Sunshine vitamin deficiencies on the rise
It's one of the biggest nutritional deficiencies in the Western world today -- and low vitamin D levels are not getting any better.
In fact, it's getting worse.
Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, essential for everything from strong bone to a healthy heart -- and new numbers out of Canada show that only 10 percent of the people there have optimal levels of this essential hormone. The rest of the people have low vitamin D levels or a deficiency.
That's actually a decline of 6.2 percent over just the past two years.
You might think Americans would be better off. We're further south, so we get more sun.
But it hasn't always led to higher D levels.
While new numbers for Americans aren't available just yet, they tend to closely mirror the data out of Canada, with similar numbers of people consistently battling insufficiencies and low vitamin D levels.
And if that remains the case, then our kids in particular are in especially bad shape -- because the Canadian study finds that D levels have fallen by more than 10 percent in the 6-through-11 crowd.
But it's not just children. Clearly, everyone is suffering -- and I mean really suffering, because low vitamin D levels have been linked to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, dementia, and more.
That's why it's essential that everyone -- and I mean everyone -- take a vitamin D supplement.
But don't grab the first one off the shelf and consider yourself covered, because there's also a warning hidden in the new study: Fifteen percent of those who take a daily D pill have insufficient levels anyway.
That could be a sign of a genetic condition that makes it difficult to get proper D levels, but it could also mean they're taking low doses or using a low-quality supplement.
Make sure you take a supplement from a maker you trust. And make sure you get enough. Most people need a minimum of 2,000 IUs a day, and many need up to 5,000 IUs a day.
A holistic doctor can test your levels and help you determine how much you need as well as the best way to get it -- and monitor your progress to make sure the supplement you take actually does the job.