You are at greater risk of Vitamin D (Vit.D, cholecalciferol) deficiency with: Increasing age, higher body fat mass and obesity, pregnant and childbearing women, darker skin pigmentation including African and Asian population, fat malabsorption, gastric bypass patients, various medications, lack of sunlight exposure or atmospheric pollution/working or staying indoors and skin concealing garments or strict sunscreen use.(6,7)
Yes, it definitely does. With darker skin, you are at greater risk of Vitamin D deficiency because your skin pigment acts as a natural sunscreen. You may need as much as 10 times more sun exposure to produce the same amount of Vitamin D as a person with pale skin. You will need to spend more time in the sun or start supplementing with a quality Vitamin D source.
In young children, Vitamin D deficiency causes a mineralization defect of the skeleton, resulting in rickets.
Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to many chronic diseases, including multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, infectious diseases, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. In utero vitamin D deficiency increases risk for preeclampsia and the need for a C-section.
Children living at higher latitudes and who are presumed to be at increased risk for Vitamin D deficiency are at higher risk for developing type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis later in life.(5)
Deficiencies in Vitamin D have been associated with hypertension, peripheral vascular disease, heart attacks, heart failure, stroke, cancer, asthma, type-2 diabetes, respiratory conditions such as pneumonia, depression, inflammatory bowel conditions, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, Alzheimer’s and autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s and type-1 diabetes.(5)
Most of the Vitamin D (Vit.D, cholecalciferol) is produced by the body in response to skin being exposed to sunlight. Unlike most other vitamins, you can get only limited amount from your diet (10%) in form of fish, fish liver oils, egg yolks and fortified dairy and grain products.
Supplementation with quality Vitamin D is recommended if the levels are shown as suboptimal or deficient.
To put it frankly, unless you are really sick or show symptoms of deficiency, getting a Vitamin D test can be very difficult. This is because the test costs money and your GP won’t use up his/her budget for a test unless you are sick.
We look at this differently. We prefer you to get tested to identify deficiency early and prevent chronic illness. That is why we make the same test as your GP readily available so you know what your levels are and ensure you are never deficient.
Vitamin D is not only essential for maintaining healthy bones but also plays a pivotal role in the function of your immune system. Various new studies have linked Vitamin D deficiency to increased risk of respiratory infections and rates, including the deadly COVID-19. Low Vitamin D levels were found in many severe COVID-19 patients, suggesting that lack of the sunshine vitamin may increase your risk of complications from the disease (research undertaken by Boston University’s school of medicine).(9)
According to Dr Michael Holick, who recently published another study finding that sufficient Vitamin D can reduce the risk of catching the coronavirus by 54%, the vitamin can also help against other viruses affecting the upper respiratory tract.(9)
Evidence supporting the role of vitamin D in reducing risk of COVID-19 includes that the outbreak occurred in winter, a time when 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations are lowest; that the number of cases in the Southern Hemisphere near the end of summer are low; that Vitamin D deficiency has been found to contribute to acute respiratory distress syndrome; and that case-fatality rates increase with age and with chronic disease comorbidity, both of which are associated with lower 25(OH)D concentration.
Recent trials of Vitamin D supplementation have shown that it could help with reducing the risk of Influenza and Covid-19 Infections and deaths.(8)
A sublingual (under the tongue application) source is readily absorbable and an easy way to get the correct amount of Vitamin D.