Statistics Canada recently published a study indicating that Canadians are declining in their levels of Vitamin D. Given the significant health impact that ideal levels of Vitamin D provide including optimizing bone health, reducing Diabetes, Heart Disease, Cancer and Depression and reducing the incidence and severity of infection these results are suprising and concerning to health care professionals. Naturopathic Doctors have long been touting the importance of testing to ensure ideal levels are met with supplementation, in the absence of ideal sun exposure, and these results again emphasize this notion.
We agree with The Vitamin D Society recommendations for Canadians to achieve and maintain 25 (OH) D blood levels between 100 – 150 nmol/L. The study indicates that the mean average for Canadians between 6 – 79 years of age has dropped from previous studies to 63.5 nmol/L (25 ng/ml) in 2011, with the lowest levels overall in young adults age 20- 39 and the sharpest decline in children aged 6 – 11 years old.
Supplementation may be necessary for many Canadians to achieve ideal ranges but should be followed with testing to ensure the levels are met as numerous health concerns can interrupt the absorption of oral vitamins. Given the angle of the sun in higher latitude countries like Canada during the winter month it is extremely difficult to achieve these levels without supplementation.