It's winter in Canada. Shudder. The days are cold, the nights are cold, and it seems like the sun goes down at 3:45pm. No matter how hard you commit to a winter wellness routine, the lack of sunshine can make hibernation seem like a good idea. That lack of sunshine is also the reason Canadians need the benefits of vitamin D supplements - while they can't bring the sun back, they can make your whole health a little sunnier.
What does vitamin D do?
Adorably nicknamed ''The Sunshine Vitamin', vitamin D primarily helps keep bones and teeth strong by helping the body absorb phosphorus and calcium from foods. But its power goes beyond just bone strength: tissues all over the body, including in the heart, colon, kidneys, brain, muscle and immune cells, have vitamin D receptors, which means they require vitamin D to function.
Vitamin D has also been (literally) under a microscope, with studies happening to determine what other effects it might have on overall health. While these studies are in their primary stages, things are ''so far so good', with higher blood levels of vitamin D being associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease , lupus , high blood pressure and even colorectal cancer.
How much vitamin D do Canadians need?
Depends on the Canadian!
Health Canada's recommended daily intakes are as follows: