Vitamin D Deficiency More Widespread

A review into vitamin D supplementation guidelines is being called for after Australia’s largest ever study into vitamin D deficiency found it affects more Australians and lasts longer than previously believed.

The University of Sydney researchers found vitamin D deficiency was not at its worst in winter, as previously thought but in spring.
During a two year period, the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency (>50mM) ranged from 33% in summer to 58% in spring.

The researchers said current testing guidelines did not take seasonal variation into account. “Ideally testing should occur in spring when vitamin D levels reach their lowest concentration” said lead researcher Professor Stephen Boyages, an endocrinologist at Sydney’s Westmead Hospital. “If an individual is found to be deficient, a subsequent test three months afterwards would see if they have been able to replenish their vitamin D.”
“Similarly, use of vitamin D supplements currently fail to address this factor of seasonal variation”, he added.

Being a young female aged 20-39 years of age from a socio-economically disadvantaged background, and being an inpatient, was identified as a new risk factor for vitamin D deficiency.

Urban living was also newly identified s a strong risk factor for vitamin D deficiency, with linear increase in vitamin D levels found with distance from a major city.

The study looked at 24,000 samples from walk-in and inpatients in NSW.

Vitamin D deficiency is implicated in a number of diseases including cancer and diabetes.

Clinical endocrinology 2012; 77:515-523, published in Primary Care Nurse Magazine


For those who are struggling to lose weight, an undiagnosed Vitamin D deficiency could be a reason why you are not seeing the results you were hoping for. For more information about the importance of Vitamin D, book an appointment with one of our Doctors. Call us on (07) 5522 0505 to find out more!

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