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Calcium & Vitamin D Deficiency - What Should You Do?

Deficiency in calcium & vitamin D tend to go hand in hand. The body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium. Low vitamin D leads to insufficient calcium absorption from the diet. In this situation, the body must take calcium from its stores in the skeleton, which weakens existing bone and prevents the formation of strong, new bone.

The problem most people have is not a lack of calcium in their diet but a lack of vitamin D. You may or may not know that our best source of vitamin D is sunlight, vitamin D fortified foods, and supplements. Unless you live close to the equator, you’re probably not getting nearly enough vitamin D from sunlight.

Unfortunately, it’s estimated that 50% of the US population is vitamin D deficient with some populations having even higher levels of deficiency, including premenopausal women, those with poor nutrition habits, people over age 65, Caucasians who avoid even minimal sun exposure, and those who take prescription medication long term for heartburn, acid reflux, and constipation. Studies show people with darker skin, such as African Americans and Latinos, are also at risk for lower vitamin D levels because high amounts of melanin in skin reduce the body’s ability to produce vitamin D from sunlight. In addition, certain chronic conditions—such as celiac disease, bariatric surgery, obesity, and chronic kidney or liver disease—can contribute to deficiency.

𝐓𝐡𝐨𝐬𝐞 𝐚𝐭 𝐠𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐬𝐭 𝐫𝐢𝐬𝐤 𝐨𝐟 𝐕𝐢𝐭𝐚𝐦𝐢𝐧 𝐃 𝐝𝐞𝐟𝐢𝐜𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐲 𝐚𝐫𝐞:

•People who spend little time in the sun or those who regularly cover up (use sunscreen) when outdoors

•People living in nursing homes or other institutions or who are homebound

•People with certain medical conditions such as Celiac disease and inflammatory bowel disease

•People with very dark skin

•Obese or very overweight people

•Older adults with certain risk factors

𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐦𝐮𝐜𝐡 𝐯𝐢𝐭𝐚𝐦𝐢𝐧 𝐃 𝐝𝐨 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐧𝐞𝐞𝐝?-

𝐌𝐚𝐲𝐨 𝐂𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐢𝐜 𝐫𝐞𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐝𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐚𝐝𝐮𝐥𝐭𝐬 𝐠𝐞𝐭 𝐚𝐭 𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐑𝐃𝐀 𝐨𝐟 𝟔𝟎𝟎 𝐈𝐔. 𝐇𝐨𝐰𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫, 𝟏,𝟎𝟎𝟎 𝐭𝐨 𝟐,𝟎𝟎𝟎 𝐈𝐔 𝐩𝐞𝐫 𝐝𝐚𝐲 𝐨𝐟 𝐯𝐢𝐭𝐚𝐦𝐢𝐧 𝐃 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐚 𝐬𝐮𝐩𝐩𝐥𝐞𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐢𝐬 𝐠𝐞𝐧𝐞𝐫𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐲 𝐬𝐚𝐟𝐞, 𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐡𝐞𝐥𝐩 𝐩𝐞𝐨𝐩𝐥𝐞 𝐚𝐜𝐡𝐢𝐞𝐯𝐞 𝐚𝐧 𝐚𝐝𝐞𝐪𝐮𝐚𝐭𝐞 𝐛𝐥𝐨𝐨𝐝 𝐥𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐥 𝐨𝐟 𝐯𝐢𝐭𝐚𝐦𝐢𝐧 𝐃, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐦𝐚𝐲 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐚𝐝𝐝𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐥 𝐡𝐞𝐚𝐥𝐭𝐡 𝐛𝐞𝐧𝐞𝐟𝐢𝐭𝐬.

𝐅𝐨𝐨𝐝𝐬 𝐧𝐚𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐲 𝐡𝐢𝐠𝐡 𝐢𝐧 𝐯𝐢𝐭𝐚𝐦𝐢𝐧 𝐃-

Salmon - (wild is preferred to farm raised)
Sardines & Herring
Cod liver oil
Canned Tuna
Oysters
Shrimp
Mushrooms

(excluding vitamin D fortified foods such as orange juice, milk, soy milk, cereals and oatmeal, mushrooms are the only plant based source of vitamin D)

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