Traditional foods and 25(OH)D concentrations in a subarctic first nations community

Sudaba Mansuri, Alaa Badawi, Sheena Kayaniyil, David E. Cole, Stewart B. Harris, Mary Mamakeesick, Thomas Wolever, Joel Gittelsohn, Jonathon L. Maguire, Philip W. Connelly, Bernard Zinman, Anthony J. Hanley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background. Sub-optimal vitamin D status is common worldwide and the condition may be associated with increased risk for various chronic diseases. In particular, low vitamin D status is highly prevalent in indigenous communities in Canada, although limited data are available on the determinants of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations in this population. The relationship between traditional food consumption and vitamin D status has not been well documented. Objective. To investigate the determinants of serum 25(OH)D status in a First Nations community in Ontario, Canada, with a focus on the role of traditional food consumption and activities. Methods. A cross-sectional analysis was conducted within the Sandy Lake Health and Diabetes Project (2003-2005). A total of 445 participants (>12 years of age) were assessed for serum 25(OH)D status, anthropometric and lifestyle variables, including traditional and non-traditional dietary practices and activities. Diet patterns were identified using factor analysis, and multivariate linear regression analysis was used to analyse the determinants of 25(OH)D concentrations. Results. Mean serum 25(OH)D concentrations were 22.1 nmol/L (16.9, 29.9 nmol/L) in men and 20.5 nmol/L (16.0, 27.3 nmol/L) in women. Multivariate determinants of higher serum 25(OH)D included higher consumption of traditional and healthier market foods, higher wild fish consumption, male gender, spring/ summer season of blood collection and more frequent physical activity. Significant negative determinants included hours of TV/day, higher BMI and higher consumption of unhealthy market foods. Conclusions. Traditional food consumption contributed independently to higher 25(OH)D concentrations in a First Nations community with a high prevalence of sub-optimal vitamin D status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number31956
JournalInternational journal of circumpolar health
StatePublished - Sep 22 2016


  • 25(OH)D
  • Determinants
  • First nations
  • Traditional activities
  • Traditional foods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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