The topic of vitamin D deficiency is often confusing and controversial. Ddrops® products are not indicated to treat or correct vitamin D deficiencies; Ddrops® are intended to help maintain healthy blood levels of vitamin D. Still many people ask us about this hot topic, so here is some current information to address common questions about this topic:
How common is vitamin D deficiency?
Northern climates and modern culture has adopted a lifestyle that involves significant time spent indoors. The following provides some statistics published in the literature showing the frequency of vitamin D deficiency:
- Researchers estimate that 1 billion people worldwide have vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency.[i]
- An American nutrition survey looked at vitamin D deficiency. They defined vitamin D deficiency as a 25- OH vitamin D blood level of below 20 ng/mL (50 nmol/L). The overall rate of vitamin D deficiency in US adults was 41.6%, with the highest rate seen in African Americans (82.1%), followed by Hispanics (69.2%)[ii]
- Similar results from 2011 National Center for Health Data statistics found that almost 1 in 3 Americans has vitamin D blood levels below 20 ng/ml (50 nmol/L). [iii].
- According to the latest lab test results from Statistics Canada, most Canadians have vitamin D blood levels lower than the optimal range.[iv]
- A large study of over 2,900 Americans showed that 42% of dark skinned girls and women aged 15 to 49 years had vitamin D deficiency.[v] This showed that those with darker skin were 10 times more likely to be vitamin D deficient.
- In another study, women in the northern US have shown a high rate of vitamin D insufficiency in pregnant women and their developing babies, despite the use of prenatal vitamins.[vi]
- Studies outside North America also show that other countries have similar results. The National Diet and Nutrition Survey in the United Kingdom showed that 1 in 5 people have low vitamin D blood levels. [vii]
What can you do about low vitamin D levels?
The approach depends on several factors. Most importantly, a healthcare practitioner should be the best resource, as they know about an individual’s medical condition, risk factors and also they are familiar with the diagnosis and treatment options available in the area. Sometimes people are given a prescription for higher doses of vitamin D to be taken for a period of time. The recommended dose of vitamin D depends upon the nature and severity of the vitamin D shortfall[viii].
Ddrops® products are not used to correct or treat a severe vitamin D deficiency. Where Ddrops® products often come into the picture is after a deficiency is corrected, as an ongoing way to maintain healthy vitamin D blood levels and support bone and teeth health.
Want to learn more on vitamin D deficiency? Check out our series here.
[i] Nesby-O’Dell S, Scanlon KS, Cogwell ME, et al. Hypovitaminosis D prevalence and determinants among African American and white women of reproductive age: third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1988-1994. Am J Clin Nutr 2002;76(1):187-92
[ii] Forrest & Stuhldreher. Prevalence and correlates of vitamin D deficiency in US adults. Nutr Res. 2011 Jan;31(1):48-54. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21310306
[iii] 9 things that can undermine your vitamin D level http://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/9-things-that-can-undermine-your-vitamin-d-level
[iv] Statistics Canada. Canadian Health Measures Survey. Vitamin D blood plasma concentrations in the population 2007/2008. Cat. No. 11-001-XIE
[v] Hollick MF. Vitamin D Deficiency. N Engl J Med 2007;357; 3:266-81
[vi] Nesby-O’Dell S, Scanlon KS, Cogwell ME, et al. Hypovitaminosis D prevalence and determinants among African American and white women of reproductive age: third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1988-1994. Am J Clin Nutr 2002;76(1):187-92
[vii] Data from years 1 & 2 of the National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) rolling programme. Low status is defined by the Department of Health as a plasma concentration of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D, the main circulating form of the vitamin) of below 25nmol/l (equal to 10 ng/ml) National Diet and Nutrition Survey Headline results from Years 1 and 2 (combined) of the Rolling Programme (2008/2009 – 2009/10) – http://www.dh.gov.uk/prod_consum_dh/groups/dh_digitalassets/documents/digitalasset/dh_128550.pdf
[viii] Marc K Drezner. Patient information: Vitamin D deficiency (Beyond the Basics). June 2015. Uptodate. http://www.uptodate.com/contents/vitamin-d-deficiency-beyond-the-basics