What is Vitamin D deficiency?

Vitamin D deficiency is a public health crisis, with over one billion people worldwide falling short of their daily requirements. Maintaining adequate levels of vitamin D can be challenging for any busy adult. But since the main source of vitamin D is animal products, it’s especially tricky if you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet.

Many people with vitamin D deficiency don’t have symptoms, but chronic vitamin D deficiency can deplete your energy levels, weaken your immune system and increase the risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures, especially in the elderly population.

Common vitamin D deficiency symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Joint pain
  • Hair loss
  • Rickets
  • Bone deformities
  • Dental abnormalities
  • Mood swings
  • Bone weakness
  • Osteoporosis
  • Weak immune system
  • Depression

What causes a vitamin D deficiency?

  • Inadequate exposure to sunlight
  • A diet lacking in vitamin D-rich foods
  • Following a vegan or vegetarian diet
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Gastric bypass surgery
  • Not being able to metabolize vitamin D

Further reading: National Institutes of Health