What comes to mind when you hear ‘Vitamin D?’ You probably think of milk, which is certainly a source of it, but there are several others as well. You probably think of your bones as well. Believe it or not, by and large, the most significant source of Vitamin D for most people come directly from the sun. This is a good thing, considering that very few people get enough vitamin D from their diets. Most people aren’t aware of the fact that even with a healthy diet, it can be difficult to get the full RDA of Vitamin D from food alone.
Some of the best sources of Vitamin D include salmon, followed distantly by fortified beverages like orange juice and milk. While the fatty skin of fish is a good resource for Vitamin D, other foods, such as eggs, beef, and cheese contain trace amounts of it- hence the need for fortified sources or supplements. The average adult should strive for approximately 600 IU of Vitamin D a day. If that sounds confusing, you’re not alone. 1 IU varies depending on what’s being measured. In the case of Vitamin D, 1 IU is about equal to 25 ng cholecalciferol/ergocalciferol.
Did that clear it up any? No? Well, the important thing to know is that Vitamin D is critical for the human body; without it, you’re at risk for serious illnesses, including rickets and osteoporosis. If you’re not sure how you’re doing as far as Vitamin D intake goes, the good news is, you can at least keep an eye out for the warning signs and risk factors of a Vitamin D deficiency. Even before a serious illness, there are telltale signs that your body is in need of Vitamin D, and people who fall into certain categories have an increased risk of developing a Vitamin D deficiency. You can learn about them here.
11. Ain’t No Sunshine
While this may have less to do with genetics, where you live can be a big factor in your odds of a Vitamin D Deficiency. Given that the majority of Vitamin D is obtained from the sun, locations on the earth much closer to the equator generally yield more of it, because they receive more sunlight year round. For locations further from the equator, sunlight is less frequent, and for certain stretches of the year at the very north and south, nonexistent. Generally, it’s easy to get Vitamin D in the summer sunshine, but winter months may lead to deficiency.
10. Time Heals All Wounds…Slowly.
There is some evidence to show that a lack of Vitamin D can cause a person’s wounds to heal much more slowly. This is because Vitamin D is largely involved in the creation of crucial components for skin repair and recovery. There is also the fact that Vitamin D counteracts inflammation and infection, which is very important for wounds to heal properly. While there is definitely room for more research on the matter, a lack of resources to repair injuries, along with increased opposition in the form of infection sounds like it would result in a much slower recovery time.