Canadians urged to boost vitamin D levels before the long, dark winter sets in

NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Distribution

TORONTO, Ont (October 12, 2016) –  With winter just around the corner, Canadians have very little time left to naturally generate vitamin D from sunshine until next spring.

Due to our northern latitude, Canadians cannot get sufficient levels of vitamin D through sunshine from November to May. Safe sun exposure is the main source for our bodies to absorb UVB rays and naturally generate vitamin D, which is instrumental at lowering the risk of developing serious diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and osteoporosis.

“Until the cut-off in November, it’s advisable to try and enjoy the midday sun as much as possible in October before switching over to vitamin D supplements,” says Dr. Gerry Schwalfenberg, a scientific advisor to the Vitamin D Society and an Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of Alberta. “Vitamin D is an important way for the body to stay healthy and with it coming for free from the sun, it couldn’t be easier to obtain.”

Now that Breast Cancer Awareness Month has kicked off in October, the Vitamin D Society is urging women to step out into the midday sun to grab the last rays of sunshine and naturally boost their vitamin D levels to help lower the risk of breast cancer.

According to BreastCancer.org, “research suggests that women with low levels of vitamin D have a higher risk of breast cancer. Vitamin D may play a role in controlling normal breast cell growth and may be able to stop breast cancer cells from growing.”

While vitamin D can aid in lowering the chances of developing breast cancer, it also aids in helping to prevent a large group of other diseases for both men and women. The Vitamin D Society encourages everyone to spend some time in the midday sun this October to stock up on their vitamin D levels before winter arrives, while taking care to not let their skin burn.

To get the most out of this time of year, The Vitamin D Society recommends these tips for getting outside and enjoying the last of the vitamin D generating sunlight:

-Gardening: Take advantage of the warm autumn weather this weekend and close your garden for the season. Take care not to burn, but expose some skin to the sun to help speed up vitamin D generation.

-Walking: Take a walk around midday and expose as much skin as comfortable to the sun while enjoying the fall colours.

-Coffee date: Meet a friend over the weekend and find a sunny spot outside to sit and chat with a coffee or tea. Again, take care not to burn, but be sure to stay in a sunny spot while the sun is high in the sky.

-Sports: Golf, soccer, tennis and many other outdoor sports are a great way to spend some time in the sun while having fun.

-Relaxing: It takes about 15 minutes of midday sun exposure for the average person to generate the vitamin D that their body needs. Why not sit back and relax for 15 minutes in your backyard or on a park bench and watch the world go by while soaking in the sun.  

About the Vitamin D Society:

The Vitamin D Society is a Canadian non-profit group organized to increase awareness of the many health conditions strongly linked to vitamin D deficiency; encourage people to be proactive in protecting their health and have their vitamin D levels tested annually; and help fund valuable vitamin D research. The Vitamin D Society recommends people achieve and maintain optimal 25(OH)D blood levels between 100 – 150 nmol/L (Can) or 40-60 ng/ml (USA).

To learn more about vitamin D, please visit www.vitamindsociety.org.

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For more information, please contact: 

Mike Kwiatkowski, Enterprise Canada 905-346-1235 mkwiatkowski@enterprisecanada.com