For folks who live right by the sun-drenched equator, it’s ironic that Filipinos are largely Vitamin D deficient. Local research shows that 3 out of 5 Filipinos are low on this vital nutrient . Considering that Vitamin D is absorbed by the body through the sun, one would think that Filipinos are “over-sunned.” “But, inadequate sun exposure is extremely prevalent in the Philippines—surprised?” posed Dr. Ted Achacoso, European board-certified doctor in Interventional Endocrinology and Nutritional Medicine, and Chief Science Officer of the BioBalance Institute.
We need to level up on the “D.” Here are top 5 reasons why we should consciously make every day a (Vitamin) D day:
1. Tired of being tired?
According to the Vitamin D Council, deficiency in Vitamin D may cause low energy, including depression and chronic fatigue. Other familiar symptoms may be brittle bones and even the propensity to put on some excess weight. We may not draw the connection easily, but our Vitamin D levels may be the culprit. Why? “Vitamin D has many physiological effects and affects the function of many organs,” simplifies Dr. Michael F. Hollick, PhD, MD, professor of medicine at the Boston University, and one of the world’s experts on Vitamin D. As such, we may be suffering from symptoms caused by our levels of “D.”
2. Lack of D spells Deficiency, Disease, and Deadly
It’s a known fact that Vitamin D deficiency leads to Osteoporosis, since the body needs Vitamin D in order to absorb Calcium. However, recent studies show that Vitamin D deficiency is also linked to even more life-threatening diseases, like Diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and even Cancer. Vitamin D has been discovered to affect the brain though our nerves, the heart muscles, and even our bodies’ absorption of pertinent nutrients. Bottom line: We need adequate levels of Vitamin D in our bodies not just to function efficiently, but to manage our risk for these diseases.
3. Why guess, if you can test?
Aside from local hospitals and laboratories that offer Vitamin D testing, there is also more affordable and more convenient option like the point-of-care testing kit called Test4D™. It is a simple finger prick test that tells you if you have low or enough levels of Vitamin D. Not only is it half the cost of laboratory tests, results are also available in just 10 minutes. It’s that simple.
4. Getting your “D” dose is free!
Getting your daily dose of “D” is as simple as taking a 15-minute walk outdoors, every other day (sans sunscreen, except on your face and neck). It’s important to just note that there are different factors that affect how much Vitamin D we can optimize from the sun – like the time of day (midday is best), how far we are from the equator (the nearer, the better), the color of our skin (darker skin needs more exposure), and the amount of skin exposed (more skin, please!). Our bodies are also so unique that our ability to absorb vitamin “D” naturally vary, so it’s also best to complement sun exposure by eating more D-rich foods or even popping a Vitamin D supplement.
5. If you need it, then do something about it.
As with anything, knowing is half the battle. In the case of Vitamin D, proper testing your Vitamin “D” levels can identify if you need to take more Vitamin D–rich food, up your dosage of Vitamin D supplements, or increase your exposure under the midday sun. Taking advantage of today’s scientific breakthroughs, like the latest Test4D™ can help you harness the power of Vitamin D in your life.
Knowing where you stand in a scale of health is the first step in becoming healthy! If you need necessary tweaks in your daily habits or require drastic changes to your overall lifestyle, you’ll need to test first for your basic levels of Vitamin D and other markers in order to know which habits and lifestyle changes will lead to your optimized health.
 2013 study conducted by the Philippine College of Occupational Medicine (PCOM) and the Philippine Neurological Association (PNA). Participants were office workers in Metro Manila.
3 Resolutions To Bring On The D
These daily habits may give you the Vitamin D lift you need.
1. “For a breather, I will take a quick midday walk outdoors.”
You don’t need to stay under the sun too long to get your body’s required dose of Vitamin D. A simple 15-minute midday stroll can be enough. If tests show deficiency, you may stay under the sun longer.
2. “I will make an effort to know about my health—and do something about it.”
Take today’s technological and medical advances as tools you can use to be your best you. Smart phone apps and “wearables” that measure your UV exposure and point-of-care tests like the Test4D™ can help you begin your Vitamin D journey with the right information, making you able to achieve optimal health.
3. “I will be conscientious about my D-rich diet and eat accordingly.”
To optimize your level of Vitamin D after testing and to address deficiency, you can up your D-rich foods, like mushrooms and oily fish, or take necessary supplements to arrive at optimal D levels.