Vitamin D Deficiencyadmin2019-01-26T03:17:08+00:00
VITAMIN D DEFICIENCY IN CANADA
Vitamin D Quiz
Check your answers by reading the articles below or watching the video.
1. Easy Question:
Vitamin D is produced when the sun rays touch the skin.
a) True b) False
2. Easy Question:
Lack of vitamin D is one of the reasons people feel sad and depressed in winter.
a) True b) False
3. More Difficult:
Lack of vitamin D contributes to
a) heart disease b) multiple sclerosis c) depression d) osteoarthritis e) all of the above
4. More Difficult:
Who is especially at risk for vitamin D deficiency?
a) night shift workers b) people with dark skin c) people who are obese d) all of the above
Using sunscreens or sunblocks in summer interferes with vitamin D production.
a) True b) False
In one hour spent outside in the sun in summer, your body can manufacture ___________ IU of vitamin D.
a) 10,000 b) 5,000 c) 1,000
Check your answers.
Vitamin D Deficiency in Canada
Immigrants who come to Canada from sunny countries often feel sick and depressed in winter. However, many of them are unaware that the cause of their symptoms is vitamin D deficiency. In winter, most people living in Canada don’t get any sun exposure and, as a result, develop such health problems as heart disease, high blood pressure, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, depression, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, as well as muscle pain and weakness. It is important to know what you need to do to help yourself and your family during the winter season.
Statistics Canada reports that two-thirds of all Canadians are vitamin D deficient. Gerry Schwalfenberg, an assistant clinical professor in the department of family medicine at the University of Alberta, said testing showed that “60 to 70% of Canadians have inadequate levels of vitamin D which is not good given that its deficiency is linked to so many chronic diseases.”
What are the symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency?
depressed (SAD=Seasonal Affective Disorder or ‘Winter Blues’)
sick often (cold, flu)
pain (muscle, bone)
high blood pressure
Why is vitamin D so important?
Vitamin D is anti-inflammatory and many diseases, including autoimmune diseases, involve inflammation.
Vitamin D is not really a vitamin – it’s a steroid hormone precursor that is produced under your skin when the ultraviolet rays of the sun touch it. In Canada, people get almost no sun in winter. In summer, many people are told to use sunscreens and sun blocks and, as a result, some people don’t get enough vitamin D even in summer!
Who is especially at risk?
– People with dark skin (dark-coloured skin is less able to make vitamin D than fair-coloured skin)
– People who work night shifts
– People who are older (your ability to make vitamin D under your skin declines with age)
– People who are obese (a body mass index greater than 30 – the fat holds on to vitamin D and does not allow it to be released into the bloodstream)
– People who take certain medications (cholesterol-lowering drugs, seizure-control drugs, laxative, steroids, and some other)
How much vitamin D do I need?
In one hour spent outside in the sun in summer, your body can manufacture 10,000 IU of vitamin D. If you don’t get sun exposure, you can safely take supplements between 2,000 and 10,000 IU daily. If you live in Canada, the best thing to do is to take supplements during the winter months – it’s better to buy a liquid Vitamin D3 supplement (drops) – and during summer months, make sure you spend at least 15-20 minutes in the sun every day.
Can I get enough vitamin D from food?
Some foods, like milk, are fortified with vitamin D but you would need to drink 40 glasses of milk every day or take 10 typical multivitamin pills a day to get the sufficient amount. Salmon, sardines and mackerel are natural food sources of vitamin D but few people eat fish every day.
Do I need to use sunscreens / sun blocks?
Most sunscreens are HARMFUL, especially for children. Mineral sunscreens are safer, while chemical sunscreens are a danger to your family’s health.
Sunscreens work in two ways: a mineral barrier or a chemical barrier. Mineral barrier (with ingredients like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide) create a physical barrier to protect the skin from the sun. Chemical sunscreens (with ingredients like oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate) get absorbed into your skin and can act as endocrine disruptors, interfering with hormonal balance in the body and also contributing to skin cancer. These chemicals are carcinogens!
If you want to use sunscreen, choose a mineral one. Or simply wear clothes with long sleeves – after getting enough sun to get your vitamin D of course.
Protect your family – make sure they get enough vitamin D!