Feeling tired or lethargic regardless of the amount of sleep you are getting each night? Or do you feel down for no apparent reason? Well, if you are like most Americans, finding time to get outdoors and eating a diet rich in nutrients are hard to come by. As a result, some of you might be lacking the necessary nutrients to help you stay alert, focused and energetic for the day.
One possible reason for the mood dips and lethargy may be as simple as a vitamin D deficiency, especially if you are spending most of your time indoors. Vitamin D is responsible for the regulation of calcium and phosphorus levels in the body. As a result, Vitamin D is essential to the maintenance of strong bones and a healthy immune system.
In 2000, a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine reports that 77 per cent of Americans are vitamin D deficient. At the same time, many health ailments (such as depression and certain autoimmune diseases) have been linked to D deficiency. According to Sreeram Ramagopalan, a genetic researcher at Oxford University, genetic analysis lends support to the idea that vitamin D interacts with genes specific for certain cancers and diseases. (http://www.webmd.com/multiple-sclerosis/news/20100823/vitamin-d-linked-to-autoimmune-diseases)
The supplementation guidelines vary for each individual, so testing your blood levels with a doctor is critical. Deficiency occurs when blood levels are below 30 nanograms per milliliter.
Increasing your levels of vitamin D can be achieved by exposing oneself to lots of outdoor sunshine several times a week and by consuming foods loaded with the nutrient. Cod liver oil, fish, low fat milk, soybeans and soy milk, oatmeal, white mushrooms, and oysters are excellent sources of D.