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How Vitamin D Deficiency Can Affect Your Health

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays a crucial role in the proper functioning of your body, including bone health and immunity. Unlike other vitamins, vitamin D can be synthesized by our bodies. However, due to the geographical location of Canada, it can be considered that no residents of Canada can produce it in sufficient quantities on their own.

Why is it important to have adequate levels of vitamin D?

Vitamin D can reduce the risk of complications from influenza and coronavirus infections. It may even help prevent prostate and breast cancer, as well as protect against a range of chronic diseases, including:

  • Bone loss;
  • Depression;
  • Insomnia;
  • Dementia;
  • Schizophrenia;
  • Type 2 diabetes;
  • Cardiovascular diseases;
  • Multiple sclerosis;
  • Systemic lupus;
  • Overweight;
  • Psoriasis.

Some statistics

Estimates suggest that 9 out of 10 people in Canada do not have adequate levels of vitamin D. This is understandable because Canada is located further north than the United States, and many areas in the US do not receive enough sunlight to produce their own vitamin D for most of the year.

Signs and Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency

The problem is that there may be a lack of symptoms of vitamin D deficiency for a prolonged period. Our bodies will attempt to compensate for the problem using various methods, and symptoms will only appear when the body has exhausted all these possibilities. Therefore, it is not possible to conclude whether or not you have a deficiency based solely on the presence of symptoms. However, if you experience any symptoms, it is important to check your vitamin D levels

Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency may include:

Frequent illnesses and/or various types of infections.

Vitamin D is important for the functioning of the immune system, which helps us fight infections.

It has been proven that having adequate levels of vitamin D in the body reduces the frequency of influenza and other respiratory infections such as the common cold, bronchitis, and pneumonia.

It is also known that a low level of vitamin D in the body increases the risk of hospitalization and complications from coronavirus infections. However, vitamin D cannot protect against the actual infection.

Fatigue and insomnia

There are many other reasons for experiencing fatigue as a symptom. Therefore, if you have identified a vitamin D deficiency and corrected it, but the feeling of fatigue persists, it is necessary to explore other possible causes of fatigue.

Vitamin D deficiency can be a cause of poor sleep quality, short sleep duration, and difficulties with falling asleep. Inadequate sleep can also lead to fatigue.

Joint and back pain

Vitamin D helps maintain bone health and enhances calcium absorption. Some studies have indicated a link between back pain, joint pain, muscle aches, and low vitamin D levels.


Depression Some studies show that relieving symptoms of depression can be achieved by raising vitamin D levels in cases of deficiency.

Adequate vitamin D levels in pregnant women reduce the likelihood of postpartum depression.

Slow wound healing

People with vitamin D deficiency experience poorer wound healing after surgery and injuries. This is particularly critical for individuals with diabetes, who are prone to poorly healing wounds.

Vitamin D itself is important for the production of compounds necessary for skin healing.

Bone loss

Vitamin D is crucial for the absorption and deposition of calcium in bones.

Hair loss

Deficiency in various nutrients and health issues can contribute to hair loss. However, research shows a connection between vitamin D levels and hair loss. Lower vitamin D levels are more likely to be associated with hair loss.

Muscle pain

Although the exact reasons are not fully understood, studies have shown a link between muscle pain and low vitamin D levels.

Weight gain

Insufficient vitamin D increases the risk of obesity and, particularly, abdominal fat accumulation.

Increased anxiety

Vitamin D deficiency is associated with anxiety disorders.

What tests help to check the level of vitamin D?

Which tests help assess vitamin D levels? Vitamin D levels can be checked through blood tests. There are two common tests:

  • 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OH D) or calcidiol;
  • 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D or calcitriol.

The 25-hydroxyvitamin D test is most frequently used because 25-hydroxyvitamin D has a higher concentration in the blood and is more stable, making it easier to detect.

How to raise vitamin D levels?

Several food sources can provide vitamin D, including fatty fish, dairy products, egg yolks, and organ meats.

Oral supplements can also be used, but their absorption varies. Additionally, not everyone can absorb oral preparations. Since vitamin D is fat-soluble, if there are issues with fat absorption in the body, it may not be absorbed properly. In such cases, intramuscular injections are used.

What affects the level of vitamin D in the body?

What influences vitamin D levels in the body? Sunlight exposure can increase the production of vitamin D, but in Canada’s latitudes, sunlight is often insufficient for adequate vitamin D synthesis. Other factors include:

  • People with darker skin produce less vitamin D.
  • Vitamin D production decreases with age.
  • Individuals who are overweight require more vitamin D.

Other factors that can contribute to vitamin D deficiency are:

  • Lack of animal products in the diet.
  • Prolonged indoor confinement.
  • Use of sunscreen. It’s important to note that not using sunscreen can also be dangerous and can lead to skin cancer.
  • Night shift work.
  • Chronic kidney or thyroid disorders.
  • Issues with fat or nutrient absorption.
  • After gastric bypass surgery.
  • Use of medications or natural substances that block fat absorption.

You can also try the energy bar, which is a simple and healthful nourishment for exercise. These bars are ideal for a rapid energy boost because they are made with natural and organic components.

When to See a Doctor

If you experience any of the symptoms or health issues mentioned above, it’s advisable to check your vitamin D levels. The maximum recommended daily dose for adults in Canada is currently 2500 IU, but it’s often insufficient. However, to use vitamin D in higher doses, the assistance of a specialist is required. Before doing so, it’s necessary to undergo testing and receive appropriate guidance based on the results.


Sun Safety Monthly Average UV Index

Statistics Canada: Many have inadequate vitamin D