Vitamin D and health in adults in Australia and New Zealand

Bettina Douglas
Med J Aust 2013; 199 (6): . || doi: 10.5694/mja12.11635
Published online: 16 September 2013

To the Editor: Vitamin D currently receives considerable attention in the literature.1,2 A recent MJA Open supplement on nutrition and the vegetarian diet identified vitamin D as one of the few nutrients that may not be adequately supplied by a mainly plant-based lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet.3 Although the main source of vitamin D is from skin exposure to sunlight, this suggests particular challenges in treating people with vitamin D deficiency who adhere to a vegan or vegetarian diet. Oral vitamin D supplementation is recommended to treat moderate to severe deficiency and for people in high-risk groups.1

  • Department of Nephrology, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, QLD.

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.

  • 1. Nowson CA, McGrath JJ, Ebeling PR, et al; Working Group of Australian and New Zealand Bone and Mineral Society, Endocrine Society of Australia and Osteoporosis Australia. Vitamin D and health in adults in Australia and New Zealand: a position statement. Med J Aust 2012; 196: 686-687. <MJA full text>
  • 2. Rosen CJ, Adams JS, Bikle DD, et al. The nonskeletal effects of vitamin D: an Endocrine Society scientific statement. Endocr Rev 2012; 33: 456-492.
  • 3. Reid MA, Marsh KA, Zeuschner CL, et al. Meeting the nutrient reference values on a vegetarian diet. MJA Open 2012; 1 Suppl 2: 33-40. <MJA full text>
  • 4. Holick MF. Vitamin D deficiency. N Engl J Med 2007; 357: 266-281.
  • 5. National Prescribing Service. Competencies required to prescribe medicines: putting quality use of medicines into practice. Sydney: NPS, 2012. (accessed Aug 2013).
  • 6. Stanton RA. A plant-based diet — good for us and for the planet [editorial]. MJA Open 2012; 1 Suppl 2: 5-6. <MJA full text>


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