Could you be Vitamin D Deficient?
Every age group of the world’s population benefits from Vitamin D. For some time, I’d have pains in my bones and muscles and I couldn’t really explain why. So I decided to see a Naturopath last year (2018) who did a series of tests. One major cause of the pain was due to ‘deficiency in Vitamin D.’ She read out the test results and told me my Vitamin D levels were way too low. She claimed the average level should be about 30 ng/mL, but mine read 12 ng/mL. From her, I learnt deficiency in this Vitamin whose impact I had no idea on till that time could cause a lot of health issues. I had not told her I had muscle pains before she told me, this deficiency will cause muscle pains, bone pains, fatigue and other health issues. Amongst the health issues which wasn’t the case for me is Infertility. (It is best to say here that, if you are a mother and you’ve had babies in succession, your body stores of essential nutrients and minerals may have depleted and it’s best to check and find ways to restore them. You lose nutrients and minerals with each pregnancy). Although the data on Vitamin D being important for conception is still inconclusive, research confirms it that women with blood levels of 30 ng/mL or higher had higher pregnancy rates, also women with that quantity had higher live births when compared with those with lower levels. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and endometriosis which are both associated with infertility have also been linked to Vitamin D deficiency. Having normal levels of the Sunshine Vitamin doesn’t only have a positive impact on fertility, but having a healthy pregnancy. It’s best to get tested or speak with your gynecologist about this test. Knowing your levels will help determine the amount of International Unit (IU) you should consume from supplements if you have to supplement. Vitamin D deficiency could also be responsible for male infertility because it is associated with low serum testosterone concentrations and poor semen quality.
Babies who are exclusively breastfed should also be given Vitamin D supplements. I remember when our last child was born, the pediatrician recommended Vitamin D drops since she was being exclusively breastfed. For children whose mothers can’t breastfeed and are given formula, understand that most formula have already been fortified with Vitamin D (we will probably talk about the importance of Vitamin D for your new born in another post).
How does Vitamin D work?
It works by managing calcium in your bones, blood and gut, making sure your body is in sync. Without it, your body can’t benefit from the calcium you eat. Your body won’t be able to absorb magnesium, phosphate and other necessary things it should.
To increase your levels of Vitamin D, do the following:
1. Loads of Sunshine. Please make good use of the sun if you live in a region that has sunshine all year round. Your body makes Vitamin D by exposing your skin to the sun. This is the most natural way to get Vitamin D. However, the use of sunscreen will block your skin from benefitting from getting its dose of Vitamin D from the sun. The good news is, you do not have to spend forever in the sun to the point of getting burnt. Aim for anywhere between 10 and 30 minutes of sun exposure daily or a little less per week. The range of time in the day to get Vitamin D from the sun would be from 10am-3pm, 12 noon being the best because the UVB rays are most intense at that time. Please note that your sensitivity to sunlight and skin color will determine how much time you should spend in the sun. Darker people would spend more time in the sun compared to lighter skinned people. This is due to the fact that darker skinned people have more melanin.
2. Certain Foods. Some foods can help up your Vitamin D intake. These include; Salmon (It is always better to get wild-caught. Farmed salmon have chemicals you don’t want in your body. You eat what your animal eats), Herring, Sardines, Mackerel, Tuna, Shrimp, Egg Yolks, Mushrooms.
3. Supplements. For those who live in regions where getting enough sunshine isn’t always feasible, you can supplement with Quality Fish Oils and other Vitamin D supplements of high quality.
Please note that in all these, God still has the final say. He can override all things in your favor. He created all these things and these bodily functions and can perform His strange acts and works as He pleases.
This article is meant to serve as a guide only and for information purpose.
Pilz et.al (2018) The Role Of Vitamin D in Fertility and during Pregnancy and Lactation: A Review of Clinical Data.