NU­TRI­TION

The Buffalo News - - WEATHER -

FARM­ERS MAR­KETS Clin­ton Bailey Mar­ket.

6 a.m. to 1 p.m. to­day, next Satur­day, 1443-1517 Clin­ton St. at Bailey Av­enue. For more info, visit clin­ton­bai­ley­mar­ket.com. Fre­do­nia Win­ter Farm­ers Mar­ket. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. to­day and next Satur­day, Ma­sonic For­est Lodge, 321 E. Main St. (Route 20).

Springville Farm­ers Mar­ket.

a.m. to 3 p.m. Wed­nes­day, year­round; Gent­ner Auc­tion, 341 W. Main St. (Route 39).

HEALTHY EAT­ING SUP­PORT Eat­ing Dis­or­ders Anony­mous.

10:30 a.m. to­day and next Satur­day, Clar­ifen Cen­ter, 1412 Sweet Home Road, Suite 1, Amherst. For more info, call 380-4035 or email ed­[email protected]

Take Off Pounds Sen­si­bly (TOPS). 9 a.m. Mon­day,

High­land Hose Fire­hall, 1 George Nablo Park­way, Evans. An­nual dues of $32; weekly fee of $1. TOPS. 6 p.m. Mon­day, First Pres­by­te­rian Church, 149 Broad St., City of Ton­awanda. Call 432-6207 for info.

Food Ad­dicts in Re­cov­ery.

7 p.m. Mon­day, Christ United Methodist Church, 350 Saratoga Road, Amherst; 7 p.m. Wed­nes­day, Room 3043, Ken­more Mercy Hospi­tal, 2950 Elm­wood Ave., Town of Ton­awanda; 6:30 p.m. Thurs­day, Room 109, Wes­leyan Church of Ham­burg, 4999 McKin­ley Park­way. TOPS. 6:15 p.m. Tues­day, Ton­awanda Zion Church, 15 Koenig Cir­cle, Town of Ton­awanda. $2. TOPS. 9 a.m. Wed­nes­day, Cheek­towaga Re­cre­ation Cen­ter, 2600 Har­lem Road, Cheek­towaga. For more info, call 895-4414. Healthy Liv­ing class. 10 a.m. Wed­nes­day, St. Peter’s Epis­co­pal Church, 205 Long­meadow Road, Amherst. $5 monthly dues. TOPS. 5 p.m. Wed­nes­day, Lan­caster Mu­nic­i­pal Build­ing Room 215, 5423 Broad­way, Lan­caster. TOPS. 5:45 p.m. Wed­nes­day, North Pres­by­te­rian Church, 145 Payne Ave., North Ton­awanda. M ore than 40 per­cent of the U.S. pop­u­la­tion is es­ti­mated to have a vi­ta­min D de­fi­ciency, es­pe­cially in re­gions with less year-round sun ex­po­sure.

The vi­ta­min, which is vi­tal for the body’s ab­sorp­tion of cal­cium, is avail­able over-the-counter, with dosages typ­i­cally from 600 in­ter­na­tional units to 2,000 IU. For peo­ple with a se­vere vi­ta­min D de­fi­ciency con­firmed in blood tests, some health care providers are pre­scrib­ing a mega­dose: 50,000 IU vi­ta­min D taken once a week for six to eight weeks.

Af­ter the tem­po­rary reg­i­men, pa­tients re­turn to store-bought op­tions. But does that high dose, even short-term, have any health con­cerns? Med­i­cal groups say it’s typ­i­cally safe, un­der physi­cian su­per­vi­sion, to get lev­els back to nor­mal.

“If vi­ta­min D lev­els are fairly low, that’s a pretty typ­i­cal reg­i­men we are see­ing more and more, because there is more aware­ness about low vi­ta­min D lev­els,” said Skye McKen­non, an ad­junct phar­macy pro­fes­sor in Spokane.

“Humans get vi­ta­min D from two sources, through food or sup­ple­ments and the other is through the skin via UV light. In the fall and win­ter­time, par­tic­u­larly when you live some­where like the North­west, we’re not get­ting a lot of UV light, so our nat­u­ral source of vi­ta­min D is de­creased quite a bit.”

McKen­non said low vi­ta­min D lev­els in the body are as­so­ci­ated with os­teo­poro­sis, in­creased risk for falls and frac­tures, de­pres­sion, im­paired im­mune func­tion, mul­ti­ple scle­ro­sis and some can­cers.

Dr. Gretchen LaSalle, a Spokane Mul­tiCare fam­ily physi­cian, agrees that vi­ta­min D de­fi­ciency has re­ceived more at­ten­tion in the past 10 years, in­clud­ing how it af­fects health, but re­search on the nu­tri­ent has gone back and forth.

“If you have a sig­nif­i­cant de­fi­ciency, the rec­om­mended ap­proach cur­rently is to use 50,000 IU of vi­ta­min D once a week for six to eight weeks, then re-mea­sure lev­els, to try to boost those values back up a lit­tle more quickly,” LaSalle said.

“That high of a dose

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