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Vitamin D: What You Need to Know1

Vitamin D: What You Need to Know1

What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is one of many nutrients needed in our body to stay healthy. It is essential for the development and maintenance of bone health. You can get vitamin D from exposure to the sun, from your diet (certain foods) and from supplements. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, the vitamin D your body produces and consume in your diet is stored in fat tissue for later use.

How Much Vitamin D do I Need?2
Most Australian’s receive their Vitamin D from exposure to the sun. People with moderately fair skin need sun exposure of 6-7 minutes mid-morning or mid-afternoon on most days during the Australian summer to maintain adequate vitamin D levels. Up to 30 minutes exposure will be required during winter, depending on where you are located.

Groups At Risk3
Adult group at high risk of low levels of Vitamin D are as follows:

  • Older and disabled people in low-level and high-level residential care
  • People with darker skin
  • People with medical conditions or medications affecting vitamin D metabolism
1. NPS Medicine Wise (2014).Vitamin D Tests and Deficiency. Available at https://www.nps.org.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/229663/Vitamin-D-tests-and-deficiency.pdf [Accessed 16 March 2016]
2. Nutrient Reference Values (2014), Calcium. Available at: https://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients/calcium [Accessed 20 January 2016]
3. Osteoporosis Australia (2013), Vitamin D position statement – Reviewed October 2013. Available at: http://www.osteoporosis.org.au/sites/default/files/files/Vit%20D%20Position%20Statement%2010%202013%20V2(1).pdf [Accessed 22 January 2016]