The ‘typical’ American diet includes excessive amounts of sugar, sodium, and unhealthy fats, while also falling short on several key nutrients. Vitamin D, in particular, tends to be in short supply, with recent research suggesting that nearly six percent of Americans are severely deficient.
A lack of vitamin D can lead to a variety of health problems, including reduced bone density, ultimately, osteoporosis. Alarmingly, deficiency also appears to play a problematic role in COVID recovery.
Why Is Vitamin D Deficiency So Common During the Winter?
For many people, vitamin D levels vary through the seasons, as sun exposure plays heavily into overall intake. When the skin is exposed to UVB rays, it converts cholesterol contained within the skin cells. This process promotes vitamin D synthesis.
During the winter, people spend more time indoors and may not be exposed to the sun long enough to achieve sufficient vitamin D levels. Even when they do head outside, shorter days make sufficient sun exposure difficult to achieve. Research also indicates that the amount of time spent outside in the summer and fall may influence the production of cholecalciferol, which later becomes vitamin D.
Strategies for Improving Vitamin D Intake
If you’re worried about low levels of vitamin D, try these solutions:
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