How to avoid vitamin D deficiency during the winter? Let’s ask our genes!
The winter is just around the corner! Are you prepared to keep up your levels of the "sunshine vitamin" during the dark days? First, let's take a look at your genes to understand how they can "protect" you from developing vitamin D deficiency!
Vitamin D deficiency is usually associated with a lack of sunlight. That is true, but not only that. Our genetics play an important role in our vitamin D level.
Vitamin D and genetics
A study from 2010 performed with 30,000 people has discovered that 3 genes (CG, DHCR7 and CYP2R1) are associated with vitamin D deficiency. Individuals who had two unfavourable copies of the gene GC had a 20% lower level of vitamin D!
Why is vitamin D so important?
Vitamin D, sometimes called "sunshine vitamin", has many benefits. It enables our body to absorb calcium so we can have healthy and strong bones. A lack of vitamin D can result in osteomalacia (soft bones) or osteoporosis (fragile bones).
Osteomalacia is a condition where excessive and prolonged deficiencies in vitamin D soften and weaken the bones. In osteoporosis, the bones lose its strength and density becoming weaker and thinner. People with osteoporosis are at a high risk of bone fractures while doing daily activities such as walking.
Vitamin D deficiency is also associated with many other conditions. Studies have shown that people with a higher level of vitamin D have a lower risk to develop some types of cancers (breast, colon and prostate), heart diseases and depression.
Discover your genes for Vitamin D
How can I know if my genes will protect me from developing vitamin D deficiency?
If you have a history of vitamin D deficiency in your family you may want to consider a vitamin D deficiency test. NutriFit, a simple saliva-based DNA test, can "translate" the complexity of your genetic makeup into friendly nutritional guidelines that work for you. By discovering which genes you have, you'll be able to take proper measures to increase your level of vitamin D.
Vitamin D rich foods
If you have a vitamin D deficiency, try to include in your diet: salmon, tuna, sardines, liver, milk, yoghurt, cottage cheese, eggs, fish oil and beer yeast!