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Vitamin D in Australia. Issues and recommendations


BACKGROUND: A significant number of Australians and people from specific groups within the community are suffering from vitamin D deficiency. It is no longer acceptable to assume that all people in Australia receive adequate vitamin D from casual exposure to sunlight. OBJECTIVE: This article provides information on causes, consequences, treatment and prevention of vitamin D deficiency in Australia. DISCUSSION: People at high risk of vitamin D deficiency include the elderly, those with skin conditions where avoidance of sunlight is required, dark skinned people (particularly women during pregnancy or if veiled) and patients with malabsorption, e.g. coeliac disease. For most people, deficiency can be prevented by 5-15 minutes exposure of face and upper limbs to sunlight 4-6 times per week. If this is not possible then a vitamin D supplement of at least 400 IU per day is recommended. In cases of established vitamin D deficiency, supplementation with 3000-5000 IU per day for at least 1 month is required to replete body stores. Increased availability of larger dose preparations of cholecalciferol would be a useful therapy in the case of severe deficiencies.

Type Journal
ISBN 0300-8495 (Print)
Authors Nowson, C. A.;Diamond, T. H.;Pasco, J. A.;Mason, R. S.;Sambrook, P. N.;Eisman, J. A. :
Publisher Name Aust Fam Physician
Published Date 2004-01-01 00:00:00
Published Volume 33
Published Issue 3
Published Pages 133-8
Status Published In-print