According to Dr. Michael F. Holick’s book, “The Vitamin D Solution,” a worldwide epidemic is raging and most people don’t even know about it.
“Vitamin D deficiency is the most common medical problem worldwide, even in sunny countries,” Holick says. Commonly known as the “sunshine vitamin,” vitamin D is actually a hormone, and generally only recognized for its relationship with calcium in making strong bones and teeth. Holick’s research found that deficiency causes much more — from aching joints to depression — and increases the risk of infection, diabetes and some cancers.
The big problem is that although vitamin D is added to items like low-fat milk and orange juice, and found naturally in eggs and some oily fish, dietary sources are woefully insufficient. To get their recommended daily amount: “Children would have to drink 10 glasses of vitamin D-enriched milk per day and adults [would need] 15 to 20 glasses,” says Holick. He touts “diet, supplements and sunshine” as ways to up your intake.
For those with darker skin, who generally have lower amounts of vitamin D than those with white skin, supplements can be especially useful. A recent study from Georgia Health Sciences University showed that vitamin D supplements also boost the vitality of blood vessels, cutting the risk of cardiovascular issues.