Goodbye Sunshine, Hello Vitamin D Supplements

We are entering that time of year again when we no longer see daylight after 5 p.m., and the sandals and sundresses are long packed away.

As the feeling of the hot summer sun becomes nothing but a fond memory, we should reintroduce vitamin D into our diets.

“The sun is not as strong from October to March. Even if it is a nice sunny day our bodies are not producing vitamin D naturally,” says registered dietitian Michelle Latinksy. The Canadian Cancer Society suggests taking 1,000 international units a day, while The Osteoporosis Society recommends 800 to 2,000 international units a day for people over 50.

Latinsky says vitamin D helps our bodies absorb calcium better, which is good for osteoporosis prevention, but that is not all it does.

“A lot of studies in the past several years have linked vitamin D to reducing risk of cancer, specifically cancers of the breast, ovaries, colon and prostate. It’s also been linked to helping reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Some studies are also starting to link it to diabetes prevention. Also, auto-immune diseases like multiple sclerosis and even cold and flu,” says Latinsky.

So, as cold and flu season quickly approach, look to vitamin D to help battle those coughs and sniffles.

A cup of milk has only 100 international units, so we need to supplement the rest into our diets. If you are going to purchase vitamin D supplements, Latinsky suggests looking for the vitamin D3 form.

-Tianna Robinson