Implementation Strategies for Improving Vitamin D Status and Increasing Vitamin D Intake in the UK: Current Controversies and Future Perspectives. Proceedings of the 2nd Rank Prize Funds Forum on Vitamin D

J L Buttriss, S A Lanham-New, S Steenson, L Levy, G E Swan, A L Darling, K D Cashman, R E Allen, L R Durrant, C P Smith, P Magee, T R Hill, S Uday, M Kiely, G Delamare, A E Hoyland, L Larsen, L N Street, J C Mathers, A Prentice

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Abstract

A multi-disciplinary expert group met to discuss vitamin D deficiency in the UK and strategies for improving population intakes and status. Changes to UK Government advice since the 1st Rank Forum on Vitamin D (2009) were discussed, including rationale for setting a reference nutrient intake (10 µg/d; 400 IU/d) for adults and children (4+ years). Current UK data show inadequate intakes among all age groups and high prevalence of low vitamin D status among specific groups (e.g. pregnant women and adolescent males/females). Evidence of widespread deficiency within some minority ethnic groups, resulting in nutritional rickets (particularly among Black and South Asian infants), raised particular concern. Latest data indicate that UK population vitamin D intakes and status reamain relatively unchanged since Government recommendations changed in 2016. Vitamin D food fortification was discussed as a potential strategy to increase population intakes. Data from dose-response and dietary modelling studies indicate dairy products, bread, hens' eggs and some meats as potential fortification vehicles. Vitamin D3 appears more effective than vitamin D2 for raising serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration, which has implications for choice of fortificant. Other considerations for successful fortification strategies include: (i) need for 'real-world' cost information for use in modelling work; (ii) supportive food legislation; (iii) improved consumer and health professional understanding of vitamin D's importance; (iv) clinical consequences of inadequate vitamin D status and (v) consistent communication of Government advice across health/social care professions, and via the food industry. These areas urgently require further research to enable universal improvement in vitamin D intakes and status in the UK population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalBritish Journal of Nutrition
Early online date21 Jul 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Authors 2021.

Keywords

  • 25-hydroxyvitamin D
  • food fortification
  • public health
  • vitamin D

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