Last year while getting my yearly physical, I was diagnosed with vitamin D deficiency.
Rated on a scale from 0-35, my level was a 5, one of the lowest my doctor had ever seen. He gave me a prescription for vitamin D, one pill once a week for 3 months. He would then repeat the blood test. I asked him how something like this happens. Was I lacking something in my diet? I hadn't "laid in the sun" in over 10 years, and I was never a milk drinker. He explained that all could have played a part, but most commonly, researchers are finding that its hereditary.
Women who don’t get enough vitamin D, found in sunshine, fish and fortified foods including milk and orange juice, have a higher chance of heart failure and stroke than those with sufficient amounts, a Danish study found.
I have a pale/alabaster skin tone. An English study suggests that pale people tend to be deficient in the "sunshine" vitamin and that without supplements they're unlikely to get their levels up without getting sunburned. Besides supplements, foods including cod liver oil, salmon, and mackerel contain the daily value of vitamin D, while foods like, tuna, milk, yogurt, and eggs contain some amounts of the vitamin.
Three months after taking the supplements and eating foods rich in vitamin D, a repeat blood test revealed my number, although improved, was still considered on the low side. I continue to take vitamin D, I eat salmon twice a week, and take a 30 minute walk every day in the sunshine.
My young adult children were tested as well. The oldest who is 28, his levels were normal. My daughter (22) and my son (19) were both vitamin D deficient. They both changed their eating habits, take supplements and get a safe amount of sunshine.
If you are at all concerned about your vitamin D levels, consult your doctor. It's a simple blood test.