Canadian children still not getting enough vitamin D… cancer rates continue to climb
02/18/2019 // Russel Davis // Views

Vitamin D levels among Canadian children did not show any improvement despite a 2010 revision in the country's dietary guidelines recommending higher nutrient intake, a study revealed.

As part of the study, the researchers pooled data from the Cycle 1 and Cycle 3 series of the Canadian Health Measure Survey, which were taken from 2007 to 2009 and 2012 to 2013, respectively. The study participants' ages ranged between three to 79 years.

The researchers also took note of the participant's serum vitamin D levels, dietary intake of vitamin-rich foods and other factors ethnicity, household income, and body weight.

The researchers did not observe an improvement in the participants' vitamin D intake following the dietary revisions. In contrast, the health experts even discovered that vitamin D intake was better during the years before the revision took place.

However, the researchers observed a disparity in the frequency and quality of vitamin D intake from dietary sources.

"Canadian children in our study did not show ethnic disparities in milk consumption, but differences were identified in the frequency of consumption of other vitamin D-rich dietary sources. White children were less likely to consume fish and eggs, but more likely to consume red meat than non-white children which contrasts with the situation in the US where African-American adolescents have higher meat consumption than white children. Red meat consumption was also lower among girls compared to boys as well as higher among children residing in Quebec than the Atlantic region," the researchers wrote.


"In conclusion, vitamin D insufficiency among Canadian children is on the rise despite upward revisions of dietary guidelines to improve vitamin D status. Given our findings, dietary intake may not be effective as a sole strategy for achieving vitamin D sufficiency in children. Public health initiatives to expand food-based strategies together with establishing formal recommendations for vitamin D supplementation are merited as strategies to bridge the gap between current intake and the recommended threshold. Further studies are warranted that address knowledge and practices on dietary guidelines, and to ensure compliance with vitamin D deficiency/insufficiency prevention strategies," the researchers added.

Persistent vitamin D deficiency may spur steady increase in cancer rates

The recent findings may further exacerbate the already worsening cancer cases among Canadians, as previous studies have shown that persistent vitamin D deficiency may increase the risk of developing the disease.

Data from the Canadian Cancer Society revealed that cancer remains to be the leading cause of death among Canadians, which account for 30 percent of deaths n the country. The agency also noted that that about 206,200 new cases of cancer and 80,800 deaths from cancer were expected to occur in the country in 2017 alone.

According to the organization, 103,100 Canadian men were expected to be diagnosed with the debilitating disease and more than 42,000 men were projected to die of cancer this year. Likewise, 103,200 Canadian women men were expected to be diagnosed with cancer and a little more than 38,000 women were forecast to die of the disease in 2017.

The health agency also noted that 565 Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer everyday, while 221 will pass away on a daily basis. In addition, results from the 2017 estimates showed that lung, breast, colorectal and prostate cancer are the most common types of cancer that inflict the Canadian population. These types of cancer were responsible for 50 percent of all new cancer cases in the country.

Prostate cancer was tied to about 21 percent of all new cancer cases in men, while breast cancer accounted for up to 25 percent of all new cancer cases in women. In addition, both lung cancer and colorectal cancer accounted to 14 percent and 13 percent of new cancer cases, respectively.

Sources include:

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