What is Vitamin D…
Why is Vitamin D important?
Vitamin D is a critical nutrient for overall good health and making sure our bones are strong by helping the body absorb minerals such as calcium which is an important part of the matrix needed for a healthy skeletal system. Initially, Vitamin D was thought to only improve bone condition and prevention of osteoporosis when they realized that it helped prevent rickets in children, but now it is now understood to be an important part of the prevention and treatment many long-term health issues such as:
- Osteomalacia reduced by 100%
- Cancers, all combined reduced by 75%
- Type 1 diabetes reduced by 80%
- Type 2 diabetes reduced by 50%
- Cesarean Section reduced by 75%
- Fractures, combined reduced by 50%
Vitamin D Society Organization (2013)
Status of Vitamin D among Canadians
A reported 68% of Canadians have blood concentrations of Vitamin D over 50 nmol/L which is considered to be sufficient Vitamin D for bone health by Statistics Canada (2015). Although according to a study in 2010 by Grant et. al, demonstrated that that if Canadians increased their intake of Vitamin D to 105nmol/L, it could prevent 37,000 deaths and $14 Billion in health care costs.
That number is almost twice as the minimum cut off!
So how much should I be getting?
Current RDAs (Recommended Daily Allowance) of Vitamin D according to Health Canada (2012)
- Adults 19-50 years:
- Men and Women: 1000mg – 2500mg
- Adults 51-70 years:
- Men: 1000mg – 2000mg
- Women: 1200mg – 2000mg
- Pregnancy and lactation:
- 19-50 years: 1000mg – 2500mg
How can I get more Vitamin D?
Most people get Vitamin D from sunlight, but oddly enough, we never seem to get quite enough at our latitude here in Vancouver (apparently liquid sunshine doesn’t count), Vitamin D can also be obtained from:
- Foods such as:
- Flesh of fatty fish (e.g. salmon, tuna, mackerel)
- Cow’s milk
- Orange juice
- Egg yolks
- Dietary supplements such as:
- Vitamin D2
- Vitamin D3
We typically recommend getting your amounts through as many natural sources as possible (whole food sources or the often much needed sunny getaway in the middle of winter) but thankfully summer is coming soon, so be sure to indulge on some sunlight this coming summer!
What are your favourite ways to enjoy the sunshine? Comment below to share!
Author: Mika Palaez
Content contributions are courtesy of our Kinesiologists, therapists and Co-Op students.