November is Canadian Vitamin D Awareness Month

WOODSTOCK, ON, Nov. 1, 2010 /CNW/ - More than 90 percent of Canadians are at risk for negative health outcomes because they will become vitamin D deficient this winter. That's why Canada's Vitamin D Society is recognizing November as its 4th Annual Vitamin D Awareness Month.

The solution starts with one simple step: Get your vitamin D levels tested this winter. The Vitamin D Society is promoting that message in a new public service advertising campaign distributed to Canadian radio stations Oct. 26.

Vitamin D deficiency is linked to a significantly higher risk of most cancers, heart disease, autoimmune diseases including the flu and costs the Canadian health care system more than $14 billion annually and is a direct cause of 37,000 premature deaths, according to a study published this year in the peer-reviewed journal Molecular Nutrition Food Research by vitamin D researcher Dr. William Grant.

Breast cancer is at the top of the list of diseases that could be prevented in many cases with higher vitamin D levels. Called "the sunshine hormone" vitamin D is now know to regulate proper cell growth in most tissues -- a function researchers now believe slows or even eradicates the spread of cancer cells.

Breast cancer survivor Carole Baggerly -- who founded one of the world's most effective vitamin D advocacy groups, GrassrootsHealth -- is featured in the Vitamin D Society's new public service ad. "Canada has a vitamin D deficiency problem," Baggerly said. "Having Vitamin D levels between 100-150 nmol/L could reduce your risk of breast cancer by up to 80 percent according to Dr. Cedric Garland, one of our experts."

GrassrootsHealth offers an affordable and accurate home vitamin D test on its web site (www.GrassrootsHealth.org) as part of an international study for those who have difficulty getting 'D' testing from their doctors. A surge in vitamin D testing has provincial governments considering limiting vitamin D testing, despite the proven long-term benefits of 'D' sufficiency.

The Vitamin D Society believes Vitamin D testing should be a standard preventative health measure provided to all Canadians.

Canada has among the highest vitamin D deficiency rates in the world because of its northerly latitudes. November begins a period known as "Vitamin D Winter" -- a four-to-six-month period where sunlight is too weak to produce any vitamin D. Sun exposure to the skin is the body's natural and intended source of vitamin D, which is rare and relatively weak in diet. That's why every Canadian should

Have your Vitamin D level tested with a "calcidiol test" - also called a 25-hydroxy vitamin D test.
Ask for your score and ensure your Vitamin D blood level is in the optimized range - 100-150 nmol/L
Supplement with 4,000 IU of D3 a day, in lieu of sunlight, during the "Vitamin D winter"
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 and to encourage all Canadians to have their Vitamin D blood levels tested annually.

For more information on Vitamin D please visit:

www.vitamindsociety.org
www.GrassrootsHealth.org
www.VitaminDcouncil.org