Are You At Risk of Vitamin D Deficiency?
Over 40 percent of the U.S. population is considered clinically deficient in vitamin D3, and more than 60 percent have inadequate levels for health. Although vitamin D insufficiency is widespread throughout the population, the greatest risk is in individuals who lack sun exposure, regularly use sunscreen and sunglasses, are obese, use pharmaceutical drugs, live in cold climates, or have darker skin pigmentation.
Although it is possible for Caucasian skin to produce 10,000 IUs of vitamin D from several hours of full-body sun exposure, those living at higher latitudes above the 35th parallel or who have darker skin cannot rely on sun exposure from late fall to early spring for vitamin D.
Older adults are also at increased risk of vitamin D deficiency. Aging skin has a reduced capacity for vitamin D synthesis. By age 75, vitamin D levels may be as much as 25 percent lower than in youngsters.
Most experts agree that a vitamin D3 blood serum value of less than 20 ng/ml is vitamin D deficiency. A blood value of 21-29 ng/ml is insufficient. Over 30 ng/ml is considered adequate.
You can ask your doctor to order a vitamin D blood test to assess your values and determine supplementation needs.
Are You At Risk of Vitamin K2 Deficiency?
There is no established RDA for vitamin K2, but intake in the average diet is very low due to predominance of processed foods and sugar. Low vitamin K can result from a diet low in animal products and green vegetables. Vitamin K insufficiency is more common in those with gastrointestinal disorders, chronic illness, or following a round of antibiotcs.