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   To vitamin D or not to vitamin D that is the question?

Russell Setright

There is a plethora of information reporting  the benefits of supplementing with vitamin D3 to help maintain ideal vitamin D levels that may reduce the incidence or severity of some disease.


Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with and increased risk of many adverse medical conditions and diseases including, viral infections, diabetes, osteoporosis, rickets,  reduced muscle mass, preeclampsia, increase in severity of COVID19 infection,  increased autistic spectrum disorder in boys, Heart disease and high blood pressure, Infections and immune system disorders, Falls in older people, Some types of cancer, such as colon, amputations, prostate and breast cancers, Multiple sclerosis and many more.


However, there are those who, although agreeing a deficiency must be corrected, and there is a strong association with deficiency and disease, causation has not been proven in all cases. And some  just seem to be against supplements in any situation. Often  defending this by stating  “a balanced diet containing food that have vitamin D is all that is needed.”


FACT, unless you enjoy a diet that includes fatty fish or fish liver oils, it may be hard to get enough vitamin D naturally from diet alone without eating fortified/supplement added foods.   Eating fortified foods to help correct deficiencies may also contribute to an imbalance in other nutrients. Just one example being, obtaining your daily vitamin C from vitamin C fortified fruit juice can result in a significant adverse increases in sugar intake.


The best way to achieve ideal blood levels of vitamin D is unprotected safe sun exposure.

However, with  the risk of skin damage skin cancer and premature skin aging we are encouraged not to do this and the slip, slop, slap and cover advice being given.


vitamin D insufficiency is a growing worldwide  problem and is exacerbated by our reduced sun exposure, use of sun block,  more time spent indoors, and travelling in closed transport. Also, those with darker skin and as we age the ability to produce vitamin D from sun exposure is reduced and without supplements or foods with supplements added it becomes very difficult to achieve adequate vitamin D levels.


One could liken being low in vitamin D to dehydration, one caused by not drinking enough water and the other not getting enough sunshine. Adequate amounts of these essential nutrients are required by our bodies metabolic processes every day and vital to support all forms of life on earth.


A priority of all health authorities should be to help people achieve ideal vitamin D levels of over 50 nmol/L and best at  75nmol/L of Serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D (25(OH)D). Achieving this goal is one strategy that may help reduce the incidence and or severity of some diseases and adverse medical conditions that are increasing in most countries.


This article is for information only. In addition to diet, weight management and lifestyle changes, Any of the above mentioned medical conditions should be managed by your healthcare practitioner, if you think you may be at risk or have a disease or illness see your healthcare practitioner for advice and treatment.

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