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Vitamin D Essential Truths

42% of Americans are vitamin D deficient. Does your doctor test your levels? Probably not. You need the data on where your levels are on this super important vitamin. We show you why and how to get it done....

42% of Americans are vitamin D deficient (1), yet most doctors no longer test for vitamin D as part of a standard yearly physical, preferring instead to recommend everyone take a 600IU Vitamin D supplement daily. This is clearly not a great solution, as it is just a guess on what an average person may need to meet a minimum requirement.  A much better solution, and what I do, is to test for vitamin D levels using the InsideTracker platform and their blood-based bio-markers to find out what my actual levels are, and then track them over time. This will give me an exact number that I look at over time, along with 42 other critical biomarkers like my magnesium, folate and hormone levels to optimize my health. Personally, I would rather not guess if I need or don’t need a supplement when the downside consequences of being deficient may be consequential.  

Vitamin D has important roles in addition to its previously known effects on bone health. It is a key part of our immune system. Deficiency in vitamin D is associated with increased autoimmunity as well as increased susceptibility to infection. Here are some other conditions associated with low vitamin D levels:

One of the problems with not individually testing for Vitamin D levels is that we are not all the same, and while some people may have good levels of vitamin D, many do not. Some people are genetically predisposed to have a high risk of low vitamin D, which is something one would only know if one has had a DNA test. I had InsideTracker test my DNA which measured 261 genetic markers including my genetic risk of low Vitamin D. The results informed me that there were some areas where genetically I had a higher risk of being deficient. Vitamin D production, in my case, was average, but I have an elevated risk of having lower magnesium. I would never have known this without having been tested.

Now that winter is coming we need to pay more attention than ever to our levels of this important vitamin as 90% of natural vitamin D comes from sunlight exposure on our skin. With the colder temperatures, we are more covered up, and the decreased angle of the sun in winter additionally decreases the effective amount of UVB we can utilize. If you are someone like me, a devotee of sunblock, you will be even more susceptible to a low level of vitamin D. If your skin is darker, you will be at even greater risk of Vitamin D deficiency. 

Vitamin D is so important to so many elements of health, do you really not want to know what your levels are? My belief is that knowledge of our inner health is essential to being able to live our best lives which is why I am a huge fan of InsideTracker. I view InsideTracker as an essential part of my personal health regimen alongside regular checkups with my doctor and dentist.

In addition to sunlight and supplements, Vitamin D can be found in a number of foods. The InsideTracker Vit D guide has some excellent recipes to enrich your winter Vitamin D diet. Check it out! 

David Stewart
David is the founder and face of AGEIST. He is an expert on, and a passionate champion of the emerging global over-50 lifestyle. A dynamic speaker, he is available for panels, keynotes and informational talks at david@agei.st.

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