There are some very common Vitamin D deficiency causes, which helps explain why so many people (over 85% of people in the United States) are deficient in this crucial vitamin.
The Most Common Vitamin D Deficiency Causes
Vitamin D deficiency causes include not getting enough Vitamin D from dietary sources, not getting enough sunlight, and having our kidneys fail to convert Vitamin D into its active form that our bodies can use, and failing to take advantage of a good Vitamin D3 supplement.
Lack of Dietary Sources
It’s nearly impossible, if not impossible, to get the amount of Vitamin D from dietary sources that our bodies need. So a major cause of Vitamin D deficiency is that the only whole foods that provide any significant amount of Vitamin D naturally are egg yolks, wild-caught oily fish, fish oil, and beef liver. The problem is that many people avoid these foods, and even if they don’t, on their own these foods don’t provide significant enough amounts of Vitamin D to prevent deficiency.
Lack of Sunshine
Perhaps the biggest Vitamin D Deficiency causes are not getting enough sunlight and avoiding sunlight. Cholecalciferol, more commonly known as Vitamin D3, is synthesized (created) by our skin when it is exposed to ultraviolet-B (UVB) rays from the sun.
There are many variables that impact how much Vitamin D3 our skin will make from UVB rays, from skin color to percentage of body fat, to the current season. This makes the amount of UVB rays needed (and how long we should be exposed to the sunlight) different for each individual. And, for any one individual, the amount needed could easily change on a daily basis. So, the issue of not getting enough sunlight is extremely complicated and not easily solved. The issue is further complicated by the fact that many of us want to avoid the sunlight as much as possible.
We have a lot of scientific research and real life examples of sun exposure being strongly related to melanoma, or skin cancer. This knowledge and our desire to avoid getting skin cancer contribute greatly to avoiding sunlight. We use buildings, clothing and sunblock with the highest SPF we can find to protect us from all the sun’s rays in order to avoid the harmful ones that are linked to skin cancer.
So this cause is a tough one without a lot of different considerations in play.
The kidneys convert Vitamin D into its biologically active form, which means our kidneys make the Vitamin D in our bodies (from sunlight, diet, or supplements) into a form our bodies can actually use. This process is critical for the Vitamin D to be any good to us.
As we age, our kidneys become less adept at this conversion process. So, aging itself is a potential cause of deficiency.
Lack of Supplements
An important Vitamin D deficiency cause is lack of good supplementation. With adequate levels of Vitamin D so difficult to come by from diet, sunlight, and as we age, finding a high- quality Vitamin D3 supplement cannot be overlooked.
I tried many different Vitamin D3 supplements until I settled on my favorite one made by Vital Choice. I love this supplement because it is highly effective, and comes in wild-caught fish oil from salmon, which is one of the few major sources of dietary Vitamin D. This way I feel good about doing what I can to get it from natural dietary sources while still ensuring I get enough to avoid deficiency.