With 41% of the population being vitamin D deficient, especially in these latitudes, we need to be recommending this Vitamin a whole lot more. In a study done in 2011, the overall prevalence rate of vitamin D deficiency was 41.6%, with the highest rate seen in blacks (82.1%), followed by Hispanics (69.2%). Drinking milk and sun exposure is not the answer to correcting this wide scale deficiency. People low in vitamin D who take a supplement may be less likely to fall. That makes sense, given that vitamin D plays a key role in keeping bones and muscles strong.
Do I have to swallow a capsule, what about drinking milk, or exposure to sunshine?
Dairy Products: It takes about 5 quarts (3000kcal) of milk, to equal 2000iu (50mcg) in a capsule…. not to mention over 2750 calories!
Sun Exposure: Sun Exposure (Ultraviolet-B) 2 to 3 times a week during mid-day. Bare arms & legs for 10-15 minutes per session is usually adequate. The effect of sunlight exposure and vitamin D synthesis is reduced in individuals with darker skin pigment. Effective use of a sunscreen does block the synthesis of Vitamin-D in the dermis. Middle aged and elderly persons who use sunscreens daily have significantly lower serum concentrations of 25-Hydroxyvitamin D3. However, the benefits of using a sunscreen, far outweigh the disadvantages of a decrease in Vitamin-D. A local dermatologist told me “it is easier to treat Vitamin-D deficiency than it is to treat skin cancer...so use a sunscreen.”
We are selling more Vitamin-D that ever before. Many patients are buying lots of Vitamin-D in hope of “staving off” COVID-19 infection. Vitamin-D does play an important role in immune system function. An observational study showed that the death rate was 21% in patients with low vitamin D levels. The death rate was only 3% in patients with higher levels of Vitamin-D. 97% of patients with ICU admission had vitamin D deficiency, leading one to believe that low vitamin D levels are a necessary component of severe COVID-19. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10408398.2020.1841090?journalCode=bfsn20&
We are familiar with the modifiable risk factors that can worsen COVID-19 such as respiratory disorders, heart conditions, obesity, and hypertension. Vitamin-D deficiency seems to be a risk factor that can be easily eliminated with supplementation. Referring to the first paragraph, might there be a link between the high death rates of African Americans and Hispanics and their low Vitamin-D levels?
Ask your Nickman’s Pharmacist for a Vitamin-D recommendation.