In an unsurprising, yet telling finding, recent research identified a high risk of vitamin D deficiency during winter months for people in snowy, northern cities. Nearly half the residents of Buffalo, NY, have insufficient levels of the sunshine vitamin in the winter, and 25 percent may be considered deficient, the study from the University of Buffalo found.
The authors attribute the high rate of deficiency to wearing more clothes, spending less time outside and lack of direct sunlight in the winter months.
A press statement from the University also notes the profound impact of vitamin D deficiency, saying it may lead to lower bone density, weakened immune system, increased risk for type 2 diabetes, higher susceptibility to some cancers, increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease, and cognitive impairment in older adults.
“Every cell in the body is responsive to vitamin D,” says Horvath, associate professor in the Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences. “If you’re deficient, you won’t see the health effects for years and it could take months to get your levels back up.”
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