Maybe your thinking, I'm a pale white girl who lives in a cloudy city - and you'd be right! I tried to find out how widespread Vitamin D deficiency really is. And I found researchers disagree as much about that as they do about what levels are normal! I saw numbers anywhere from 25% to 50% of the US population is estimated to be Vitamin D deficient.
This is a serious issue. The more we learn about Vitamin D the more we realize how important it is to leading a healthy life. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to asthma, depression, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer and diabetes. This goes a lot further than healthy bones and teeth.
The experts have agreed on some risk factors. If you use sunscreen religiously, have dark skin, live in the Northern Hemisphere, or are overweight you have a greater risk of having Vitamin D deficiency. It's called the sunshine vitamin, because in just 5 to 10 minutes a day outside your body can create all the Vitamin D it needs. In cold, cloudy climates you might not be hitting that mark.
You can also get Vitamin D from certain foods. Cheese, butter, fortified milk, healthy cereals and fish are all sources of Vitamin D. If fall into a risk factor category, and don't regularly eat the foods listed here you should consider talking to your doctor about Vitamin D.
It is possible to take too much Vitamin D, so don't run out and start taking highest does you can. If you suspect you have a Vitamin D deficiency, talk to your doctor and be tested. Your doctor can help you decide which type of Vitamin D to take and what amount is appropriate for you.