Large trial to clarify vitamin D myths

The D-Health study, led by Associate Professor Rachel Neale of the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Centre in Queensland, will follow 25,000 Australians aged 60–79 over five years.

“Vitamin D testing has become a huge trend. This country spends $150 million a year on vitamin D testing despite the fact that testing is unreliable and we don’t even really know what blood level to aim for,” Professor Neale said.

That vitamin D is important for bone health is accepted, but it is not known what level is needed, she added.

"People receive conflicting advice about how much sun exposure they need.

"Australia is the skin cancer capital of the world. It may be that a vitamin D supplement is enough."

Professor Neale also said the jury is still out on whether vitamin D helps prevent cancer, heart disease and other illnesses.

Participants with low vitamin D levels will be randomly assigned to take 60,000