Vitamin D deficiency common across country

Shaina Smith and Shaina Smith

College student bone development and other health problems may be at risk due to the vitamin D deficiency across the country.

A nationwide deficiency of vitamin D is being linked to various diseases and lack of regulation in the immune system.

Dietetic major and senior Amber Wistinghausen said now is the most important time for college students to get enough vitamin D in their systems.

“You’re building bone until the age of 30 and vitamin D helps in the uptake in calcium,” Wistinghausen said. “If you don’t have that vitamin D, you’re not strengthening your bones.”

Sophomore Tomeka Kolleh said she also felt this information was important because college students don’t have the best diets and they need to be aware of their health and the steps it takes to be healthy.

In today’s society, people might not be exposed to enough sunlight. Children are in the house more, on the computer and playing video games, and adults are working jobs sitting behind computers, according to medicalnewstoday.com.

According to the Web site, vitamin D can support the immune system against the common cold, help maintain a healthy body weight and reduce the severity of asthma symptoms.

“The recommended amount for adults is up to 1-2000 milligrams a day,” said Health Services Registered and Licensed Dietician Jane Crandall. “Vitamin D is fat soluble, so people can’t just dive in and take very large doses of vitamin D because they could end up hurting themselves.”

Seafoods like salmon, tuna, mackerel and sardines, are fortified with vitamin D, along with milk, yogurt, cereal, orange juice, egg yolk and margarine. However, when purchasing these items it is important to check the labels to make sure that they have been fortified with vitamin D, Crandall said.

Despite the deficiency affecting the country, some students on campus feel they do a good job getting their vitamin D on a regular basis.

“I drink a lot of milk and I eat food that has vitamin D in it often, so I think I’m fine,” said sophomore Courtney Wheaton.

There are also vitamin D supplements that can be purchased at any store for those who are lactose intolerant or allergic to seafood. But while those supplements are available, students are encouraged to first incorporate vitamin D foods into their diet before taking the pills.