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OsteoStrong Fact Sheet: Vitamin D for Bone & Muscle Health

The Role of Vitamin D in Bone Health

Calcium Absorption

  • Key Function: Essential for calcium absorption in the intestines.
  • Impact: Without adequate vitamin D, calcium absorption is compromised, affecting bone strength.

Bone Mineralisation

  • Process: Vitamin D is vital for bone mineralisation, ensuring proper calcium deposition in the bone matrix.
  • Benefit: Maintains bone density and strength.

Muscle Function

  • Support: Contributes to muscle strength, supporting bone health.
  • Prevention: Reduces the risk of falls and fractures, particularly in older adults.

Vitamin D Sources and Requirements

Sunlight Exposure

  • Primary Source: Skin produces vitamin D when exposed to UVB rays from the sun.
  • Factors Affecting Production: Geographic location, skin tone, sunscreen use, and sun exposure.

Dietary Sources

  • Foods: Fatty fish (e.g., salmon, mackerel), fortified dairy and plant-based milk, egg yolks, fortified cereals.
  • Limitations: May not suffice alone, especially in winter or for those with limited sun exposure.

Supplementation Needs

  • Importance: Essential for individuals in low sunlight regions or with limited sun exposure.
  • Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA): Around 600-800 IU for adults, up to 4000 IU for severe deficiencies.

Monitoring and Managing Vitamin D Levels

Blood Tests

  • Prevalence in Australia: Approximately 30% of adults have mild or moderate vitamin D deficiency (Source: Healthy Bones Australia).
  • Test: 25-hydroxyvitamin D test (25(OH)D) measures blood vitamin D levels.
  • Purpose: Identifies deficiencies or insufficiencies.

Healthcare Guidance

  • Recommendations: Based on test results, healthcare providers may suggest supplementation, dietary adjustments, or increased sun exposure.


Vitamin D plays a crucial role in maintaining strong bones and overall health. Balancing sun exposure, diet, and supplements, along with regular health check-ups and blood tests, is vital for optimal bone health and preventing deficiencies.

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