More than 40% of the population above age 50 may be vitamin D-deficient. Since this vitamin is needed for utilization of calcium, even a small deficiency may promote the body to develop osteopenia and then later osteoporosis no matter how much supplemental calcium you take or get through diet.
Vitamin D is made from a precursor when UV (ultraviolet) light or sunlight hits the skin. It is thought that at least 75% of vitamin D supplies come from the sun light. Today, we are seeing more and more people who are vitamin D deficient and believe it is because we are taking precaution against skin cancer by using sunblock.
Studies have shown that vitamin D may play a role in weight control, decreasing fatigue, prevention of some cancers, decreasing inflammation, supporting people who suffer from mental illness and seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and multiple sclerosis.
This time of year is the best time to ask your physician to test your plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D level.
If you test low, it is common that your physician will suggest 50,000 IU of Vitamin D per week. If your levels are normal, it can be a healthy practice to take 1000 IU of Vitamin D3 per day throughout the winter season.