Vitamin D status and clinical implications in the adult population of Malaysia: A position paper by the Malaysian Vitamin D Special Interest Group


Purpose: Vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency is common among populations globally, and in Asia and Malaysia. The purpose of this Position Paper is to propose recommendations for both clinicians and non-clinicians to promote vitamin D sufficiency in Malaysian adults. Formation of a national multisector, multidisciplinary alliance is also proposed to progress initiatives relating to safe sun exposure, adequate vitamin D intake through food fortification, and vitamin D supplementation for high-risk groups.

Methods: Literature reviews were undertaken to inform summaries of the following: vitamin D status globally and in Asian and Malaysian populations, vitamin D status among individuals with common medical conditions, and current recommendations to achieve vitamin D sufficiency through sun exposure, food intake and supplementation. Recommendations were based on the findings of the literature reviews, recent European guidance on vitamin D supplementation, the 2018 road map for action on vitamin D in low- and middle-income countries, and research recommendations proposed by the Malaysian Ministry of Health in 2017.

Results: Recommendations on assessment of vitamin D in the adult Malaysian population include using serum or plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration as a biomarker, widespread participation by Malaysian laboratories in the Vitamin D Standardization Program, adoption of the US Endocrine Society definitions of vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency, and development of a comprehensive nationwide vitamin D status study. Specific high-risk groups are identified for vitamin D assessment and recommendations relating to loading doses and ongoing management are also made.

Conclusion: This Position Paper provides individual clinicians and national stakeholder organisations with clear recommendations to achieve vitamin D sufficiency in the adult population of Malaysia.


Deficiency; Diet; Malaysia; Sun exposure; Supplementation; Vitamin D.

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