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Vitamin D deficiency may be bigger than statistics indicate
Published Wednesday, March 24, 2010 3:12PM MDT
A new report from Statistics Canada says 10 percent of Canadians don't get enough vitamin D but experts think the problem is much larger.
"If we look for the optimum level of vitamin D for health, 60 percent – or more – of the population is below that," says Dr. David Hanley, an endocrinologist at the U of C.
Dr. Hanley says the discrepancy exists because old standards were used by Statistics Canada.
Vitamin D is important because it's been linked to reducing the risk of multiple sclerosis and various types of cancer.
Canadians have always struggled to get enough of the vitamin because the country's latitude doesn't allow for enough sun year round.
Most people living in Alberta need supplements because our bodies are unable to make enough vitamin D.
Without sufficient vitamin D, children can develop rickets. In adults, it leads to a softening of bones.