What are Vitamin D Deficiency Symptoms?
Hey guys, Dr. Axe here. I want to talk about the many benefits of vitamin D as well as vitamin D deficiency. So many people are struggling with vitamin D deficiency. In fact, according to a lot of medical studies today, they're showing that quite possibly the top deficiency we have in America is a vitamin D deficiency, and for a lot of us there are several reasons for that. But let me talk about the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency. I'm then going to get into what's causing vitamin D deficiency, then go over the best foods, supplements and things you can do to correct this type of issue.
But first and foremost, the big thing that can cause or the big symptoms you might have with a vitamin D deficiency are immune issues. If you have a weakened immune system, that could be correlated with a vitamin D deficiency. If you have candida or bacterial overgrowth, it can be caused from a vitamin D deficiency.
If you struggle with let's say emotional ups and downs, like depression and anxiety, that can be a cause. Hormone imbalance, major cause of vitamin D deficiency. If you have trouble putting on muscle or losing weight, those are all correlated with a vitamin D deficiency.
If you have weak bones or teeth, osteoporosis or osteopenia, those are warning signs you have a vitamin D deficiency. So again, you can see there are a lot of things -- and I didn't even get into certain other things like cancer and diabetes and heart disease -- but those are all warning signs you could have a vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is responsible for really supporting a healthy immune response, digestive health, hormone balance, and here's a key thing to remember. Vitamin D is not just a vitamin.
It's also a pro hormone. So it's responsible for so many hormone producing reactions within your body. You've got to have vitamin D. Now here are the biggest causes of vitamin D deficiency. Number one is not getting enough sunlight. The sun should be your number one source of vitamin D. We live in a world today where we live inside, especially if you're in the northern states, whether it be in Canada or northern US or northern Europe. But if you are not getting outside enough and not getting enough direct sunlight on your skin, that will create a vitamin D deficiency.
So starting off, the majority of people are vitamin D deficient because we don't get outside enough. And the other thing can be certain chemicals, especially things that are plastic in nature, those can block vitamin D absorption. So if you're drinking out of plastic bottles that have something called BPA, that's bisphenol A, that can cause vitamin D deficiency and really affect the way vitamin D is absorbed and utilized and created by your liver in your body. The other thing is toxicity. If you're exposed to toxins on a regular basis, that affects the liver.
Your liver is actually responsible for producing and creating vitamin D within your body. So again, toxicity another major cause of vitamin D deficiency. So if you want to start to correct vitamin D deficiency and see improvements in your immune function, in your metabolism, in your hormones and things like your thyroid and your adrenal glands and improving your overall mood and bone strength, you've got to get more vitamin D. Again, your number one source by far is sunlight. I recommend getting outside 20 minutes to 30 minutes every single day. Even if it's cold outside, getting a little bit of sun on your face and hands, it's so important for getting Vitamin D. So again, number one is get sunlight 20 to 30 minutes a day. Now, apart from that, certain foods will contain small amounts of vitamin D.
Number one source will be wild caught salmon or fish, so again getting wild caught fish on a regular basis. Also, raw fermented milk, like a goat's milk yogurt, may have small amounts of vitamin D, as will mushrooms and eggs. But again, you're going to get very small amount in diet. Those foods are good. But again, it's only small amounts of vitamin D. Then the next thing would be take a high quality vitamin D supplement. You don't want to take vitamin D2. You do want to start taking vitamin D3, and there are many forms of this.
There are several good brands out there today. But again, you can actually take it in a capsule form. You can actually get it in a spray bottle form. But again, vitamin D is essential to take as a supplement. For most adults, 2000 to 5000 IUs a day is what's recommended. Now if you have a severe deficiency and you've gone and got a vitamin D test done, in that case for 1 to 2 months, you might take 5000 IUs 2 times a day. But again, for the days that you're not in the sun, I recommend 2000 to 5000 IUs of vitamin D3 daily.
Here's one last important thing to remember. When you are supplementing with vitamin D3, you want to take it with some fat because it's a fat soluble vitamin. So take it with a teaspoon of coconut oil or take it with a fish oil supplement.
But when you are taking vitamin D, you want to take it with some healthy fat like coconut, avocado, or an almond butter. You'll want to get it with some healthy fat because it actually improves and increases absorption there as well. So again, make sure you're getting your vitamin D. It is crucial for immune function, bone health, emotional health, and balanced hormones. So again, remember vitamin D, it's not only a vitamin. It's a hormone. It's an immune boosting nutrient that you've got to have.
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