Skip to main content
Nutra landing page grey blocks

Vitamin D


Vitamin D is well known for its role in bone health, however research now shows a critical role for vitamin D in the modulation of immune function and its importance in maintaining a healthy immune system.

Vitamin D has been found to be an important regulator of innate immunity, the body’s first defence against infection, through:

Men tick icon

Enhancing the production of antimicrobial peptides

Men tick icon

Reducing inflammatory proteins called cytokines

Men tick icon

Reinforcing the physical barrier function of epithelial cells (the cells that act as a barrier between the inside and outside of the body).(1)

Vitamin D status of Australians

Nearly one quarter of Australian adults have low vitamin D levels (<50nmol/L), with higher rates during winter when sun exposure is reduced.

Groups at greatest risk include housebound, and other people who regularly avoid sun exposure.(2)

Meeting vitamin D requirements

Vitamin D is obtained through the direct action of sunlight on the skin (90%) or through dietary nutrition (10%), in particular dairy products, eggs and fish.

Increasing vitamin D levels through diet alone is very difficult. When sun exposure is minimal, vitamin D intake from dietary sources and supplementation of at least 600 IU (15 μg) per day for people aged ≤ 70 years and 800 IU (20 μg) per day for those aged > 70 years is recommended.(3)

(1)Sassi F et al. Nutrients 2018;10:1656-69
(2)Australian Health Survey, 2011-2012
(3)Nowson C et al Med J Aust 2012; 196 (11): 686-687