I recommend having your vitamin D levels checked every 12 months through a routine blood test. Your doctor will order the test during your annual check-up. But between visits, and especially at the end of a long, dark winter like this one, you should keep an eye out for 10 signs you may have a vitamin D deficiency. I’ll tell you all about those important signs in a moment. But first, let’s back up…
As you know, vitamin D is a critical nutrient used by every cell in your body. But an alert Daily Dispatch reader recently informed me that the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) released a taxpayer-supported report claiming they did not find any evidence supporting the health benefits of supplemental vitamin D.
This report shows exactly what’s wrong with healthcare in America. Not only do I not trust their findings. I don’t trust the bureaucrats who fabricated the report.
These bureaucrats rely on government grants to keep studying the same old questions, using the same old failed approaches. No wonder they never find any solutions. Of course, they don’t really want to find any new solutions–because that could put them out of a job or out of a cushy government committee assignment.
The problems start with the flawed and outdated Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs).
The quasi-government committees that make up the RDAs still focus on preventing 19th century nutritional deficiency diseases. They steadfastly ignore the mounds of scientific evidence published by independent scientists. These well-designed, independent studies support the idea that higher, optimal doses of nutrients can prevent, treat and even cure common diseases.
But the government continues to spend your tax money on regular, ritualistic reviews that use incredibly small doses of vitamins. Then, when the study shows no benefit for the vitamin, they say, see–that independent study was wrong.
Today’s academic-government-industrial-medical complex will never admit to knowing what the leading natural scientists and philosophers have known for ages–that nutrition is critical for all health and it’s involved in all disease.
Though, if they did admit this truth, they would find themselves in the company of every genius from Hippocrates to Thomas Sydenham and Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Alva Edison.
But somehow, the bureaucrats believe they know better.
So nothing ever changes–officially.
But, as I said earlier, an incredible amount of scientific evidence supports the need for higher levels of many nutrients for optimal health, including vitamin D.
Actually, the case with vitamin D is even a little different.
You see, with vitamin D, we are not just talking about how higher levels can prevent many common cancers, increase survival time, and improve quality of life in cancer patients. We’re not just talking about how higher levels can help prevent heart disease, kidney disease, neurological diseases like multiple sclerosis, and other common problems.
There is, in fact, an actual worldwide deficiency of vitamin D. And evidence links many medical problems with this deficiency.
But government health experts wear blinders when it comes to vitamin D. They still only focus its role in bone health, which is based on discoveries made in the 1920s.
But in the last century, science proved that vitamin D is critical to every cell, tissue and organ in the body–not just the bones.
Medically speaking, there are 10 clear warning signs that you may have a vitamin D deficiency. Doctors see these signs every single day.
- Bone pain
If you suffer from ongoing bone pain not explained by a “pathologic” diagnosis, you may have low vitamin D.
- Muscle weakness
Muscles have vitamin D receptors and must have a constant supply to function.
- Chronic infections and respiratory illnesses
Scientific studies show that vitamin D helps defend against infections and respiratory illnesses, especially in children. In fact, chronic respiratory infections in children are a strong indicator of a vitamin D deficiency. Instead of addressing this issue, the Centers for Disease Control wants all children to get the flu vaccine, which does not prevent the flu and appears to cause a six-fold increase in the risk of respiratory illness.
Thankfully, some doctors are getting the message. In fact, doctors with the prestigious Mayo Clinic advise that you need vitamin D to help your body fight infections. And if you’re troubled by frequent infections, they advise getting a vitamin D blood measurement at your doctor’s office.
- Low mood
We know vitamin D helps produce adequate levels of serotonin, a critical neurotransmitter in the brain that produces feelings of well-being. And many solid, independent studies link low vitamin D levels with depression.
Of course, the popular “antidepressant” drugs on the market artificially raise serotonin levels through the roundabout way of preventing its re-uptake from the synapses. Unfortunately, these selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) only work in one out seven patients. And new research suggests the one patient who does feel better after taking the SSRI probably only does so because of a placebo effect. Not because the drug actually works. Plus, SSRIs cause a wide range of harmful side effects.
Evidence links low vitamin D with increased anxiety, which frequently accompanies depression. Aside from clinical conditions like anxiety or depression, vitamin D’s effect on serotonin can impact mood in anybody. So if your mood is off, it may be a sign of vitamin D deficiency.
- Abnormal sweating
Abnormal sweating can be a sign of vitamin D deficiency. In fact, years ago, doctors commonly asked pregnant mothers if they experienced heavy sweating, since nutritional deficiency can occur under the strenuous demands of a growing baby.
- Congestive heart failure
Maintaining sufficient vitamin D is a long-term, lifetime proposition. And if you don’t maintain adequate levels over your lifetime, it even affects your heart muscle. In fact, the National Institutes of Health now recognizes scientific studies that show vitamin D deficiency can lead to congestive heart failure.
- High blood pressure
Researchers link high blood pressure, a major cause of heart disease, with low vitamin D. In fact, a prospective study on women conducted by Harvard University over many years found that women with low vitamin D had 66 percent higher risk of high blood pressure compared to women with the highest levels of D.
- Chronic pain
Studies show low vitamin D levels increase the risk of suffering from chronic pain. In fact, general malaise or fatigue may also be associated with lack of vitamin D. In athletes, lack of endurance may be a sign of low vitamin D levels.
- Skin conditions
Your skin improves with moderate sun exposure. And studies show you can improve a variety of common skin conditions–such as dermatitis and eczema–by supplementing with vitamin D. In fact, many forward-thinking doctors now use vitamin D therapy to treat psoriasis patients. Plus, according to the Mayo Clinic, no matter what treatment is used, psoriasis is harder to manage unless vitamin D levels are adequate.
- Kidney problems
Vitamin D is also important for the kidneys, which help make the active form of vitamin D in the body. So if you have kidney disease caused by cardiovascular disease or diabetes, low vitamin D contributes to this vicious cycle. (For more information on how to prevent kidney problems, see current issue of my Insiders’ Cures newsletter. If you’re not yet a subscriber, now is the perfect time to get started.)
Simply getting older can make it harder for you to get enough vitamin D. The body just doesn’t activate as much of it as you age. Of course, most the medical conditions I mentioned above also become more common with age. So while vitamin D is important throughout your life, it’s especially important as you get older. Which is why it’s critical to stay vigilant. Be on the lookout for any of the telltale symptoms listed above. And again, have your levels checked annually. The ideal vitamin D level for optimal health is 30 ng/ml or more.
To reach and maintain this optimal level, make sure to supplement with 5,000 IU of vitamin D daily. If you don’t like taking pills, you can get vitamin D in a liquid form, which is now available together with astaxanthin, which you can take straight on the tongue or add to a small glass of natural fruit juice or milk in the morning.
- “Plasma 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Levels and Risk of Incident Hypertension Among Young Women,” Hypertension Nov 2008;52(5):828-32