Did you know that approximately 93% of Canadians are not getting enough vitamin D to maintain optimal health? Did you also know that vitamin D deficiency can contribute to depression and anxiety (among many other health concerns)?
One of the easiest ways to receive a natural supply of vitamin D is through sunlight. Unfortunately, the sun can be difficult to find for 3 out of the 4 Canadian seasons, which means unless we are properly supplementing this loss in sunlight, there is a good chance we are becoming deficient in vitamin D.
It is recommended that Canadians maintain vitamin D levels of at least 50 nmol/L, with 100 nmol/L recommended as the ideal level for maintenance of overall health. Yet, according to Statistics Canada, 38% of Canadians are below the recommended vitamin D level of 50 nmol/L, and 93% of Canadians falling below the optimal levels of 100 nmol/L for best overall health.
The best way to measure your vitamin D levels is to get your blood serum levels checked by a doctor, at which point they can recommend the appropriate dosage for you. It is also important to note that in order to optimally metabolize (absorb) vitamin D, an adequate amount of magnesium must be present. Unfortunately, magnesium is another mineral that is commonly deficient amongst North Americans – particularly those with depression or anxiety. This is why we recommend you learn more about this important mineral when considering any vitamin D supplementation.
You may also consider increasing your vitamin D intake through nutrition. Foods such as fish (particularly salmon), dairy (ie. milk and yogurt), eggs and milk alternatives (ie. goat milk or almond milk) are good sources of vitamin D.
For more information:
Uwitonze, A.M & Razzaque, M.S Role of Magnesium in Vitamin D Activation and Function (2018). The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, 118, 181-189
Anglin, R, et al., (2013). Vitamin D deficiency and depression in adults: Systematic review and meta-analysis. British Journal of Psychiatry, 202(2), 100-10