Vitamin D deficiency, characterized by muscle and bone weakness, is increasingly common in first world countries as poor diet combines with lack of sun exposure to leave people with an insufficient amount of Vitamin D.
New research has now shown another factor may leave you with Vitamin D Deficiency: excess weight. Fat stores Vitamin D, taking it away from the rest of the body. The more weight you’re carrying, the more likely you are to have Vitamin D Deficiency.
Vitamin D is necessary for the absorption of calcium, which is why bones are strongly affected by Vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is also important to immune function, and may be a factor in SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder—lack of sun exposure during winter months, and the corresponding dip in Vitamin D levels, may contribute to the depression of SAD.
For overweight people, who are already putting extra stress on their bones, Vitamin D Deficiency could cause complications or just become very painful. One suggestion that combats both health problems is to take up an outdoor activity, even just walking, to get both sun exposure (helping the body to produce Vitamin D) and exercise.
If your doctor doesn’t recommend exercising, or you can’t yet commit to doing it daily, supplementation can also help combat Vitamin D Deficiency. Multivitamins and calcium supplements both tend to have Vitamin D in them.
Fortified foods, like milk and cereal, can also help with Vitamin D.
How do you ensure you have enough Vitamin D—sunlight, supplements, or nutrition?