In The News: “Vitamin D Awareness Month” As We Head Into Winter

Important for Canadians — and non-Canadians alike — who are at an elevated risk for Vitamin D deficiency, considering that the further we live away from the equator, the less vitamin D we can make during the winter months, if any at all.

Excerpts of news report provided below [in quotations].

A sun-in-the-sky“In order to raise awareness about the dangers of low vitamin D levels for Canadians, the Vitamin D Society [a Canadian-based non-profit organization] has declared November Vitamin D Awareness Month [since 2007].” 

“…Vitamin D deficiency can lead to a higher risk of serious diseases, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis and others.  

“The month of November is crucial for Canadians [including those of us far from the equator elsewhere] because it is the start of our vitamin D winter. The low angle of the sun means that sunlight no longer produces vitamin D in our skin.

“‘November is an important time for [us] to examine their vitamin D levels because lack of this essential vitamin can have a negative impact on every Canadian’s [plus others’] health – young or old, healthy or not,’ said Dr. Reinhold Vieth, Scientific Advisor for the Vitamin D Society and professor at the University of Toronto…

“Sun exposure is the main source for our bodies to absorb UVB rays and generate vitamin D. However, due to Canada’s northern latitude, Canadians [+] cannot get sufficient levels of vitamin D through sunshine from November to March. Compounding the problem, more people work indoors and spend less time outdoors than at any previous time in history.

“…As a result, many Canadians [+] experience decreasing vitamin D levels and increase the risk of serious health problems.

“‘During the winter when the sun isn’t strong enough in Canada [etc.] for our bodies to generate vitamin D, it’s very important to get it through other sources, such as vitamin D3 supplements, fortified foods, or artificial UVB exposure,’ Dr. Reinhold Vieth said…

The Vitamin D Society therefore urges us have our vitamin D levels checked by our physicians through a simple blood test to ensure we aren’t deficient [or bordering deficient].

“Get your test score and compare to the level scientists recommend.”  

Source: The Vitamin D Society. Image of sun (for our “Sunshine Vitamin!”): Wikimedia Commons.

Be Aware: Lower limit of “normal” on standardized blood-test for Vitamin D [ 25(OH)D ] level is not always considered sufficient for individuals with certain medical conditions; thus, checking with expert(s) on matter is recommended to address insufficiency [involving less than ideal levels], and deficiency as well.

What about food sources?  There are only few/limited food sources of vitamin D [fatty fish, beef liver, egg yolks, fortified milk and orange juice, fortified cereals, infant formula], which makes it highly unlikely for us to get enough by way of food alone — without the addition of appropriate supplementation or sun exposure.  Specific recommendations will depend upon a number of factors. 

Seek trusted, professional healthcare advice.

— — —

PS: And the further we get from the One and Only Son, the more deficient and sick we can become!

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