Saturday, May 16, 2015
Vitamin D
(Vitamin D Deficiency, 2011)

Do you live in northern latitudes, have dark skin, or have light skin that requires sunscreen?

If so, you should have your vitamin D levels checked.  The normal level of vitamin D in the blood is 20 to 40 ng/mL.  A mild to moderate vitamin D deficiency is 10-20 ng/mL, while less than 10 ng/mL is considered severely deficient (Mayo Foundation For Medical Education And Research, 2015).  Since I am a person who lives in Iowa and has to wear sunscreen when outside to prevent a burn, my vitamin D levels were found to be in the mild to moderate range in October.  If a simple blood test was not done, the chances that my levels would have reached the severe deficient by the end of our long Midwest winter.
            Sun exposure is a reliable way to receive vitamin D.  Exposing your hands, face, arms, and legs to the sun two or three times a week will cause the skin to produce enough vitamin D.  The time for sun exposure depends on the age, skin, time of day, and location.  Most of the vitamin D, 80%-90%, is obtained through exposure to sunlight (WebMD, 2015).  Vitamin D can also be found in fatty fish, eggs, added to dairy products, cereals, and juices.  Vitamin D supplements are found in the pharmacy where your physician can determine the correct dosage if your blood levels are low.
Vitamin D can prevent rickets, osteoporosis, bone pain, and an inherited disease called osteogenesis imperfecta.  Vitamin D has also been found to improve heart conditions and blood vessel diseases, like high blood pressure and high cholesterol.  Recent studies have also found vitamin D to help with weight loss (Magazine, 2012).
Next time you visit your physician for an annual check, it may be worth having your blood levels checked for vitamin D.

Angela Ask MPS
Full time Adjunct Professor
Kaplan Health Sciences


Magazine, A. B. (2012, May 4). Vitamin D Benefits: Weigh Less, Smile More! Retrieved May 16, 2015, from
Mayo Foundation For Medical Education And Research. (2015, January 1). Reference Ranges for Vitamin D. Retrieved May 16, 2015, from http://
Vitamin D Deficiency. (2011, November 23). Vitamin D Deficiency Treatment. Retrieved May 16, 2015, from www.vitaminddeficiency:
WebMD. (2015, January 1). Vitamin D. Retrieved May 16, 2015, from


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