​Why is Vitamin D Deficiency On The Rise?

​Why is Vitamin D Deficiency On The Rise?

Posted by Naturelova on 11th Nov 2022

Why is Vitamin D Deficiency On The Rise? 

Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that enables several vital processes in the human body. From lifting one’s mood to maintaining bone health, the so-called sunshine vitamin has countless benefits to offer.

Unfortunately, the lack of this all-rounder vitamin has now become a significant public health concern. Wondering why vitamin D deficiency is increasing? Let’s find out!

In this article, you can read all about vitamin D's benefits and also learn the symptoms and causes of a vitamin D deficiency. What’s more, we have also added some easy ways to increase vitamin D levels in your body.

Benefits of Vitamin D

Even though the importance of vitamin D is often overlooked, it is essential to your body. It plays a vital role in maintaining the calcium balance in your bones and blood. It is also crucial for building bones and maintaining bone health. To be more precise, vitamin D can help your body make use of phosphorus and calcium to support healthy tissues and bones. Also, recent studies suggest that people with sufficient Vitamin D have stronger immune systems that even protect against coronavirus.

There are mainly two forms of vitamin D - vitamin D2 and D3. While both help you meet your body’s vitamin D requirements, they differ in many ways. For instance, vitamin D3 is produced by our skin when exposed to ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation from sunlight, while vitamin D2 is produced by plants and fungi when they are exposed to UVB. Hence, the food sources also differ for these two forms of vitamin D. Vitamin D2 mainly comes from plant sources and fortified foods and vitamin D3 comes from animal-sourced foods.

A severe deficiency of vitamin D can lead to a dramatic deterioration of phosphorus and calcium absorption, which can, in turn, lead to hypocalcemia. Hypocalcemia refers to low calcium levels and can lead to secondary hyperparathyroidism. Symptoms of both hypocalcemia and hyperparathyroidism include fatigue, depression, cramps, and muscle weakness.

Your body will react by taking calcium from your bones to balance calcium levels in the blood. This can cause accelerated bone demineralisation and even turn into osteomalacia, osteoporosis in adults, and rickets in young children.

Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency

Most people are suffering from some level of vitamin D deficiency, but the lack of this vitamin is not easy to identify, as the signs and symptoms of this are not very obvious. One of the first telltale signs of low vitamin D levels is fatigue - you might notice an unexplained weakness sometimes. Low amounts of this sunshine vitamin may also trigger sudden mood changes and even result in depression symptoms. Other signs can include muscle cramps and muscle aches. You might even feel muscle weakness and pain in your bones. Even though these are common telltale signs of low vitamin D levels, some people might have no symptoms at all.

A mild deficiency of vitamin D causes weakness and sore muscles in children. However, it is difficult to pinpoint symptoms in them until severe vitamin D deficiency causes rickets. Symptoms of rickets include muscle weakness, bone pain, joint deformities, and stunted growth patterns because of bent or bowed bones.

Possible Causes of Vitamin D Deficiency

There are two prime causes of vitamin D deficiency: Not consuming enough food rich in vitamin D and not getting sufficient vitamin D through sunlight. Unfortunately, considering our busy modern lifestyle, most people fail to get enough of both.

Another reason behind a vitamin D deficiency could be that your body is not absorbing and using vitamin D properly. There could be a few possible explanations behind this. For instance, your body may not be absorbing vitamin D well if you have certain medical conditions or are taking certain medications like laxatives, steroids, cholesterol-lowering drugs, seizure-control drugs, rifampin, or orlistat. Weight loss surgeries can also be a contributor to low vitamin D absorption.

Various environmental and biological factors can also increase your risk of vitamin D deficiency. For example, the amount of melanin in your skin can affect vitamin D absorption. In addition, ageing can also make you more prone to vitamin D deficiency. Hence, it is required to take care of your skin and use anti-ageing products even more as you grow older.

How Can You Increase Your Vitamin D Intake Naturally?


The sun is one of the best sources of Vitamin D. A type of cholesterol found in your skin serves as a precursor to vitamin D. When this cholesterol is exposed to UV-B radiation, it forms vitamin D. Furthermore, vitamin D derived from the sun will circulate for twice as long as the vitamin from supplements and food.

Unfortunately, for many people, their exposure to sunlight is minimal, especially when modern society works more indoors, facing the computer in most parts of their day. So, if you stay indoors a lot, wear long robes, wear religious head coverings, or live in the northern latitudes, you may be at risk of vitamin D deficiency.

The deficiency is more prevalent during winter as there is less sunlight. However, how much vitamin D your body can produce also depends on certain variables like age, skin tone, geographical location, season, clothing, etc.

Food Sources

You can fulfil your daily vitamin D requirement from food intake. Try to consume food naturally rich in vitamin D, such as mushrooms, spinach, avocado, and Broccoli. Also, fruits like papaya, peach, mangos, and apricots are excellent sources of Vitamin D.

Fortified foods can also provide vitamin D. Check the nutrition labels on food to find out whether it contains vitamin D. Foods that usually offer vitamin D include oat milk, almond milk and soy milk. Other dairy products, such as nut milk yoghurts and tofu, can also increase vitamin D levels in your body. Orange juice and breakfast cereals also commonly contain vitamin D.

Natural Supplements

The amount of vitamin D an individual requires varies based on several factors, including age. For example, a non-obese adult could need 600 IU of vitamin D per day, but this number can vary drastically depending on the individual’s circumstances. For example, someone suffering from a severe deficiency might need a dose as strong as 50,000 IU.

Oftentimes, getting the required dosage from sunlight and food can be quite difficult. Natural vitamin D supplements are the go-to solution for these instances. These over-the-counter oral supplements can treat vitamin D deficiency. But you should also note that as per studies, vitamin D3 supplements are significantly more effective as compared to vitamin D2 supplements in raising the vitamin D levels in the body. While most common sources of ingredients for vitamin D3 are derived from Sheep wool, vitamin D2 is mainly made from plant-based components. However, there are also vegan-friendly high-quality sources of vitamin D3, such as those derived from lichen.


Are you getting enough vitamin D? How can you get more? Are there any side effects? It is normal to have questions about this important nutrient. We have answered some of the most commonly asked questions about vitamin D.

Try to identify your symptoms and assess risk factors for the vitamin. Your doctor should be able to recommend a suitable dosage for you. Check your vitamin D levels regularly to ensure that it is in the healthy range. Don’t worry if you notice symptoms of vitamin D deficiency. You can quickly reverse this by increasing sun exposure and eating more vitamin D-rich food. If none of these seems feasible, you can always turn to natural supplements.