Vitamin D - Who is at Risk for Deficiency?

If You're at Risk, Please Take Action Now to Raise Your Vitamin D Levels

The Elderly Amounts of the vitamin D precursor in the skin decrease with age, therefore elderly people are particularly prone to deficiency. Living in nursing homes or becoming homebound can limit exposure to sunshine. Muscle weakness and osteoporosis associated with vitamin D deficiency make the elderly more susceptible to falling and to fracture risk. Research indicates that vitamin D supplementation may decrease the risk of fractures.

People with Dark Skin  The darker the skin is, the higher melanin levels are. Melanin blocks the action of sunlight on vitamin D precursors in the skin, requiring much longer sunlight exposure to generate adequate circulating vitamin D compared to people with fair skin.

People with Limited Sunlight Exposure  People living at northern latitudes or who have limited sunlight exposure because of their working environment or cultural dress rules may have low vitamin D levels.

People with Musculoskeletal Pain  People with symptoms of hypothyroidism, non-specific musculoskeletal pain, chronic low back pain, or fibromyalgia are frequently found to have low vitamin D levels and show clinical improvement after supplementation.

Overweight or Obese People  Vitamin D can be locked up in fat stores in people who are overweight or obese. In clinical studies, obesity is associated with lower levels of circulating 25-hydroxy vitamin D.

If you think you might be at risk for vitamin D deficiency, please consider testing your vitamin D levels to find out. You can test for vitamin D at home with an easy-to-use kit that's mailed to the lab in a prepaid envelope.

Reprinted with permission of ZRT Laboratory