As clocks fall back, British Columbians wake up to more Vitamin D

    VANCOUVER, Oct. 28 /CNW/ - As November 2nd approaches and we prepare to
enjoy a little more morning daylight but less sunlight, the Canadian Cancer
Society suggests as you turn back your clocks remember to increase your daily
intake of Vitamin D.
    Many Canadian's get enough of the 'sunshine vitamin' from their exposure
to sunlight during the spring and summer. However, due to our northern
latitude and the sun's weaker rays during the fall and winter, our bodies
don't produce enough Vitamin D. "There is a growing body of evidence about the
potential link between Vitamin D and reducing the risk for colorectal, breast
and prostate cancers" says Cathy Adair, Vice President, Strategic Initiatives,
Canadian Cancer Society BC and Yukon. "During the fall and winter we recommend
adults increase their Vitamin D intake with supplementation of 1,000 IU
(International Units) per day."
    In consultation with their healthcare providers, the Society also
recommends that adults at higher risk of having lower Vitamin D levels should
consider taking a Vitamin D supplement of 1,000 IU/day all year round. This
includes people:

    -  50 years of age and older;
    -  with dark skin;
    -  who don't go outside often, and;
    -  who wear clothing that covers most of their skin.

    A recent cross-Canada poll commissioned by the Canadian Cancer Society
from Innovative Research Group shows that 90 per cent of respondents stated
that Vitamin D is important for the health of Canadians. And almost 50 per
cent of British Columbians say they are likely to begin taking a Vitamin D
supplement as the days become shorter.
    "We are heartened to see results that show British Columbians are aware
of the health benefits, but also that they will consider taking a supplement
this fall and winter" says Adair. In British Columbia last year 42% reported
taking a supplement or multi-vitamin that included Vitamin D.
    Canadian women appear more familiar with Vitamin D than men. Women were
more likely to be aware of the Society's Vitamin D recommendation, to have
taken Vitamin D before and plan to take it this year. By the end of the
survey, 68% of British Columbians stated that Vitamin D is 'extremely' or
'very' important to the health of Canadians.
    "Our goal is to educate British Columbians on the importance of Vitamin D
in the area of cancer prevention," says Adair "we know that 50% of cancers can
be prevented through healthy living and policies that protect the public,
increasing your Vitamin D is another simple way to reduce your risk."
    In addition to taking supplements, people can get Vitamin D by exposure
to sunlight and in their diets. The Society cautions Canadians who travel
south during the winter months about overexposing themselves to sunlight. "A
few minutes a day of unprotected sun exposure is usually all that is needed
for some people to get enough Vitamin D," says Adair.

    The Canadian Cancer Society is a national community-based organization of
volunteers whose mission is the eradication of cancer and the enhancement of
the quality of life of people living with cancer. When you want to know more
about cancer, visit our website at or call our toll-free,
bilingual Cancer Information Service at 1 888 939-3333.

    About the poll

    The national survey was prepared and analyzed by Innovative Research
Group. It was conducted via a Harris/Decima telephone omnibus survey among
1,235 Canadians from October 2 to October 5, 2008. Margin of error for a
sample this size is +/- 2.8, 19 times out of 20.
    The poll results are available upon request.

For further information:

For further information: Media contact: Kristine Carrick, Manager, Media
Relations, Canadian Cancer Society, BC and Yukon, T: (604) 675-7340, C: (604)
831-2598, E:

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Canadian Cancer Society (BC and Yukon Division)

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