Vitamin deficiencies are common in the current world of prepacked and processed foods. Many (maybe most) food eaten in Western society lacks many of the nutritional properties that it contained when it came out of the ground or when the animal was first killed for food.
Some doctors and researchers believe that these deficiencies (along with toxins in our food and where we live) are at the root of most of the disease that we face today. Take Vitamin D, for example. Daniel Barker writes,
“In fact, vitamin D is crucial in preventing cancer as well as certain bone and muscle diseases. Vitamin D deficiency can also cause long-term health problems including lowered immunity, tooth decay, breathing problems and heart disease.”
Barker also notes that many people who have a deficiency of Vitamin D develop rickets. Stephanie Brunner describes rickets as:
“a childhood bone disorder in which bones soften and become prone to fractures and deformity. Although rare in industrialized nations, it is still fairly common in some developing countries. […] Rickets affects mainly children, although the disorder may also affect adults (osteomalacia). In most cases, the child suffers from severe and long-termmalnutrition, usually during early childhood.”
Possibly the saddest thing about rickets and other Vitamin D deficiencies is how easily they are prevented and treated. Dr. Louis Levy, head of Public Health England, says,
“”A healthy, balanced diet and short bursts of sunshine will mean most people get all the vitamin D they need in spring and summer.
“However, everyone will need to consider taking a supplement in the autumn and winter if you don’t eat enough foods that naturally contain vitamin D or are fortified with it.”
As Dr. Levy notes, “short bursts of sunshine” along with eating the right foods will prevent a Vitamin D deficiency in most people. Unfortunately, however, many people will not notice that Dr. Levy advocates “short bursts” of sun exposure out of fear of developing skin cancer, and this is at least part of the reason why many Westerners do not spend the amount of time outdoors that would bring optimal health. However, no (or virtually no) exposure to sunlight brings its own health concerns.
Our recommendation is to get outside today (and everyday, if possible) for at least a few minutes to help your body get the Vitamin D that it needs.