Did you know that lack of sunshine in the winter can impact your bone health? Vitamin D, commonly known as the sunshine vitamin plays an important role in your bone health. Unlike other vitamins, it is commonly made by the body from exposure to sunlight as opposed to the foods that we eat. Low levels of vitamin D can lead to decreased bone mass known as osteoporosis. This can lead to an increased risk of fractures. 1 It is generally accepted that 90% of a person’s vitamin D comes from casual exposure to sunlight.3 For us in the northern hemisphere this can be difficult during the winter months. There are some foods where you can find vitamin D naturally. Those include egg yolks, and fatty fish. You can also look for foods that are fortified with vitamin D including soy milk, rice beverages, and margarine. Keep your bones healthy this winter by reading nutrition labels and bundle up and go outside to enjoy some sunshine!
- Vitamin D blood levels of Canadians. Statcangcca. 2015. Available at: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/82-624-x/2013001/article/11727-eng.htm. Accessed October 17, 2016.
- Holick M. Vitamin D: important for prevention of osteoporosis, cardiovascular heart disease, type 1 diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and some cancers. Southern Medical Journal. 2005;98(10):1024-1026. doi:10.1097/01.smj.0000140865.32054.db.
Food sources of vitamin D. Dietitians of Canada. 2014. Available at: http://www.dietitians.ca/Your-Health/Nutrition-A-Z/Vitamins/Food-Sources-of-Vitamin-D.aspx. Accessed October 17, 2016.