Vitamin D deficiency is a real problem. It is the product of being hugely important to our bodies while being difficult to get consistently.
Those who do not consume, fish, dairy, or eggs may find it difficult to get Vitamin D from foods (looking at you vegans). However, there are many ways to become deficient such as being overweight, spending too much time inside, having darker skin, and digestive problems like Crohn’s disease and celiac disease.[i]
Normal Vitamin D deficiency symptoms include less than desirable bone strength, muscles problems, and dental issues. However, there are illnesses associated with a lack of Vitamin D that should be discussed as well to see if you need Vitamin D Deficiency treatment.
Vitamin D Deficiency Diseases
A 2014 study, in the Journal of Family and Community Medicine, found that there was a significant number of children with Asthma who were vitamin D deficient.[ii] However, this does not mean that asthma is a Vitamin D deficiency symptom, it could mean that they are both the result of another illness or problem within the body.
However, Vitamin D reduces inflammation and could be valuable for unclogging airways. While this correlation also tells us that if your child has Asthma, you might need to look for vitamin D deficiency treatments since they occur together.
High Blood Pressure
A peer-reviewed manuscript from Pub Med Central found a correlation between high blood pressure and Vitamin D deficiencies as well.[iii] However, in the science world “cross-sectional studies” aren’t conclusive because they do not look a long enough period of time.
So, to definitively say how Blood pressure and Vitamin D are connected will take more quality research, but it’s wise to use other methods to regulate it for now.
Irritable Bowel Disorders (IBD)
A 2016 study in The American Journal of Gastroenterology analyzed people with IBD over a 5-year period and found that almost 30% of the people with IBD had low Vitamin D levels. Furthermore, those with lower Vitamin D had to use more medications and go to the doctors more often than those with normal Vitamin D levels.[iv]
This study suggests that those who have more Vitamin D are more likely to deal with their IBD better.
An analysis of studies about Vitamin D and colds found that Vitamin D Deficiency treatment reduces the risk of getting the colds and the flu, by assisting your body in fighting bacteria and viruses.[v]
Therefore, it is important to get vitamin D during the cold and flu season as it could prevent illness in 3.25 million people.[vi]
In a review of 24 clinical trials and 2,827 participants, they found that Vitamin D should be included in children’s diet to prevent cavities and tooth decay.[vii]
With a vitamin D deficiency, the body is unable to regulate calcium necessary for strong and growing teeth.[viii]
A study on 44 patients in Therapeutic Advances Endocrinology and Metabolism found that those with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) had almost half as much Vitamin D on average than normal people. Furthermore, those with RA scored worse on the “disease activity score” when they had less Vitamin D. The disease activity scores assess how severe someone’s RA is.[ix] If you’re suffering from rheumatoid arthritis pain, check to see if your Vitamin D levels are too low.
A 2006 review in the American Journal of Public Health found that Vitamin D protected people from cancer. The review suggests that Vitamin D prevents mutated cells from multiplying, keeping them isolated so they can be dealt with.[x]
How to Get Vitamin D
The benefits of Vitamin D are significant. Getting the right amount can be difficult due to your diet, your exposure to the sun and your body. These are the best methods for Vitamin D deficiency treatment.
In the winter or during work it might be difficult to include a little sun into your routine but it’s important to go for a walk, open your blinds, or spend some time on your porch. The outside is good for you and so is the sun in moderation. Use it to your advantage, especially if you’re vegan as most foods with Vitamin D are animal by-products.
Fish, Eggs, and Dairy
While these foods aren’t vegan and might not adhere to your brand of vegetarianism, they are some of the best foods to find Vitamin D and getting your daily recommended dose is the difference between being healthy and having one of the illnesses above.
Vitamin D2 Supplements
While not the most natural way to get Vitamin D, as a last result supplements should be explored. Vitamin D2 is produced by exposing yeast and mushrooms to UV rays making it a legitimate vegan and non-chemical alternative.[xi]
Vitamin D is a huge necessity for a functioning body. There are significant illnesses that can be reduced or prevented with proper levels. Get your sun and find a diet that suits your lifestyle. Not changing your habits might result in an illness that will change your life.
[i] Vitamin D Deficiency: Symptoms, Causes, and Health Risks. WebMD. Available at: http://www.webmd.com/diet/guide/vitamin-d-deficiency#2. Accessed March 16, 2017.
[ii] Bener A, Ehlayel M, Bener H, Hamid Q. The impact of Vitamin D deficiency on asthma, allergic rhinitis and wheezing in children: An emerging public health problem. Journal of Family and Community Medicine. 2014;21(3):154. doi:10.4103/2230-8229.142967.
[iii] Tamez H, Kalim S, Thadhani R. Does vitamin D modulate blood pressure?. Current Opinion in Nephrology and Hypertension. 2013;22(2):204-209. doi:10.1097/mnh.0b013e32835d919b.
[iv] Kabbani T, Koutroubakis I, Schoen R et al. Association of Vitamin D Level With Clinical Status in Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A 5-Year Longitudinal Study. The American Journal of Gastroenterology. 2016;111(5):712-719. doi:10.1038/ajg.2016.53.
[v] Martineau A, Jolliffe D, Hooper R et al. Vitamin D supplementation to prevent acute respiratory tract infections: systematic review and meta-analysis of individual participant data. BMJ. 2017:i6583. doi:10.1136/bmj.i6583.
[vi] Gallagher J. Vitamin D pills ‘could stop colds or flu’ – BBC News. BBC News. 2017. Available at: http://www.bbc.com/news/health-38988982. Accessed March 16, 2017.
[vii] Hujoel P. Vitamin D and dental caries in controlled clinical trials: systematic review and meta-analysis. PubMed Health. 2017. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0053847/. Accessed March 16, 2017.
[viii] Gallagher J. Vitamin D pills ‘could stop colds or flu’ – BBC News. BBC News. 2017. Available at: http://www.bbc.com/news/health-38988982. Accessed March 16, 2017.
[ix]Kostoglou-Athanassiou I, Athanassiou P, Lyraki A, Raftakis I, Antoniadis C. Vitamin D and rheumatoid arthritis. Therapeutic Advances in Endocrinology and Metabolism. 2012;3(6):181-187. doi:10.1177/2042018812471070.
[x] Garland C, Garland F, Gorham E et al. The Role of Vitamin D in Cancer Prevention. American Journal of Public Health. 2006;96(2):252-261. doi:10.2105/ajph.2004.045260.
[xi] Norris, RD J. Calcium and Vitamin D. Veganhealthorg. 2017. Available at: http://veganhealth.org/articles/bones#recvitd. Accessed March 16, 2017.