Vitamin D Deficient - PrastiOne.Com

Vitamin D Deficient

Vitamin D Deficient

Many people are beginning to realize that they may not be getting enough vitamin D. How can you tell if you are one of them?

Vitamin D is called the sunshine vitamin, because your skin makes vitamin D when strong sunlight shines directly on it. "Strong sunlight" means that the sun is at least 30 degrees above the horizon and is not obscured by dust, cloud or any other object. "Shines directly" means your skin is not protected by clothes, sunscreen or window glass.

Since these conditions generally can't be found during winter, most of us are vitamin D deficient by the time spring starts. So unless you took a long holiday in the sun, or have been supplementing with at least 1000 International Units of vitamin D every day throughout winter, you will almost certainly be vitamin D deficient by the start of spring.

The very best way to find out your vitamin D status is to take a vitamin D test, specifically a 25 hydroxy-vitamin D blood test. Your test results would then be classified by the lab into a vitamin D range, probably one of those in the list below:

Too High (toxicity possible)

High (but not toxic)



Low-Normal (or Insufficient)


Severely Deficient

People move up and down these vitamin D levels depending on their sun exposure. It works this way: if you get no sunshine on your skin, you will probably drop one level every two months. For example if your vitamin D status is Normal at the end of September, going into winter, two months later at the end of November you will have moved into the Low-Normal range. By the end of January you will be vitamin D Deficient, and by the end of March (unless you've already taken some sunshine) you will likely be in the Severely Deficient range.

What happens in summer? Just about the same thing in reverse, provided you expose your skin to adequate sunshine. Then you can improve your vitamin D status (move one level higher) every two months or so. The sunlight causes a gradual build-up of vitamin D reserves in your body. Of course, if you don't expose your skin to sunshine during the summer, you could easily remain stuck in the Severely Deficient range all year round, unless you supplement vitamin D.

To find your own vitamin D status, choose the end of last winter as your starting point, and assume that your status was Deficient. Then for every two months you had plenty of sun, promote yourself (move up one level), but stop promoting after you reach Normal, unless you are a real outdoor type. For every two months you had no sun (or very little), demote yourself (move down one level), but of course you can't go below Severely Deficient. For any two-month period where you can't decide whether to move up or down, keep yourself on the same level.

This should give you a picture of how your vitamin D status shapes up at different times of the year, including right now. It is not a substitute for a vitamin D blood test, because different people produce and metabolize vitamin D at different rates. But using this approach, you should be in the right ball park.

For many of us, the picture is a sorry one, with vitamin D levels peaking around Low-Normal at the end of summer, and falling to Deficient or Severely Deficient for much of the year.

For optimum health, we need to stay in that Optimum range all year round. You can see now why so few of us manage it. The only way is to supplement with an effective dose of vitamin D during those months when we can't get enough sunshine. Some people don't feel comfortable supplementing vitamin D at the dosage required to be effective. But, for the sake of our health, we can all try to avoid vitamin D deficiency.

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