Food

D as in Deficient

Some of you might remember, when I switched to a plant based diet, I said I would go and get a blood test.Β  Things move slow here and finally I gotten around to it, around one month ago. Results and follow-up results are now in!

The good news: there is just one bit missing in my life and that is the power of the sun, or Vitamin D.

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Yeah … turns out running through the winter with headlamps and going out for runs before the sun rises is not a clever way to keep this crucial vitamin (or hormone) in check.

No need to panic I thought, everyone has low Vitamin D. It turns out I have really low levels. Usually you can get Vitamin D from salmon, eggs etc, but I haven’t had an animal based product in nearly two years. I also found out, that to get enough from plant-based food (think almond milk with added vit d) is nearly impossible.

Long story short, I am super glad I found out. I’m now on supplements as prescribed and have to wait. In the long run (haha) I hope that I can figure out a way to live without supplements, there are mushrooms that have Vitamin D due to sun exposure etc., but right now, I don’t want to risk anything and the most important part is to get the levels back up to normal first.

If anyone is interested, here is a neat video that gives an intro to Vitamin D:

Vitamin D in 5 Minutes from Ample Earth on Vimeo.

All in all I am really glad that I don’t have a lack in iron, calcium or B12. My cholesterol is magnificent – as I would have expected from the switch to organic, plant-based food. Before I started this whole running thing in May 2015, I was ~20 kg heavier, had high blood pressure and a resting heart rate that was at least 20 beats higher than it is now.

Warning: If you read this, I am not an expert on this, but I did learn that you can overdose on Vitamin D and that you do need blood tests before you can get your “dose”. Vitamin D interacts with all sort of stuff, so you don’t want to experiment with this by yourself.

Oh and last but not least, if you want to try and catch the sun and get an understanding of levels and not burn etc, I find the app DMinder quite nice. It at least showed me that I won’t have any luck chasing Vitamin D before 9:30 in Ireland … or after work … (yes it is available for Iphones as well πŸ˜‰ ).

 

27 thoughts on “D as in Deficient”

    1. There is a misconception actually about how the sun is not “available” in some countries. I’m not sure about Ireland, but in Greece where I live, it is actually difficult to absorb D3 from the sun during winter, because of the country’s position on Earth. Something about the way the Earth tilts, prevents us to absorb the beneficial sun rays. Now, the typical winter in Greece has some heavy cold outbursts, especially around January, but overall as you’d expect there is plenty of sun. In addition, during summer, many people put on their sunblock or protect their bodies from burning by avoiding the sun, so again, you’d be surprised by how large the percentage is of the Greek population that suffers from a D3 deficiency! (and most of them are not even aware).

      Liked by 2 people

      1. @BENJAMINPEACH

        Oh, yeah, I didn’t mean it aggressively, I’m still in shock that:
        a. I knew so little about D3’s importance (and B12’s for that matter). And
        b. Greece’s “glorious” sun isn’t of much use during winter after all.

        Truth be told I don’t like the heat (since I’m Greek we have a paradox there), so I actually stay away from the sun in the summer as well. I was diagnosed with a D3 deficiency last month, imagine my surprise when the pharmacist told me it’s turning into an epidemic here. Apparently everyone carries around a D3 supplement prescription! lol.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I think I always was hiding from the sun or putting on sunscreen. It is really an AHA moment when you look into the topic. I think more and more people will realise it. Funny how when I turned vegan all on my mind was B12, iron and protein. None turned out to be an issue!

        Liked by 1 person

      1. πŸ˜‚ of all the emojis this is what’s in his garden… πŸ‹πŸ†πŸ₯’πŸŒ°πŸ₯”πŸŒΆπŸ…
        Missing are peppers, herbs, strawberries, raspberries, beans, gem squash and passion fruit!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

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