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The time change has occurred, and we have the light out longer in Edmonton, Alberta. Yeah!

That means, more sunlight, and more vitamin D.

However, did you know that the National Institute for Health says that between 70-97% of Canadians demonstrate vitamin D insufficiency. That is unbelievably high!

There are many good reasons to take vitamin D.  And vitamin D can help with many processes in the body including prevention of chronic disease. 

The two important reasons to take vitamin D I am focusing on in this blog, is how it helps promote strong bones and how it can help improve mood.

Vitamin D is essential for the absorption of calcium and phosphorus.  These minerals are necessary for building and maintaining strong bones and we get it with the food we eat.  Vitamin D is then absorbed by the body and travels to the small intestine where it helps to increase the absorption of calcium and phosphorus.  This means that the minerals can be absorbed into the bloodstream and used by the body.

However, without enough vitamin D, the body cannot absorb enough calcium and phosphorus.  That means it can not be absorbed into the bloodstream in as great quantity and can lead to weak bones making them more prone to fractures or osteoporosis.  Therefore, it is important to get enough vitamin D in your diet or from sunlight exposure to maintain strong bones, reduce your risk of fracturs and help your overall health.

The second reason to make sure you have sufficient vitamin D is that it can help improve mood. Vitamin D plays a role in regulating our mood.  Low levels of Vitamin D have been associated with mood disorders, for example depression. Vitamin D is believed to affect mood by modulating levels of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine.  Serotonin and dopamine are important in regulating our emotions.

A study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders found that supplementing with vitamin D improved symptoms of depression in people with low levels of vitamin D.  Another study (British Journal of Psychiatry) found that vitamin D supplementation in healthy adults improved their mood during the winter months when sunlight exposure was limited.

It is important to note that studies have shown improvement in mood with the use of vitamin D supplementation.  It is important to speak with a healthcare professional to find out if vitamin D supplementation is a good idea for you.  Bloodwork is important to determine what level your vitamin D is at, so seek out a healthcare provider who can help you.


G.K.Schwalfenber, S.J. Genuis, M.N. Hiltz.  “Addressing vitamin D deficiency in Canada: a public health innovation whose time has come.” 2010 Jun; 124(6):350-9. Epub 2010 Apr 21