Vitamin D is so important for the proper and healthy function of the body, yet an alarmingly significant percentage of the population is either vitamin D deficient or insufficient. It has been estimated that among Americans: 36% to 57% of adults are deficient. Professional athletes are equally, if not more at risk. Among professional basketball players, 32% are deficient and 47% are found to be insufficient. Of NFL players, 26% were found to have deficient vitamin D levels, and 42% to 80% of the athletes had levels defined as insufficient. There are factors that affect your vitamin D levels and it can mean many things for your overall health.
Dr. C and Dr. Derek, at Active Release & Chiropractic Center, have helped many patients achieve optimal vitamin D levels. We utilize blood tests, performed at LabCorp, to determine your nutritional requirements and provide you with the information and supplementation plan that is suited to your needs.
What Causes Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency can be attributed to a combination of genetic and lifestyle factors. The four leading causes of deficiency are as follows:
Low ultraviolet (UV) exposure – A significant portion of our vitamin D supply comes from sun exposure. When our skin is exposed to UV light, an internal chemical reaction occurs that results in the natural production of vitamin D. Too much time indoors or out of direct sunlight can result in a deficiency.
Dietary Malnutrition – Another significant source of vitamin D is achieved through maintaining a healthy and balanced diet, which even some athletes are not getting.
Skin Pigmentation – Studies have concluded that darker skin pigments actually require as much as x10 the UV exposure to receive the same amount of vitamin D as a lighter-pigmented counterpart.
Malabsorption Disorders – Your production and consumption of vitamin D are only as good as your absorption ability. Your body may be malfunctioning and not utilizing the full extent of the vitamin D resources in your body.
Why is Vitamin D so Important?
Bone Development and Muscular Performance
So what’s the big deal about vitamin D? Well, it enables a range of critical functions within the body that are especially important for overall performance and ability, primarily supporting bone health along with other extraskeletal functions, including muscle growth, supporting immune functions, and regulating inflammatory responses which influence athletic performance and recovery. Vitamin D levels also influence our mood and outlook.
Increased Risk of Injury/Illness
Research to date suggests that people that are deficient or insufficient in vitamin D may increase risks for
- Stress fractures
- Acute illness
- Impaired muscle function
Both casual and professional athletes should take every available precaution to prevent injury and disability. Even a slightly higher risk of injury can have serious negative impacts over the course of your career.
Vitamin D Testing and Treatment
Professional athletes, casual sports enthusiasts, and everyday patients alike can all have their blood tested to determine vitamin D levels. This simple blood test can give your doctor an idea of how serious your deficiency is, and may also give clues to other health indicators.
Along with the blood test, some simple health questions can help identify some of the causes of your deficiency. If you work night shifts, work indoors, have an imbalanced diet, live in northern climates, or have darker skin pigment, all of these factors can play a role in determining the course of your treatment.
The most immediate way to influence your vitamin D levels is to take oral supplements to bring you out of deficiency and allow your internal systems to begin functioning normally.
Vitamin D Deficiency Treatment in Wall, New Jersey
If you are worried about your vitamin D levels or think that your lifestyle puts you at risk of vitamin D deficiency, it is always better to take action as early as possible to avoid any potential health complications. Reach out to the team of experts at Active Release & Chiropractic Center for more information! Call our offices or schedule a consultation online today!