Vitamin D is for deficientPete Kissel
D is for deficient: it’s winter in Canada are you getting enough Vitamin D?
A 2010 survey by Statistics Canada concluded that 60-70 per cent of Canadians have inadequate levels of Vitamin D in the blood. Given that low vitamin D levels are associated with chronic diseases such as cancers, heart disease, neurological disorders and diabetes, there is reason for concern.
Direct exposure of natural sunlight is our best source of Vitamin D. Sunlight allows our body to create Vitamin D from cholesterol. 15-30 minutes a day of direct sun exposure is more than plenty for our body to build up a reserve of Vitamin D. But how many days last winter was that amount of sunlight even available to us?
Unfortunately naturally occurring (not fortified) Vitamin D in food is extremely rare. It’s found in fish, cod liver oil, mushrooms, liver and eggs, but not in substantial amounts. Foods like milk and cereal are fortified with Vitamin D, but again not in substantial amounts.
Ultimately we need the sun to get enough Vitamin D and Canadian winters pose a significant problem. Vitamin D supplementation may be your only option. Precision Nutrition recommends from November to February to supplement with 4000IU of Vitamin D2 daily. Vitamin D toxicity can occur with extremely high doses (daily dose >10000IU).
Think you may be deficient (the odds are in your favour), ask your medical doctor to have your Vitamin D blood levels tested. You want your blood levels of 25(OH)D (the best measure of Vitamin D levels) to be >75nmol/L with the optimal levels being between 90-100nmol/L. Warning: your physician may tell you 25-50nmol/L is adequate for healthy people.
The product that we use and recommend at The Proactive Athlete is Genestra D3 1000 drops.