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