July 14, 2016
by Vitamin D Society
With school out and vacations in full swing, Canadians will be spending more time outdoors soaking up the sun.
According to the Vitamin D Society, summer is the best time for Canadians to naturally generate vitamin D, which has many positive effects, including reducing the risk of developing serious diseases, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis and others.
Dr. Reinhold Vieth, Scientific Advisor for the Vitamin D Society and professor at the University of Toronto, says that in addition to generating vitamin D, sunlight is known to improve mood and wellbeing. However, because of Canada’s northern latitude, our timeframe for getting the most from the sun’s rays is short – from May to October.
“Right now, we are in vitamin D summer. When the UV index is above 3 and your shadow is shorter than your height is when you can make vitamin D.” says Dr. Vieth. “For years, many strands of research have shown that people who are active in sunshine are healthier than those who avoid sun. We often assume that the health benefits of sunshine are solely due to vitamin D, but that is not proven yet. In other words, it is likely that sunshine does more for our bodies than just produce vitamin D.”
According to Cancer Research UK, enjoying the sun safely, while taking care not to burn, can help to provide the benefits of vitamin D without unduly raising the risk of skin cancer.
The Vitamin D Society encourages Canadians to use their time in the sun wisely to stock up on the sunshine vitamin but to remember to use common sense and not let skin burn.
Follow these tips from the Vitamin D Society to generate your vitamin D and stay sun safe this summer:
Approximately 12 million Canadians — 35% of us — do not meet vitamin D blood level requirements set by Health Canada and the Institute of Medicine. This figure rises to more than 40% during winter, making spring and summer an important time for Canadians to naturally create vitamin D from sunlight.
To learn more about vitamin D, please visit www.vitamindsociety.org.
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).
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