Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Good-bye Sunshine, Hello Vitamin D

As we move into autumn, one of the most important supplements for Canadians to consider is Vitamin D. While we may replenish our vitamin D levels through diet (salmon, tuna, tofu, dairy, sesame seeds, almonds) and fortified foods (soy milk, almond milk), the amount now recommended by public health groups such as the Canadian Cancer Society make it much more difficult to do so through diet alone.

In 2007 the Canadian Cancer Society recommended that adults take five times more than the government guideline. It recommended that adults with white skin take 1,000 International Units (IU) a day in the fall and winter as a cancer-prevention step while those with darker skin should supplement with at least 1,000 IU year round. The Canadian Paediatric Society recommended that pregnant women take 10 times the amount as suggested by Canada's Food Guide.

Vitamin D is proving to have multiple benefits for young and old:
-powerful immune booster
-protective against heart disease and cancer
-mood regulation (seasonal affective disorder) & memory
-proper bone mineralization/development

Canada is also investigating how vitamin D levels may be protective against the Swine Flu:
“How vitamin D might protect against influenza infection is not fully understood. However new research suggests that vitamin D induces the production of antimicrobial substances in the body that possess neutralizing activity against a variety of infectious agents including influenza virus (Doss, 2009).”

I recommend Vitamin D supplementation to most patients these days, in higher doses than were once acceptable. I would strongly advise everyone speak to their naturopath about the appropriate dose for you and your family!

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor & Clinic Director
Vitality for Life Health Center

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor, Clinic Director
Twitter: @NaturoDoctor
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