Canadians Are At Risk For Rickets In Children And Osteoporosis In Adults Due To Insufficient Levels Of Vitamin D?
The first Canadian study for vitamin D intake reveals that one out of 10 Canadians (3 million people) are not getting enough Vitamin D in their bloodstreams. Four percent of these individuals have Vitamin D levels so low that they are Vitamin D deficient and that can lead to rickets in children and osteoporosis in adults. Rickets is a condition whereby the bones soften producing skeletal deformities such as the curvature of the spine and bowed legs because the bones in question cannot support the body weight. Osteoporosis in adults is also a bone disease where bones lose their density and become brittle leading to bone fractures.
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that facilitates the body in utilizing calcium and phosphorus, which are important for the maintenance and building of strong teeth and bones. When a person has a Vitamin D deficiency their body is cannot adequately absorb calcium.
According to the study the highest group affected by insufficient Vitamin D were men between the ages of 20 – 39. Seven percent of these men were considered fully deficient.
At present the debate is still going on in the medical community concerning the correct levels of Vitamin D in the blood for good health. The benchmark used for the study was a concentration below 27.5 nanomoles per litre of blood. A mole is an amount of a substance that contains a large number (6 then more than 23 zeros) of molecules or atoms. A nanomole is one-billionth of a mole. A litre is 1.0567 of a quart. These standards were set in 1997 and are currently under review in both Canada and the USA.
Vitamin D is found in fish and milk products is mostly absorbed through the sun.
According to the study only 33 percent of Canadian men and 37 percent of Canadian women had adequate quantities of Vitamin D in their bloodstream. There may be a correlation between the Canadian climate and Vitamin D deficiency as we have less sunshine due to the long winter months.
It is to be noted that as the skin ages it also loses its ability to absorb the benefits from the sun.
Yet, at least one third of Canadians are obtaining the recommended levels of Vitamin D.
Dr. Richard Kremer, an endocrinologist at Montreal’s McGill University Health Centre, told CTV News that 800 or 1,000 IU (international units) is the bare minimum required for Vitamin D efficiency.