Vitamin D is essential for strong bones because it helps the body use the calcium ingested from foods. A lack of Vitamin D can lead to rickets, which causes soft bones and skeletal deformities, but it’s also being increasingly linked to other, more serious ailments. How much do you know about Vitamin D? We put together this short video quiz to test your knowledge.
Not to tip pitches, but the answer to the first question might surprise you.
1. What percentage of the United States population does not get enough Vitamin D?
Is it a) 50% b) 60% c) 70% or d) 80%?
According to the CDC’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, around 70% do not get the daily amount of Vitamin D, which is 1000 milligrams with people over 51 needing 1200 milligrams. However, too much is a problem too, so no more than 2500 milligrams a day! The correct answer is C.
2. Which is NOT a way that our body gets Vitamin D?
Do you think it’s a) from sunlight b) from what we eat c) from supplements or d) from exercising?
Some of you might not know that exposure to the sun is actually an excellent way to get Vitamin D. Just be careful to not spend too much time or melanoma becomes a risk. So, the answer is not A. While always getting enough exercise is important, it does nothing to help your body get Vitamin D, unless you do it outside. So, those of you who said D are right!
3. Because we do get Vitamin D from food, which of these foods is a recommended source of it?
Might it be a) salmon b) steak c) carrots or d) yogurt?
Most of you know that carrots are a good source of Vitamin C, so we didn’t think we’d get you with that one. While beef liver is an excellent source for Vitamin D, the rest of the cow not so much. Yogurt is a way for vegetarians to get Vitamin D, but only if it’s fortified with vitamins. The correct answer is A. Fatty fish is an excellent source of Vitamin D and Salmon in particular is recommended.
Recognizing the symptoms of being Vitamin D deficient is important, so you can know if you are part of the 70% and should get tested.
4. Of the following symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency, which is NOT true?
Do you think it’s a) muscle weakness b) frequent nosebleeds c) depression or d) daytime sleepiness?
Depression is linked to a lack of sunlight exposure in winter months. It’s called Seasonal Affective Disorder. The Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine says low levels of Vitamin D cause higher levels of daytime drowsiness. Frequent nosebleeds IS a symptom of vitamin deficiency, but for a different one. They happen when you’re not getting enough Vitamin C. So, all of you that chose B are right.
The next question comes from one of our blog posts, so it’s practically a gimme.
5. Can Vitamin D deficiency cause headaches?
Is it a) Yes or b) No?
Headaches can result for various reasons: stress, diet, alcohol consumption just to name a few. However, if you take either over the counter or prescription medication to cure a headache and it doesn’t work, try adding more Vitamin D to your system. Because those who guessed A are right, some of the time. Vitamin D deficiency is not the cause of every headache, but it can cause some of them.
Some groups of people are actually more susceptible to not getting enough Vitamin D naturally than others.
6. Which of the following groups of people are NOT most at risk for Vitamin D deficiency?
Would you think it’s a) adults over 55 b) office workers c) meat-eaters or d) people with inflammatory bowel disease?
As we get older, our bodies naturally lose the ability to process Vitamin D efficiently. Office workers tend to be indoors during daylight hours. So, they tend to be deficient unless they make a conscious effort not to be. Vitamin D is fat soluble, so even if you’re getting the recommended daily dosage, if you have an inflammatory bowel disease, your body won’t pull the Vitamin D from the fat cells. The correct answer is C because not all meat contains enough Vitamin D, see question 3. That said, it’s more likely that vegans and vegetarians who don’t go out of their way to make sure their food is fortified with Vitamin D are also a high-risk group.
All right. Last question.
7. What’s the best way to determine Vitamin D deficiency?
Is it a) blood test b) physical exam c) bone density test or d) written assessment?
Now, you may think us biased on this answer because of what we do, but the correct answer is A, through a blood test. Sometimes, you just have to handle the truth. Fortunately for you, if you have the symptoms of being deficient, we also know a great place to get tested for a reasonable price and you don’t even need a doctor’s note!
*Sources: CDC, WebMD, US National Library of Medicine, Prevention.com, Women’s Health, Scientific American