When Daylight Savings Time Stops - Consider Taking Vitamin D

Canadian Cancer Society Recommends 1,000 IUs of Vitamin D Daily

TORONTO, Oct. 28 /CNW/ - Changing our clocks on Sunday November 1 is an excellent time to consider taking a daily Vitamin D supplement, says the Canadian Cancer Society.

"Because of our country's northern latitude, the sun's rays are weaker during fall and winter months and Canadians don't produce enough Vitamin D from sunlight during this time," says Dr. Prithwish De, Epidemiologist, Canadian Cancer Society. "Our Vitamin D recommendation is based on the growing body of evidence about the potential link between Vitamin D and reducing risk for colorectal and breast cancers."

In consultation with their healthcare providers, the Society recommends that:

    -   Adults living in Canada should consider taking Vitamin D
        supplementation of 1,000 international units (IU) a day during the
        fall and winter.

    -   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.

In addition to taking supplements, people can get Vitamin D by limited exposure to sunlight - during the spring and summer in Canada - and through their diets.

De cautions Canadians who travel south during the winter months about overexposing themselves to sunlight as it can increase their risk of skin cancer.

"A few minutes a day of unprotected sun exposure is usually all that is needed for people to get enough Vitamin D," says De. "For most people a little sunlight goes a long way. You don't need a tan to get benefits from Vitamin D."

Tanning beds and sun lamps, like the sun, also release ultraviolet (UV) rays. They can cause skin cancer and are not a safe alternative to meeting Vitamin D needs. This year, evidence that tanning equipment causes skin cancer continued to grow. In July, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) reclassified tanning equipment as a Group 1 carcinogen, the highest cancer risk category. The Society recommends that Canadians avoid harmful UV exposure from tanning equipment.

"Taking a Vitamin D supplement is a safe and cheap way of getting this vitamin," says De. "We urge Canadians to talk to their healthcare providers about their Vitamin D requirements."

For Canadians in provinces that do not have daylight savings, the Society urges them to also consider taking Vitamin D starting on November 1.

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 www.cancer.ca or call our toll-free, bilingual Cancer Information Service at 1 888 939-3333.

To learn more about how you can fight back against cancer, visit www.fightback.ca

SOURCE Canadian Cancer Society (National Office)

For further information: For further information: Alexa Giorgi, Bilingual Communications Specialist, (416) 934-5681

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