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"Are you getting enough vitamin D?"

Globe and Mail

Source: Globe and Mail

Published: 19 Dec 2021

Category: Other

Rating: (3 stars)

what they said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

Vitamin D tests conducted on a group of University of Toronto students have found that virtually all non-whites had insufficient levels of the sunshine vitamin, putting them at elevated risk of debilitating diseases such as osteoporosis, cancer and diabetes.
The research, which is awaiting publication in a medical journal, found that 100 per cent of those of African origin were short of vitamin D, as were 93 per cent of South Asians (those of Indian or Pakistani origin), and 85 per cent of East Asians (those of Chinese, Indochinese or Filipino origin, among other countries).
The findings have alarmed the researchers, who say that if the results are typical of Canada's growing non-white population, the country could be facing a public health crisis....

The original article can be found at:

how did it rate? (more information)

Criteria Rating
Total Score 6 of 10
Availability of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Novelty of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Disease Mongering Satisfactory (?)
Treatment Options Satisfactory (?)
Costs of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Evidence Satisfactory (?)
Quantification of Benefits of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Harms of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Sources of Information Not Satisfactory (?)
Relies on Press Release Not Applicable
Quantification of harms of treatment Not Satisfactory (?)

what we said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

This front-page story raises some important questions about the potential for people to be deficient in an important vitamin which which can cause a host of diseases including some types of cancer, osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis, and diabetes. The research seems to confirm the hypothesis that those with darker skin, and hence with more pigmentation due to melanin, have a harder time getting the recommended doses of daily vitamin D. What is noteworthy is that the article included many important caveats, the conflicting advice over how much vitamin D a person actually needs and so on. Where it may be lacking is in the details of the actual research study being reported. It was carried out in 107 university students in Mississauga, whose vitamin D levels were measured in February and March, likely the time of year when vitamin D levels are lowest. Canadians we may be among those with the highest risk of Vitamin D deficiency in the world. We don't learn whether it is possible to quantify the risk of vitamin D deficiency and are left wondering if this winter experiment really show us any more than we already know?

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