The role of vitamin D in health and disease needs clarification, particularly with regard to the ongoing contentious nature of links between vitamin D deficiency and extraskeletal effects.
• Vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency are extremely common in the Australian population.
• Routine screening of otherwise healthy young people and adults is not supported by the current evidence.
• Routine supplementation, even in groups at high risk of vitamin D deficiency, can be undertaken without testing serum vitamin D levels.
• Postulated extraskeletal effects of vitamin D are intriguing, but are largely based on association studies and require further evidence from randomised controlled trials to show causality.
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