RET In The News: ‘I’m an RD, And These are Tell-Tale Signs of Low Vitamin D Levels’

RET Physical Therapy and Health Specialist Group’s resident dietician, Betsy Fears, was recently interviewed by Well+Good regarding Vitamin D, read on below.

‘I’m an RD, And These are Tell-Tale Signs of Low Vitamin D Levels’

If you live somewhere that morphs into an arctic tundra for a chunk of the year, you’ve probably been told you’re missing out on some valuable vitamin D. In fact, low vitamin D is quite common. But it can be hard to know whether you’re getting enough, and the signs are tricky to spot. So, we had experts break down signs of low vitamin D and solutions for getting more of it all year long.

What is vitamin D

Vitamin D, is a fat-soluble nutrient, according to the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS). This means that it is stored in fat cells via absorption from your diet or generated via sunlight on your skin, according to the ODS. Fat cells house the vitamin D you absorb from your diet until it’s time to send them to the liver and kidney to turn it into the usable hormone that the body sends around the body for important processes, the ODS says. When you absorb sunlight on your skin, cholesterol compounds in your skin chemically react on a molecular level to create a usable form of vitamin D, which is then sent elsewhere, Keeley Berry, BS, molecular biologist, biomedical scientist, and nutritional supplement chemist, says.

But what does it do? The answer is a lot. Remember those got milk posters from the ’90s? (OK, maybe I am dating myself a bit) they always encouraged you to drink milk for calcium and strong bones. Well, the thing that really ensures strong bones is vitamin D. This is because your body can only absorb calcium properly if vitamin D is present, according to the Mayo Clinic. It also plays an essential role in many other bodily functions, including cardiovascular health, neurological, and immune function, Betsy Fears RDN, CD, a registered dietitian at the medical nutrition and physical therapy practice RET Physical Therapy Group says.

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