We all know that our bodies make Vitamin D when sunlight hits our skin. We can also get Vitamin D from food or by supplementation. There are six important factors that can influence your Vitamin D levels.
Your weight is very important as extra body fat eats up Vitamin D. Studies have even shown that overweight people who are obese may also make the Vitamin D produced by the body not bio-available.
It has been shown that age is also related to your body's efficiency to produce Vitamin D and that the body ability to produce Vitamin D may decrease with age.
There UVB light that reaches earth in the winter decreases as you get further away from the Equator.The UVB light is what makes your produce Vitamin D. So, if you live in Florida you have much higher Vitamin D potential year round than say if you live in New York or Maine, where your body may not even produce any Vitamin D during the cold winter months.
It has been shown in numerous studies that dark skinned people require more UVB exposure than lighter skinned people in order to produce the same amount of Vitamin D.
There is much recent research showing that Vitamin D is critical for good health and prevention of chronic disease. Vitamin D upregulates an important gene which helps your body's ability to fight infections and chronic inflammation.Vitamin D produces more than 200 microbial peptides to help your body's immune functioning.
There are over 34,000 published studies on the effects of Vitamin D before the end of 2012 with over 800 references to Vitamin D's effectiveness against cancer. Some experts in the field are blaming Vitamin D deficiency for a lot of the major chronic health problems in America today. In America today the majority of people are in fact deficient in Vitamin D. If sunlight exposure is not an option then supplementation should be considered.
The CDC reports that 32% of adults and children in the US were deficient in Vitamin D. In a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found more than 50% of children in the US were Vitamin D deficient. Vitamin D deficiency is more than likely in at least 50% of the general population as well.
There are affordable options to check your Vitamin D levels and discuss them with your doctor. Consider oral supplementation if you can't get out in the sunlight. Be aware and take care of yourself. As a travel nurse or healthcare traveler the job environment can be very stressful. Maintaining adequate Vitamin D levels can help you be healthy and alert to give your patients the care they deserve.
Mary Crawford, HealthCare Employment Network