Reported by Caitlin O’Flanagan
For students who come from sunnier places, dealing with the grey and gloomy Vancouver weather is taking a toll on their health.
During the winter season the days are shorter, the weather is primarily wet and the sun is almost non-existent. According to Statistics Canada, Canadians are seriously lacking vitamin D. The vitamin is not just for mood boosting, it also helps with high blood pressure, bone health, cancer-prevention and other chronic diseases.
Being from South America, Andres Ariza, a first year arts and science student at Langara College, is used to a rainy climate but the lack of sun and cold weather is really starting to get to him. He started taking vitamin D supplements after a recommendation from a friend.
“The lack of vitamin D induces depression and makes you feel really sad, so for me I take two or three pills in the morning and that just boosts up my mood during the day,” Ariza said.
Anmol Chera, a first-year Langara biology student, also struggles with the Vancouver winters.
“I like sunny weather — I need sun, it makes me relaxed. I don’t like this weather, I’m from India and we have more sun there,” Chera said.
Winter months cause an increase of visits to the pharmacy
A pharmacy manager at a local Shoppers Drug Mart said that many of their clients are very informed about Vitamin D deficiencies. The staff help customers find the appropriate daily dose for Vancouver winters, which he said is about 1,000 units.
“It is getting darker and people generally buy it more — We do normally see an increase in sales for vitamin D [at] this time of year,” he said.
In this video, reporter Lauren Boothby took to campus to talk to Langara’s international and local students on how the city’s constant rain affects them and how they deal with it: