposure to adequate amounts of sunlight directly on our skin is still a key source of vitamin D.  Yes, be sensible about your exposure without sunscreen. Your skin pigmentation, age, the latitude, weather, season, and time of day all affect how much (if any) vitamin D your body will produce.  As a very generalized rule, though, about 20 minutes midday in the summertime for pale-skinned adults, arms and legs exposed, several times per week, will likely provide what you need at that time of year. Take care not to burn! 

Many of us live in areas of the world where we obtain no vitamin D from the sun for much of the year.  In addition to food sources, you may want to consider a supplement. Be sure you avoid D2 (Ergocalciferol) and instead find a good quality vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol) which is better utilized by the body.