How Vitamin D Deficiency Can Impact Your Health

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Your overall orthopedic wellness is affected by many factors; your lifestyle, your genetics, your diet. Many would say the heart of orthopedic wellness is maintaining strong bone and muscle integrity, as doing so enables you to be able to live a healthy and active lifestyle, not to mention aids greatly in recovery in case of injury. Common issues patients seek treatment for regarding orthopedic wellness include osteoporosis, rehabilitation, muscle or joint pain, physical strengthening, and maybe surprisingly, vitamin deficiency.

In 2010 The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery reported that almost half of orthopedic surgery patients were found to have a vitamin D deficiency. This is particularly important as this condition is known to impair muscle function and bone healing during the recovery stage.

Why is that?

Well, Vitamin D acts to maintain calcium and phosphate homeostasis within the body. It is now estimated that 1 billion people worldwide are vitamin D deficient. This problem is particularly important to athletes of all ages, as vitamin D plays a significant role in bone health, immune function, and physical performance. Sports goers may be at an increased risk for potential problems such as stress fractures, respiratory infections, and muscle injuries. Not only is it important for the more active of us, but according to Steven Clinton, a professor of medical oncology at Ohio State University, “Vitamin D, working with calcium, is very clearly critically important for bone health, particularly in youth during skeletal development up through puberty and. . . in your 50s, 60s and beyond, for the prevention of osteoporosis, fractures and falls”

It worth noting that numerous published studies have concluded that Vitamin D might play a role in preventing everything from cancer and cardiovascular disease to Alzheimer’s, diabetes, depression, immune function and, though not all the medical community is convinced that Vitamin D can really influence all of these to any great extent, they certainly do agree that Vitamin D is essential for bone and muscle health.

So what does this mean?

Well, we certainly still want to give a thumbs up to those who seek cover from the sun to prevent premature aging, melanoma and other skin damage. Still, it’s important to recognize that more sun protection means less Vitamin D, which our bodies produce after exposure to UVB rays.

How can you help protect yourself?

The RDA suggests a daily intake of 600 IU per day for those who are of the ages 1-70 years and 800 IU per day for persons older than 70. These intakes correspond to achieving a serum vitamin D status of 20 ng/ml. In short, between diet, supplements, and the sun, do your body a favor and make sure you’re getting enough Vitamin D.

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