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The Vitamin D Deception

By Daniel Roytas MHSc (Nut), BHSc (Nat), Dip. RM, MANTA

Despite living on the sunniest continent on Earth1, 25% of all Australians are thought to be vitamin D deficient2. Rather than acquiring vitamin D from sensible amounts of sun exposure to maintain optimal levels of vitamin D, it seems the Australian public have turned towards supplementation instead. As of 2010, there were 89 vitamin D manufacturers selling 195 different vitamin D products in Australia. Almost 60 million vitamin D products were sold that year, totalling an eye watering $89.3 million3. Why is all of this money being spent on something that we can literally get for free, right outside our front door?

Could it be that the public health initiatives around sun safety have worked too well? A 2011 paper published in the Medical Journal of Australia found that it is relatively difficult to obtain the equivalent of just 1000 IU (1 capsule worth) of vitamin D from sun exposure when adhering to sun smart recommendations4....

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