UK alters advice on vitamin D

By Annie Harrison-Dunn contact

- Last updated on GMT

The advice marks a break from previous UK government guidance, which stated no additional dietary intake of vitamin D was necessary for individuals living a ‘normal lifestyle’. ©iStock
The advice marks a break from previous UK government guidance, which stated no additional dietary intake of vitamin D was necessary for individuals living a ‘normal lifestyle’. ©iStock

Related tags: Vitamin d, Nutrition

The UK government has advised that adults and children over the age of one should get 10 micrograms (μg) of vitamin D every day.

Public Health England’s (PHE) conclusions came in light of a much-anticipated report from the UK the government's Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN)​.

The 10 μg should come from a combination of sources: sunlight, naturally occurring dietary sources and fortified foods and supplements.

The recommendations mark a break from previous UK government advice, which stated no additional dietary intake of vitamin D was necessary for individuals living a ‘normal lifestyle’. 

This latest advice has already seen the country’s National Health Service (NHS) tentatively advise​ the public that “some people may want to consider taking a supplement”​.

For adults this advice is particularly relevant in winter and autumn however children aged one to four years should have a daily 10 μg vitamin D supplement all year round.

As a precaution, babies aged under one should have a daily 8.5-10 μg vitamin D supplement, the NHS wrote. 

Babies who have more than 500 ml of infant formula a day do not need to take supplements however because formula is already fortified.

Back in February​ the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) said the re-emergence of the Victorian-era condition rickets in the UK had put vitamin D intakes back in the spotlight.

It said the SACN report would likely “stimulate debate” ​on the need for food fortification in the future on both a mandatory and voluntary basis.

No call for mandatory fortification 

Speaking with NutraIngredients this week, senior nutrition scientist at the industry-backed charity Ayela Spiro said: The report clearly highlights the importance of adequate vitamin D, and highlights that fortified foods make a contribution to vitamin D intake in the population. 

“However, the report does not make a recommendation for mandatory food fortification, so manufacturers will continue to make voluntary decisions on fortification with vitamin D.”​ 

Mandatory requirement to fortify margarine were removed in the UK in 2013, yet most fat spreads are still fortified with vitamin D on a voluntary basis as are some breakfast cereals. 

On the EU stage 

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) also published its opinion on vitamin D​ intakes this month.

It set an adequate intake (AI) level of 15 µg per day from food sources for adults and children to achieve a serum level of 50 nanomoles per litre (nmol / L).

For infants aged seven to 11 months, 10 µg per day was established.

The opinion proved to be somewhat contentious, with a social media campaign bringing in an “avalanche of comments”​ from individuals advocating higher doses.

Lead NDA panellist for the opinion Dr Inge Mangelsdorf said this showed vitamin D was a “hot topic”. ​ 

Related news

Show more

Related products

show more

Set your brand apart with Collavant n2

Set your brand apart with Collavant n2

BIOIBERICA, S.A.U. | 17-May-2022 | Technical / White Paper

Native type II. Hydrolysed. Undenatured. There’s a variety of collagen products available on the market – but how can formulators identify the solution...

Robertet Nutricosmetic’s offer driven by science

Robertet Nutricosmetic’s offer driven by science

ROBERTET - Food and Nutra | 09-May-2022 | Technical / White Paper

Deep research is the backbone of our portfolio. For 20 years, Robertet has been working on the development of its nutricosmetic range with its dedicated...

Total Solutions for Cognitive Health by Lubrizol

Total Solutions for Cognitive Health by Lubrizol

Lipofoods, a Lubrizol Company | 05-May-2022 | Technical / White Paper

Globally, health and wellbeing have shifted from a focus on physical health and nutrition to also include cognitive and mental wellness, therefore consumers...

Related suppliers

Follow us

Products

View more

Webinars