It's no secret that I'm a total nerd, especially when it comes to health. So when I was getting a physical recently, I kinda nudged my doctor to test my Vitamin B12 levels, because I was curious how I was doing.
I got my results in the mail last night, and was pleasantly surprised to find a whole slew of levels that I was tested for! I was very pleased with my results- the major players iron, calcium, protein, and B12 were all great.
The only area that I'm lacking in is Vitamin D- makes sense because I live in a cave of darkness called the Northwest and I didn't eat a handful of mushrooms every day this winter (mushrooms are the only natural vegan source of Vitamin D). I tested at a 7 when I should be between 32-100 ng/mL.
Most women are Vitamin D deficient, mostly likely because Vitamin D isn't present in very many foods. After you eliminate the dairy products and fish, you're kinda screwed. The other main way to soak in some D is the hang out in the sun, but apparently my pleads for global warming to warm up Seattle isn't happening quickly enough.
Vitamin D is important because it accelerates calcium absorbing- although my calcium levels are fine...- and does something with "modulating cell growth" which sounds important. But most importantly, low levels of D leads to rickets, and I don't want to be called Rickety Cricket any time soon
My Dr prescribed me to 50,000 IU of Vitamin D for the next three months. Doesn't that sound ridiculously high? The daily recommended amount is 200-600 IU depending on which website you're looking at, but I guess I need to really over-compensate to make up for my low levels.
However, I hate taking artificial supplements for vitamins and minerals we should be getting from our food. So what's a vegan to do? I'll do my best to find fortified foods to consume, but in the meantime...looks like it's vitamins for me!