Pratt: Addressing vitamin D deficiency during winter

The simplest way get your vitamin D is to expose your arms and legs to the mid-day sun for 20 to 30 minutes.

Even though Kelowna is one of the sunniest places in B.C., a recent study shows that at least two-thirds of people in Canada are deficient in the sunshine vitamin—vitamin D.

A deficiency in vitamin D can cause an increased risk of heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis and chronic pain.

Research also shows that low levels of vitamin D can correlate to increased symptoms of multiple sclerosis, psoriasis and asthma.

So what is the cause of this deficiency? Latitude.

Even though Kelowna is known for its sunshine, being above the 37th parallel (Canadian border is on the 49th parallel) puts you at an increased risk of vitamin D deficiency due to the angle of the sun, especially in the winter.

That coupled with, being indoors often, low levels of vitamin D rich foods, poor absorption in your digestive tract and darker skin, all increase your risk of being deficient in vitamin D.

So how do you increase your vitamin D levels? The simplest way is to expose your arms and legs to the mid-day sun for 20 to 30 minutes.

You can also consume foods high in vitamin D, such as: fish and fish oils, egg yolks, cheese, fortified milk and beef liver.

However, if you are vegetarian or are not able to expose your skin to the sun daily, supplementation may be required.

Current research shows that an adult individual above the 37th parallel should take at least 1000 IUs of vitamin D per day and possibly more.

However, please consult your health care professional about what dose of vitamin D is right for you before starting any supplement regime as higher doses can lead to other health risks.

Just Posted

Stargate armour debuts at Kelowna expo

The Kelowna Fan Experience will feature Jaffa armour from Stargate SG-1

Okanagan athletes among those celebrated with Aboriginal awards

Premier’s Awards for Aboriginal Youth Excellence in Sport handed out

Okanagan makes Top 5 of least affordable home markets list

The Okanagan is the fourth least affordable place in Canada to buy property on a single income

Kelowna summit will connect employers and immigrants

A session will be held tomorrow from 12 to 3 p.m. at the downtown library

Suspected overdose, poisoning calls jump in Okanagan

BCEHS statistics show calls rose last year in Kelowna, Penticton and Vernon

Vancouver Aquarium’s resident octopus released into ocean

Staff let the Giant Pacific octopus go into the waters near Bowen Island so she can reproduce

Americans blank Rockets in playoff opener

Patrick Dea stops all 39 shots to lead Tri-City to victory in Game 1 in Kelowna

Canucks find scoring touch in 5-2 win over Blackhawks

Four Vancouver skaters have two points apiece in victory over Chicago

Kamloops landlord dealing with aftermath of firebombing

Kamloops landlord claims tenant to be a nightmare

‘Not well thought out:’ Arizona family slams B.C. speculation tax

American family spends half the year in vacation home on Vancouver Island

Family of B.C. wildfire victim wants better emergency preparedness for vulnerable people

Williams Lake’s David Jeff “fell through the cracks”

Senate backs bill to legalize recreational marijuana

Justin Trudeau reminded senators that his government was elected on a promise to legalize pot

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Most Read