Health

November is Vitamin D Awareness Month

Make sure your Vitamin D score is between 100-150 nmol/L

» With Canadian vitamin D levels dropping year after year, the Vitamin D Society is kicking off its 8th Annual Vitamin D Awareness Month with Vitamin D Day on November 2nd to help spread the message across the country.

The Society is using the month to bring vitamin D deficiency to light for Canadians who may not understand the effects that a lack of vitamin D can have on the human body.

“Vitamin D deficiency can lead to a higher risk of serious diseases, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis and others,” says Dr. Gerry Schwalfenberg, scientific advisor for the Society and an assistant clinical professor at the University of Alberta. “The month of November is crucial for Canadians because it is the start of our vitamin D winter. The low angle of the sun means that sunlight no longer produces vitamin D in our skin, therefore, it’s important to examine your vitamin D levels to ensure your body isn’t at risk.”

Leave our prostates alone

Healthcare must engage in a wider discussion about preventive medicine

DRUG BUST
by Alan Cassels

• “Preventive medicine displays all three elements of arrogance…Aggressively assertive…Presumptuous…Overbearing.”

Dr. David Sackett wrote those words over a decade ago in a neat little column in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. He was, in this case, talking about hormone replacement therapy, after the publication of one of the world’s largest studies in preventive healthcare. The results of the Women’s Health Initiative showed that giving estrogen and progestin to healthy women going through menopause, on the assumption that this was vital preventive medicine, did not protect them from cardiovascular disease. In fact, it increased rates of some forms of cancer, heart attacks, blood clots and strokes. In trying to preserve and protect health, the recommended therapies were harming women. On a massive scale, I should add.

The carnitine controversy

photo of Vesanto Melina

NUTRISPEAK
by Vesanto Melina

• Carnitine is an amino acid, important for our body’s transportation of fatty acids to the area in the cells where the fatty acids can be burned for energy production. For this reason, carnitine has been marketed as a fat-burning support. A very small number of people – about one in 40,000 – have a genetic condition in which they cannot move carnitine to the areas where it is needed. One resulting symptom is muscle weakness, which may have led to the idea that carnitine can improve athletic performance, as carnitine has been marketed as a sports supplement. So far, research has not established its effectiveness.

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