Vitamin D is often referred to as the sunshine vitamin. When the skin is exposed to sunlight, this nutrient is synthesized in the body. Vitamin D can also be found in certain foods like oily fish, fortified breakfast cereals, beef, mushrooms, and eggs. Despite the fact that vitamin D can be found in so many places, a 2011 study found that 41.6 percent of adults in the U.S. are still lacking in this crucial vitamin.
There are several risk factors for a vitamin D deficiency, including:
• A limited exposure to sunlight. This is especially true for people who live in northern latitudes, wear protective clothing, or stay indoors often.
• Dark skin. The skin darkening pigment melanin can reduce the body’s ability to turn sunlight into vitamin D.
• Obesity. For reasons that are still unclear, those with a BMI of over 30 often have lower levels of vitamin D in their blood.
• Digestive issues. People with Crohn’s disease, cystic fibrosis, and celiac disease have a difficult time absorbing vitamin D from food intake.
There are many people who have a vitamin D deficiency and are completely unaware of it. Some of the signs of vitamin D deficiency are subtle and include:
• Frequent colds or other illnesses
• Pain in the bones or lower back
• Hair loss
• Muscle pain
If left untreated, a long-term deficiency in vitamin D can lead to serious problems such as:
• Breathing problems (such as asthma)
• Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
• The weakening of bones and osteoporosis
• Cognitive impairment in older adults
• Increased risk of heart disease
• Certain cancers
Some of the most recent studies have found vitamin D to be effective in preventing liver, bowel, and breast cancer. Other studies show that it can reduce the buildup of scar tissue on the heart after a heart attack, reducing the risk for another. People with a deficiency can take private label vitamins to increase vitamin D levels in the blood and reduce the risk of long-term effects.
With so much research showing the importance of having adequate amounts of vitamin D in the body, it stands to reason why this is one of the most common private label vitamins offered today.