The 10th Reason Why You Are Vitamin D Deficient

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 04/22/2023

A variety of elements, from lack of sunshine to dietary practices and genetic variances, can contribute to a vitamin D deficiency. As an essential nutrient for maintaining optimal health, understanding the underlying reasons behind this deficiency is crucial in addressing potential health risks.

In this blog post, we will examine the sources of Vitamin D - diet and sun exposure - as well as how age, skin color, and obesity can affect absorption rates.

Additionally, we will explore obesity's role in hindering the proper absorption of this vital nutrient.

Furthermore, we'll discuss polymorphism - its definition and explanation - along with how it affects our ability to absorb essential nutrients like Vitamin D.

Finally, we'll examine various health issues related to polymorphic Vitamin-D receptor mutations such as rickets, osteoporosis resulting from impaired mineral metabolism, and autoimmune disorders linked with defective VDR genes.

Causes of Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D deficiency is a common health issue that affects millions of people worldwide. A range of factors, such as diet, sun exposure, age, skin color, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and inflammation can lead to vitamin D deficiency; while polymorphism - a mutation in the genes that control the vitamin D receptor - is another potential cause.

In this section, we will focus on the 10th reason which is polymorphism - a mutation in the genes that control the vitamin D receptor.

Diet and Sun Exposure as Primary Sources of Vitamin D

Your body primarily obtains vitamin D through two sources: your diet and sunlight exposure. Foods rich in vitamin D include fatty fish like salmon or mackerel; fortified dairy products such as milk or yogurt; egg yolks; beef liver; mushrooms exposed to UV light (like shiitake); and supplements. However, even with a well-balanced diet containing these foods, it may still be difficult for some individuals to maintain adequate levels due to limited sun exposure or other factors.

Sunlight plays an essential role in helping our bodies produce active forms of this vital nutrient by converting cholesterol present within our skin cells into cholecalciferol (vitamin-D precursor).

This process occurs when ultraviolet B (UVB) rays from sunlight interact with your skin's surface layers during outdoor activities like walking jogging swimming gardening etcetera, especially between late spring and early fall seasons where there's more direct solar radiation available at higher latitudes closer towards equator regions around the world (source).

The Impact of Age and Skin Color on Absorption Rates

Age and the hue of skin can also significantly affect how much vitamin D is taken in by the body. As you age, the efficiency of your skin's conversion process declines, making it more challenging for older adults to maintain adequate levels.

Additionally, individuals with darker skin tones have higher amounts of melanin which reduce their capacity to produce vitamin D from sunlight exposure compared with those who possess lighter complexions due to reduced penetration depth by UVB rays within epidermal layers where synthesis occurs naturally during sunbathing sessions outdoors.

Obesity's Role in Hindering Proper Absorption

Another factor that contributes to vitamin D deficiency is obesity. Research has shown that obese individuals tend to have lower circulating levels of this essential nutrient because fat cells sequester (store) it away from other tissues like bones muscles immune system organs etcetera thereby limiting its availability for use throughout the body as needed.

This means people carrying excess weight may require additional supplementation or increased sun exposure in order to overcome potential deficiencies related to their larger adipose tissue stores hindering proper absorption processes involved in maintaining health status overall.

Vitamin D lack can have a major effect on our well-being, and it is critical to comprehend the reasons for this condition so as to forestall it appropriately. By exploring polymorphism, we can gain insight into how certain genetic traits affect our ability to absorb important nutrients like Vitamin D.

Understanding Polymorphism

Polymorphism refers to a genetic mutation affecting the vitamin D receptor gene. This causes resistance within receptors responsible for receiving communication from circulating blood levels of vitamin D. As most body tissues have these receptors including immune cells polymorphism can result in an array of health issues due to insufficient activation or response by affected receptors.

Definition and explanation of polymorphism

In genetics, polymorphism is the occurrence of two or more different forms (alleles) at a specific location within a population's DNA sequence. In the context of vitamin D deficiency, it specifically relates to mutations in the genes that control the vitamin D receptor (VDR). These mutations can alter how well our bodies absorb and utilize this essential nutrient.

How it affects our ability to absorb essential nutrients like Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a vital element for keeping bones strong, managing immune system performance, and sustaining general health. When there is a mutation in the VDR gene, it leads to impaired absorption and utilization of vitamin D by various tissues throughout our body.

Consequently, individuals with these polymorphic mutations may struggle with obtaining adequate amounts through diet alone or even sun exposure - which are typically considered primary sources for meeting daily requirements.

  • Diet: Foods rich in vitamin D include fatty fish such as salmon and mackerel; fortified dairy products like milk; egg yolks; beef liver; cheese; mushrooms exposed to UV light - but not all people consume enough dietary sources consistently.

  • Sun Exposure: Our skin naturally produces vitamin D when exposed directly to the sun, but factors like living in higher latitudes or spending more time indoors can limit the amount synthesized.

Due to polymorphic VDRs, individuals may be more prone to developing health problems related to vitamin D deficiency. To better understand the potential consequences of this condition, let's explore some common health problems associated with defective VDR genes in the next section.

Polymorphism is a complex concept, but it's important to understand how polymorphic mutations in the Vitamin-D receptor can affect our health. Let's delve deeper into the potential health implications of polymorphic mutations in the Vitamin-D receptor.

Health Issues Related To Polymorphic Vitamin-D Receptor Mutations

Individuals with polymorphic mutations in their vitamin D receptor (VDR) gene may experience various health problems due to the impaired ability of their receptors to effectively receive necessary communications. Some common health issues associated with these mutations include:

Rickets and Osteoporosis Resulting from Impaired Mineral Metabolism

Rickets is a condition characterized by bone deformities, primarily affecting children who have insufficient levels of vitamin D. This can lead to softening and weakening of bones, resulting in pain, delayed growth, and skeletal abnormalities such as bowed legs or knock knees.

A study has shown that VDR polymorphism plays a significant role in determining susceptibility to rickets.

Bones become more fragile and prone to fractures when there is reduced bone density, as seen in osteoporosis and osteopenia. Research suggests that individuals with certain VDR gene variations may be at an increased risk for developing osteoporosis or osteopenia due to decreased calcium absorption caused by inadequate activation of the mutated receptors.

Autoimmune Disorders Linked With Defective VDR Gene

A malfunctioning VDR gene can also contribute significantly towards autoimmune disorders since most body tissues have these receptors including immune cells polymorphism can result in an array of health issues due to insufficient activation or response by affected receptors. Autoimmune diseases arise when the body's natural defense mechanisms mistakenly target healthy tissue instead of invading pathogens such as viruses or bacteria.

  • Multiple Sclerosis: A study has found a correlation between VDR gene polymorphism and an increased risk of developing multiple sclerosis, a neurological disorder that affects the central nervous system.

  • Lupus: Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is another autoimmune disease that can be influenced by VDR polymorphism. Research indicates that certain variations in the VDR gene may contribute to susceptibility to SLE.

  • Type 1 Diabetes and Rheumatoid Arthritis: Both type 1 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis have been linked with specific VDR gene mutations, suggesting a potential role of vitamin D receptor dysfunction in these conditions.

In addition to these health issues, individuals with defective VDR genes may also experience hair loss (alopecia), weakened immunity systems leading to increased susceptibility to viruses or liver inflammation resulting in autoimmune conditions like Hashimoto's thyroiditis, as well as insomnia due to their inability to effectively absorb essential nutrients like Vitamin D.


In conclusion, various elements can be responsible for Vitamin D deficiency - from dietary habits and sun exposure to age, complexion, and obesity. Additionally, polymorphic vitamin-D receptor mutations can also hinder our ability to absorb essential nutrients like Vitamin D. These deficiencies can lead to health issues such as rickets, osteoporosis, and autoimmune disorders.

To prevent Vitamin D Deficiency Causes from impacting your health negatively it is important to ensure you are getting enough sunlight or supplementing with the right amount of vitamins through your diet or supplements.

Frequently Asked Questions Vitamin D Deficiency Causes

1. What causes a person to be vitamin D deficient?

Vitamin D deficiency can result from inadequate sun exposure, poor diet, certain medical conditions affecting absorption, and genetic factors such as polymorphism. Age and skin color also play a role in the body's ability to produce vitamin D.

2. What health issues are caused by vitamin D deficiency?

Vitamin D deficiency can lead to rickets in children and osteoporosis in adults due to impaired mineral metabolism. It is also associated with autoimmune disorders linked with defective VDR genes, muscle weakness, depression, and an increased risk of infections.

3. How does obesity contribute to vitamin D deficiency?

Obesity hinders the proper absorption of vitamin D because it gets trapped within fat cells instead of being readily available for use by the body. This results in lower circulating levels of active Vitamin D despite adequate intake or sun exposure.

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