According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 32 percent of adults and children in the U.S. are vitamin D deficient.
While people get vitamin D from food and sunlight, Dr. Michael Holick, a leading vitamin D researcher, believes that about 50 percent of the general population is at risk of deficiency. This can cause bone pain, muscle weakness, and, in severe cases, can lead to thin, brittle, or misshapen bones. That’s why it’s important we all take steps to make sure we’re getting enough of the vitamin, including being aware of the following seven signs and factors that point to deficiency:
1. Darker Skin
Holick says people with darker skin may need as much as 10 times the sun exposure lighter-skinned people get to obtain the same amount of vitamin D. Skin pigment acts as a natural sunscreen, so more pigment requires more time in the sun. That’s why people with darker skin are at a greater risk of deficiency.