Causes and Risk Factors for Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D, a nutrient crucial for numerous physiological processes, is particularly essential for maintaining bone health. However, the population has a surprisingly high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency. Let’s explore what causes vitamin D deficiency and who might be most at risk.

  • Sunshine Makes the Vitamin

    Our bodies naturally produce vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. Ultraviolet B (UVB) rays from the sun trigger vitamin D synthesis in our skin. However, several factors can limit this natural production.

    • Limited Sun Exposure: People who live in northern latitudes or spend most of their time indoors get less UVB exposure, putting them at risk. Additionally, during winter months, sunlight often isn’t strong enough for sufficient vitamin D production.
    • Sunscreen Use: While sunscreen is crucial for skin protection, it can also block UVB rays necessary for vitamin D synthesis. Fortunately, sun exposure for short periods without sunscreen is usually enough.
  • Dietary Intake Isn’t Always Enough

    While sunlight is a primary source, vitamin D can also be obtained from certain foods like fatty fish, egg yolks, and fortified products. However, dietary intake alone often falls short of meeting daily requirements. This is especially true for patient care in Mississippi, where factors like limited access to fresh foods and cultural dietary preferences can further reduce dietary vitamin D intake.

  • Certain Conditions Hinder Absorption

    Medical conditions that affect fat absorption, like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, can limit vitamin D uptake from food since it’s a fat-soluble vitamin.

  • Increased Risk Groups
    • Infants: Breast milk is low in vitamin D, so breastfed babies often need supplements.
    • Older Adults: As we age, our skin becomes less efficient at producing vitamin D from sunlight.
    • People with Darker Skin: Melanin, the pigment that gives skin color, also reduces UVB ray penetration, making it harder for those with darker skin tones to produce vitamin D from sun exposure.

Talk to your doctor if you suspect you might be at risk for vitamin D deficiency. A simple blood test can diagnose it. Depending on the severity, they may recommend increased sun exposure (with appropriate sun protection), dietary changes, or vitamin D supplements.

The good news is that vitamin D supplements are readily available over-the-counter at most retail pharmacies. You can easily find them at your local retail pharmacy in Gluckstadt, Mississippi. Remember, a balanced approach is key. Enjoy the sunshine, but prioritize sun safety, and consider incorporating vitamin D-rich foods into your diet. By being informed about the causes and risk factors, you can take steps to ensure you get enough of this vital nutrient.

If you are looking for convenient access to vitamin D supplements, stop by Germantown Pharmacy. We offer a wide selection of over-the-counter (OTC) vitamin D options, and our friendly pharmacists can provide OTC recommendations to help you choose the right product for your needs. Don’t wait to address potential vitamin D deficiency – visit us today and take a step towards better health!


Blogs, content and other media uploaded online are for informational purposes only. Contents on this website should not be considered medical advice. Readers are strongly encouraged to visit their physician for health-related issues.

This entry was posted in Vitamin D Deficiency and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *