With between 31% and 58% of Australians found to suffer from vitamin D deficiency, Carl Gibson, chief executive of Complementary Medicines Australia, has welcomed a new article published in MJA InSight encouraging proactive vitamin D supplementation rather than testing for patients seen to be at risk of deficiency.
“Vitamin D is generally known as the sunshine vitamin, as skin exposure to sunlight is the most common way for vitamin D to be absorbed into the body,” says Gibson.
“However, it is no longer acceptable to assume that Australians receive adequate vitamin D from casual exposure to sunlight.
“A responsible approach is to acknowledge that a large proportion of the population is vitamin D deficient and not just those at high risk. This is where vitamin D fortified foods and vitamin D supplements come into the disease prevention equation.
“More of us should be supplementing vitamin D as it is a cost-effective and easy approach to avoiding vitamin D deficiencies,” Gibson says.
As Australia’s population is ageing and increasingly challenged by chronic health conditions, preventive health remains an essential element of the healthcare system and necessary to alleviating pressure on the health budget, he says.
Whilst supporting individuals’ decisions to supplement vitamin D, CMA strongly advocates following the instructions and dosage guidance on labels, as with any medication, and to seek advice from a healthcare provider.