Vitamin D, are you getting enough?
An estimated 1 billion people worldwide, across all ethnicity and age groups, have a vitamin D deficiency. The benefit of vitamin D has been heavily debated over the past few years. Research increases our understanding of the relationship between vitamin D and health.
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient. It is a precursor hormone that plays an important role in many biochemical functions such as bone renewal, cell growth, hormone balance and many more. There are claims that vitamin D not only fulfills a protective function for bone health, but also for diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
Vitamin D enters the body through exposure to sunlight and it is present in our diet. However very few diets provide enough Vitamin D and with the sun we’ve got a love-hate relationship nowadays. Skin cancer concerns, climate and lifestyle have decreased the amount of sun exposure we daily receive drastically.
Current studies also suggest that we may need more vitamin D than presently recommended to prevent chronic disease.
The Health Council of the Netherlands evaluated the dietary reference values for vitamin D and accompanying recommendations on supplementation already in 2012.
Although many health care providers have increased their recommendations for vitamin D, there are still many others who are skeptic about the concept and therefore will not advise their patients to use vitamin D.
Pharmacists can play a more proactive role in informing and advising people about the wright use of Vitamin D. There a many Vitamin D supplements available, in different dosages and with different quality. A pharmacist can help make the wright decision.