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What Causes Vitamin D Deficiency in Men?

author image Elle Paula
Elle Paula has a Bachelor of Science in nutrition from Framingham State College and a certificate in holistic nutrition from the American College of Healthcare Sciences. She is also a licensed aesthetician with advanced training in skincare and makeup. She plans to continue on with her education, complete a master's degree program in nutrition and, ultimately, become a registered dietitian.
What Causes Vitamin D Deficiency in Men?
A lack of sun exposure is the leading cause of vitamin D deficiency in men. Photo Credit: Evgeny Sergeev/iStock/Getty Images

Vitamin D deficiency is described as a global health problem in a 2010 article in the “International Journal of Health Sciences." Approximately 25 percent to 50 percent of patients seen in the clinical setting are deficient in vitamin D, according to a 2010 report in the journal "Mayo Clinic Proceedings"; and the risk of a man becoming deficient only increases with age. If left untreated, vitamin D deficiency can lead to weak bones, increased risk of fractures and osteoporosis. If you suspect you are at risk of a vitamin D deficiency, ask your doctor to check your blood levels.

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Get in "D" Sun

Young couple sitting outdoors on sunlite bridge
Young couple sitting outdoors on sunlite bridge Photo Credit: altrendo images/Stockbyte/Getty Images

The most common reason a man develops vitamin D deficiency is a lack of exposure to the sun. Fifty percent to 90 percent of your vitamin D is produced by sun exposure, with the remainder coming from your diet, according to the 2010 article in the “International Journal of Health Sciences.” Because very few foods contain vitamin D, it’s also difficult to meet vitamin D needs through the diet alone. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means proper absorption requires that the intestines are able to properly absorb fat. Because of this, men with malabsorption issues, such as celiac disease, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, are at an increased risk of developing vitamin D deficiency.

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