Canadian organizations InspireHealth and GrassrootsHealth have banded together to draw attention to vitamin D deficiency in Canada.
As the dark and dreary winter sets in, it’s important to mind our vitamin D levels. This is why Canadian organizations InspireHealth and GrassrootsHealth have banded together to draw attention to vitamin D deficiency in Canada with Vitamin D Day (November 2), which kicks off Vitamin D Month in November.
Why Vitamin D Day?
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin essential for a variety of biological processes, such as calcium absorption, bone and teeth growth and maintenance, cell growth, and immune function. We get our vitamin D from foods such as fish, mushrooms, and cheese, as well as some fortified foods.
We also get vitamin D from sun exposure. However, in Canada we often see a drop in vitamin D levels during the winter months when the days are shorter and the sun doesn’t rise as high in the sky. According to Statistics Canada, 10 percent of Canadians (approximately 3 million) aged six to 79 have inadequate levels of vitamin D in their blood. This is a big problem, as adequate levels of vitamin D may help to prevent a variety of conditions including certain types of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and depression.
Vitamin D Day (and Vitamin D Month) is an opportunity for Canadians to learn more about their risk of vitamin D deficiency, and take steps toward maintaining optimal levels of serum vitamin D levels.
How to get more vitamin D
Health Canada recommends Canadians aged nine to 70 get 600 IUs of vitamin D daily; however, the Canadian Cancer Society recommends Canadians get 1,000 IUs during the winter months.
While consuming more vitamin D-containing foods may up your serum vitamin D levels, a high quality vitamin D supplement may offer a more effective dosage. Talk to your health practitioner about your vitamin D levels, and visit your local natural health retailer to choose a supplement that’s right for your needs.
To learn more about Vitamin D Day and what you can do to promote awareness about vitamin D deficiency, visit the Vitamin D Day website.
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