Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin with many roles in the body related to bone health, immune support, and inflammation reduction. Some studies show it may have a role in the prevention and treatment of diabetes and with sexual function. Vitamin D is now routinely tested with blood workups, and about 50% of the population has been shown to have vitamin D insufficiency with levels less than 30ng/dl. There are many possible signs and symptoms that can be associated with low vitamin D levels, including getting sick often, feeling tired, having lower back pain or bone pain, having muscle pain, experiencing hair loss, or feeling depressed. In fact, I have had many patients with low vitamin D levels who “crashed” daily at around 3-4pm from exhaustion only to find their energy levels increased once their vitamin D levels returned to normal levels.
So, how do we increase our levels of vitamin D? Well, vitamin D comes from sun exposure in addition to some foods such as fatty fish, egg yolks, beef liver and cheese. Because of sunscreen use, the long winter months indoors, and poor intake of vitamin D from foods, a vitamin D supplement is often necessary to increase levels. If you find that your vitamin D levels are low, then take a supplement. Your body will thank you!