Here are six signs that you may be Vitamin D deficient:
1. You Have Darker SkinDarker skin requires 10 times more sun exposure to produce the same amount of Vitamin D as pale skin. A darker skin pigment acts as a natural sunscreen.
2. You Feel SadSerotonin, the hormone associated with mood elevation, rises with exposure to bright light and falls when sun exposure is decreased. Sun exposure can reduce the risk of depression.
3. You're 50 or OlderAs you age, your skin makes less Vitamin D in response to sun exposure, and your kidneys become less efficient at converting Vitamin D into the form used by the body.
4. You're Overweight or ObeseVitamin D is fat-soluble, which means body fat collects it. Someone who is overweight or obese will need more Vitamin D, so there's a higher chance that they aren't getting enough.
5. Your Bones AcheA Vitamin D deficiency can cause aches and pains in the bones, and it's often accompanied by fatigue.
6. You Experience Gut ProblemsA gastrointestinal condition that affects the body's ability to absorb fat can lead to lower absorption of Vitamin D. Conditions include Crohn's, celiac and non-celiac gluten sensitivity, and inflammatory bowel disease. If you're thinking, "What about skin cancer?" No one is suggesting you bake in the sun on a daily basis without sunscreen or proper protection for your skin. Too much sun does have the potential to be dangerous, but sunlight is also the best natural source of Vitamin D, because the sun's rays help the body produce Vitamin D. Appropriate sunlight exposure can result in many health benefits, including:
- Maintaining the health of bones and teeth.
- Supporting the health of the immune system, brain and nervous system.
- Regulating insulin levels and aiding in diabetes management.
- Supporting lung function and cardiovascular health.
- Influencing the expression of genes involved in cancer development.