Sunday, 17 July 2011

Vitamin D Deficiency in Australia

In response to the comment on living in Australia, which has a sunny climate. The following is an article on how common vitamin D deficiency is in Australia and New Zealand.
  1. The main source of vitamin D for Australians is exposure to sunlight. Thus, levels of blood vitamin D levels vary according to the season and are lower at the end of winter.
  2. In Australia and New Zealand, the number of people with vitamin D deficiency varies, but is acknowledged to be much higher than previously thought. One study found marginal deficiency in 23% of women, and another frank deficiency in 80% of dark-skinned and veiled women. 
  3. The groups at greatest risk of vitamin D deficiency in Australia are dark-skinned and veiled women (particularly in pregnancy), their infants, and older persons living in residential care.
  4. Only a few foods (eg, fish with a high fat content) contain significant amounts of vitamin D. In Australia, margarine and some milk and milk products are currently fortified with vitamin D.
  5. Adequate intake of vitamin D is unlikely to be achieved through dietary means, particularly in the groups at greatest risk, although vitamin D-fortified foods may assist in maintaining vitamin D status in the general population.
  6. An appropriate health message for vitamin D needs to balance the need for sunshine against the risk of skin cancer.

"Have they heard of vitamin D supplements?"

2 comments:

  1. It's amazing to me how people can get a vitamin D deficiency in such a warm climate but I know this effects my sister who lives in Australia as well, so strange, any ideas why this happens gavin?

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  2. Re: "It's amazing to me how people can get a vitamin D deficiency in such a warm climate but I know this effects my sister who lives in Australia as well, so strange, any ideas why this happens gavin?"

    Not surprising; the dermatologists' have been very effective with getting their message across; sunblock, sunblock, sunblock....

    In addition, our diets have changed (less fish) and cultural changes (less outdoor activity).

    So I am not surprised with Australians' being vD deficient.

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