7 Signs You Have A Vitamin D Deficiency

 

The vitamin D we produce when exposed to sunlight is technically a hormone, not a vitamin—but since we don’t get enough sun to produce what we need (and can’t fulfill our needs with food) it’s been added to many fortified foods and become a popular supplement, and is now known as a vitamin.

The D we produce or consume is first broken down in the liver and then again in the kidneys. From there, it optimizes calcium absorption to support healthy bones and regulates phosphorous, which is key for cellular function in just about every tissue in the body, making vitamin D important for muscle health, mood and well-being, memory, heart function, and more, explains Arti Lakhani, M.D., Director of Integrative Oncology at AMITA Health Cancer Institute in Illinois. Experts have also recently learned that immune cells have vitamin D receptors, indicating that the vitamin is also crucial for immune function. Not to mention, it’s been shown to support breast, prostate, and colon cell function, as well as the pancreas’ ability to produce insulin. All pretty important stuff.

A blood test is the only true gauge of a vitamin D deficiency, but there are a number of signs and symptoms that can indicate you’re running low.

1. You Get Sick All The Time

Feel like you’re coming down with different illnesses left and right? A vitamin D deficiency could be to blame. One All India Institute of Medical Sciences review of 12 observational studies found that children with lower levels of vitamin D had higher instances of lower respiratory tract infections.  The resulting theory: Vitamin D may affect the body’s response to infections.

Another review, published in PLoS Onemeanwhile, found that supplementing with vitamin D could have an immunoprotective effect. After evaluating 11 studies, the researchers found that participants who supplemented with vitamin D had lower instances of respiratory tract infections than those who took a placebo, suggesting that vitamin D supplementation can bolster the immune system.

 

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