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How to know if you are deficient in vitamin D



Dr. Anthony Fauci admitted that most of the “so-called immune boosting” supplements sold in Covid-19 are mostly “powerless”, but he does believe in the benefits of vitamin D.

79-year-old Fauci said in an Instagram live broadcast in September: “If you are deficient in vitamin D, it will indeed affect your sensitivity to infection. Therefore, I don’t mind recommending that I take vitamin D supplements by myself.” 10.

But figuring out if you lack vitamin D and how many supplements you need to take is complicated. In fact, medical experts have been debating the efficacy of routine vitamin D screening and supplementation recommendations for many years.

Dr. Clifford Rosen, an endocrinologist and professor of medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine, has studied vitamin D for more than 30 years. He has studied vitamin D. He said: “You are wandering in a maze .”

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This is the information you need to know from three experts.

Why vitamin D is important

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays an important role in building and maintaining muscle and overall bone health. The bones of people with low vitamin D content may become soft and brittle.

The main source of vitamin D is direct sunlight. It can also be obtained from fatty fish (salmon, tuna, and mackerel), mushrooms, and milk.

More importantly, based on research published in September, researchers at the University of Chicago found a link between vitamin D deficiency and the possibility of being infected by Covid-19-those with untreated deficiency are more likely to be positive. (The National Institutes of Health said in its latest statement issued in July: “There is not enough data to recommend or oppose the use of vitamin D to prevent or treat Covid-19.”

How do you know if you are deficient in vitamin D?

According to a study released by the National Institutes of Health in 2014, researchers estimated that 35% of adults and nearly 50% of infants in the United States suffer from vitamin D deficiency.

Without a blood test (more on that later), it may be difficult to tell. The early signs of vitamin D deficiency are subtle, if they exist. Experts say you may not have any symptoms at all.

However, vitamin D deficiency can accelerate skin aging and dry skin, according to Dr. Raman Madan, a dermatologist at Northwell Health’s Huntington Hospital. Paul Thomas, a nutritionist and scientific adviser at the Office of Dietary Supplements of the National Institutes of Health, said that over time, severe deficiency can lead to muscle weakness and fractures.

Studies have also found that chronic vitamin D deficiency can cause bone-related diseases in adults and children.

Having said that, Thomas said, the only way to truly know if you are deficient in vitamin D is through a doctor’s blood test.

However, not all medical experts agree that routine testing for vitamin D is a good idea.

Vitamin D testing and supplements may cause controversy

Routine testing of vitamin D may cause controversy among medical professionals.

For example, the National Endocrine Society (NES) and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommend limiting vitamin D testing to certain patients (such as those at risk of bone weakness or those with certain chronic diseases). Madan said that Rosen and Madan also said that not everyone needs vitamin D supplements, only those who have proven deficiencies and have symptoms.

One of the criticisms of conventional vitamin D testing is that it can be time-consuming and expensive for insurance companies. The out-of-pocket cost of a vitamin D test may be between $40 and $225. According to Caesars Health News. Normally, most vitamin D tests are included in health insurance.

Another problem is that extensive vitamin D testing can lead to unnecessary treatment of supplement patients. Rosen said: “This has led many people to take very high doses of vitamin D.”

Eating too much vitamin D is causing concern-according to the NIH, too much vitamin D can cause nausea, loss of appetite, constipation and weight loss. Severe vitamin D toxicity can cause confusion, disorientation and heart rhythm problems.

In addition, there is not much scientific evidence that if you do not have vitamin D, taking vitamin D will help. Rosen said (small doses of 600 IU to 800 IU per day-IU or international unit, which is the number of tablets sold) is safe, but “whether it is effective is really a question.”

So far, research around vitamin D supplements has not shown clear results. Rosen said that unless researchers conduct randomized controlled trials on the effectiveness of vitamin D supplementation to prevent chronic diseases and acute infections (such as Covid 19), its efficacy will be uncertain.

On the other hand, Dr. Michael Holick, a vitamin D researcher, professor of medicine at Boston University, director of the Bone Health Care Clinic, and chair of the expert panel that presided over the preparation of NES guidelines, believes in the effectiveness of vitamin D and believes that everyone should accept it.

Holick pointed to his research and other studies that show an association between low vitamin D levels and higher incidence of various diseases. According to Holick’s “Vitamin D Solution” published in 2010, “Vitamin D deficiency is extremely common. Supplements can help many people avoid a variety of diseases related to the deficiency, including heart disease, cancer and bone. Porosity.” (Past research has shown that related low vitamin D levels increase the risk of cardiovascular events and certain cancers.)

Holick cited NES’s recommendations that in order to ensure the adequacy of vitamin D, adults need to supplement about 1500-2000 IUs of vitamin D every day. Horlick, an endocrinologist, said: “For obese people, they need to increase the dose two to three times.”

The Office of Dietary Supplements of the National Institutes of Health does not recommend taking supplements, but says that the daily limit for adults is 4,000 IU.

However, Hollick was criticized. In 2018, the “New York Times” reported that Hollick’s years of research have earned hundreds of thousands of dollars from the vitamin D supplement industry. Holick told The Times that the funding for the industry “will not affect me when it comes to talking about the health benefits of vitamin D.” Holick told CNBC Make It that he stands behind the peer-reviewed published science and always makes financial disclosures.

How to get vitamin D without supplementing vitamins

According to Thomas, natural vitamin D accumulates in your blood when sunlight and/or food are sufficient. “If your vitamin D blood levels are good enough at the end of summer, you can maintain adequate levels throughout the winter… if you get some vitamin D from food.” According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), despite For other reasons, excessive sun exposure is unhealthy, but it does not cause vitamin D toxicity, because the body naturally limits the amount of vitamin D it produces.

As for food, “the only food that naturally contains vitamin D is oily fish, such as wild salmon, which contains about 600-1000 IUs of vitamin D, mushrooms and cod liver oil exposed to sunlight. Eight ounces of milk or oranges are rich in Vitamin D contains 100 IU.”

Holick also recommends “reasonable sun exposure” for “certain” vitamin D, but it should be noted that “no matter where in the United States, you can not take any important vitamin D before 10 am and after 3 pm” . He said that if you use a sunscreen with a SPF of 30, it will reduce your ability to make vitamin D in your skin by 97.5%.

Holick helped develop an app called dminder to help them figure out how much vitamin D they might get from sunlight.

Thomas said people should consult their healthcare provider before taking any vitamin D supplements.

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