According to a new study, published online in the New England Journal of Medicine on Nov. 10, not so many people need extra vitamin D. While the nutrient is essential for our body's well-functioning, it seems that a large number of people get tested and take medication for a problem that very few people have.
Vitamin D is of great importance when it comes to the strength of our bones. Studies have suggested it could help in other health conditions, but results are not certain. The new study, however, advises people to be careful when it comes to the amount of vitamin D they're self-administering.
Some of the experts who published the study were part of the committee that established the levels of vitamin D our bodies actually need. According to their research, no more than six percent of the people in the United States aged one to 70 have a true deficiency of vitamin D, and only 13 percent of the population is in danger for not getting enough of it.
Vitamin D Deficiency - Not A Problem For Everyone
There was a recorded 83-fold increase from 2000 to 2010, as a result to which 8.7 million tests were carried out in 2015 alone, at the price of $40 each. The test ranks fifth in the Medicare's top of most common tests, after cholesterol and blood sugar, urinary tract infections and prostate cancer.
From 1999 to 2012, there was a 14 percent increase in the use of vitamin D pill (from five percent to 19 percent). This reaction among the U.S. population could be the result of the numerous reports suggesting the dangers of not having enough of the vitamin in the body.
However, while many people who administer the pill do not actually need it, it is true that during the cold season it gets more difficult to procure the necessary levels of the vitamin, exclusively through dietary means. Milk and oily fish are some of the products with high levels of the vitamin, but there are food and drinks containing vitamin D compound in their recipes. The labels of these products will have to display information if they use the nutrient in the products.
There is such a thing, however, as too much of an intake of vitamin D, which can have negative effects on people's day to day states. Among these side effects, nausea, kidney stones, abnormal heart rhythm and constipation are the most frequent.
Vitamin D is also called "the sunshine vitamin", as one of the natural ways of assuring a normal intake is prolonged exposure to sun.