Vitamin D Deficiency: A National Crisis?

Solarmeter Australia’s Mark Ireland discusses the commonly ignored health epidemic of vitamin D deficiency.

Professional Beauty guest contributor, Solarmeter Australia’s Mark Ireland talks vitamin D deficiency…

Australia is well known for its sunshine, so the results of recent studies showing that vitamin D deficiency is a common condition affecting a large proportion of Australians, are surprising.

Australia’s largest vitamin D study to date, conducted on 24,000 people over two years, found up to 58 per cent of women are deficient in vitamin D at certain times of the year.

A recognised consequence of low vitamin D levels is osteomalacia, or softening of the bones, and osteoporosis in adults. Vitamin D deficiency has also been implicated in other conditions including cardiovascular disease, sarcopenia, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, osteoarthritis, epilepsy, cognitive dysfunction and increased risk of several types of cancer.

The study revealed 31 per cent of the population were vitamin D deficient, 73 per cent had levels considered by many experts as below optimal for musculoskeletal health, and the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency increased with age with 26 per cent of women aged 25-34 years testing as deficient, increasing to 57 per cent for those aged 75 years and over.

The study revealed 73 per cent had levels considered below optimal for musculoskeletal health

This is an important finding, as vitamin D deficiency is a key risk factor for falls and fractures in the elderly.

The prevalence of deficiency was also found to vary markedly by season with deficiency more common during Winter and Spring in people residing in the southern states of Australia.

For example, 42 per cent of women and 27 per cent of men living in the southern states were deficient during Summer-Autumn, which increased to 58 per cent of women and 35 per cent of men during Winter-Spring.

Even in the northern states 31 per cent of women and 15 per cent of men were deficient during Winter-Spring,

When weighing up sun exposure versus vitamin D deficiency, it’s clear too much sunshine isn’t good for you, while too little can be even worse, particularly in the southern states.

And it gets even more complicated by the fact that you need more time in the sun in Melbourne than Sydney, and even less in Brisbane, and the time spent to create sufficient vitamin D varies greatly from summer to winter.

A handy tool that can take the guesswork out, and ensure you get enough of the sunshine vitamin all year without risking overexposure, is a solar meter that can accurately determine appropriate UV levels for your skin type, per cent body exposure, and other factors.

This is a guest post by contributor Mark Ireland from Solarmeter Australia.

Have your say: With the indoor environment of the salon and increasingly longer working hours, do you worry about vitamin D deficiency?


Leave a Reply

Back to top