As we’ve just passed the annual ritual of turning our clocks back an hour, we get to enjoy waking up to brighter mornings. But in exchange, many of us are now heading home from work in darkness. In Vancouver, we enjoy just 7 hours of daylight on the shortest day of the year – but which may or may not actually mean sunshine! On the other hand, our position near the 49th parallel means we enjoy endless days of summer sunshine. But if you’re one of those who is diligent about wearing sunscreen, or among the almost 50% of the Vancouver population that identifies as “non-Caucasian” there’s a good chance you’re deficient in Vitamin D even during the summer. Sunscreen blocks the conversion of vitamin D in our skin. Having a darker skin tone has the same effect, acting as a natural sunscreen. If you’re not getting it naturally, you might need to be supplementing.
Vitamin D deficiency has been implicated in all sorts of health issues – from depression, decreased immunity, and osteoporosis to autoimmune conditions and even cancer. But the good news is that a top-quality, biologically available source of cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3) costs around five cents a day. And thanks to the initiative of Vancouver’s Inspire Health that eventually led to this day being created, more people are becoming aware of this important vitamin and how it affects their health.
One important caution about vitamin D supplementation – as it’s a fat-soluble vitamin, our bodies have the ability to store it. This is good in that it can help us get through a long winter if we have enough stored. But this also means there’s potential for toxicity if taking very high doses on a regular, long term basis.
So come in and talk to one of the doctors here at Yaletown Naturopathic Clinic about optimizing your health. Get well, and stay well!