ZocdocAnswersCan Vitamin D deficiency be genetic?

Question

Can Vitamin D deficiency be genetic?

I'm newly eighteen, and just out of high school. In January, I had a blood test done. The results showed that I had very low Vitamin D levels, and Iwas prescribed vitamins to take weekly. My mom also went, and her text results showed the same deficiency. Does this mean that it could be genetic? And I could pass it on as well?

Answer

Vitamin D deficiency is extremely common, and moreso depending on where you live and the time of year. Given that it is early spring at the end of a long winter, there is a possibility that you and your mom have both had limited sun exposure, which greatly decreases your body's level of vitamin d. This is because this important vitamin requires sun exposure on the skin in order to be transformed in the active form in your body. For that reason, one city in the Northeast of the US was found to have more than 33% of a group of people who were found to be deficient at the end of winter, but less than 5% were deficient at the end of summer. As you and your mom are also likely to consume a similar diet, it is possible that a combination of low dietary intake and low exposure to the sun are the similar causes for both you and your mother. There are other, genetic, reasons that could explain the coincidence as well, but they are much less likely, especially in otherwise healthy individuals. Vitamin D is very important for many reasons, and so you should continue to discuss this matter with your physician.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.