Canadians at risk for vitamin D deficiency

June 18, 2002 in Nutrition Topics in the News, Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements

Canadians at risk for vitamin D deficiency
A study reported last week in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that 97% of study participants were vitamin D deficient at some point during the 12-month study. The researchers also noted that their vitamin D levels rose during the spring and summer.

The researchers examined 198 healthy men and women, aged 27 to 89 years old. Blood samples were taken every three months and tested for vitamin D deficiency.

Low levels of vitamin D are thought to be an contributing factor to osteoporosis and bone fractures. This is supported by the fact that bone fractures due to osteoporosis are more common among people living in northern latitudes with little exposure to sunlight In addition to getting vitamin D from milk and oily fish, vitamin D is produced when sunlight hits the skin.

Many researchers feel the current recommended intake of 200 to 600 IU per day is not enough. The Osteoporosis Society recommends that adults get 400 to 800 IU of the vitamin each day, and other scientists recommend as much as 1000 IU.

Experts recommend that you expose your skin to sunlight 10 to 15 minutes each day, and when you can�t during the winter months, take a vitamin D supplement. The upper daily limit for vitamin D is 2000 IU. While one cup (250 ml) milk provides 100 IU, fatty fish is a better source of the vitamin. Three ounces (90 g) of sardines offers 250 IU and one teaspoon (5 ml) of cod liver oil packs 450 IU.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.