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Food-based solutions for vitamin D deficiency: putting policy into practice and the key role for research

  • Aoife Hayes (a1) and Kevin D. Cashman (a1) (a2)
Abstract

Recent re-evaluations of dietary reference values (DRV) for vitamin D have established intake requirements between 10 and 20 µg/d. National nutrition surveys indicate that habitual mean intakes of vitamin D in the population are typically in the range 3–7 µg/d. As vitamin D supplementation will not be effective at a population level because the uptake is generally low, creative food-based solutions are needed to bridge the gap between current intakes and these new requirement values. The overarching aim of this review is to highlight how food-based solutions can have an important role in bridging this gap and counteracting vitamin D inadequacy in Europe and elsewhere. The present review initially briefly overviews very recent new European DRV for vitamin D and, while not in agreement on requirement estimates, how they point very clearly to the need for food-based solutions. The review discusses the need for traditional fortification of foods in the dairy and other sectors, and finally overviews recent advances in the area of biofortification of food with vitamin D. In conclusion, increasing vitamin D intakes across the population distribution is important from a public health perspective to reduce the high degree of inadequacy of vitamin D intake in Europe. Fortification, including biofortification, of a wider range of foods, which accommodate diversity, is likely to have the potential to increase vitamin D intakes across the population distribution. Research has had, and will continue to have, a key role in terms of developing food-based solutions and tackling vitamin D deficiency.

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Corresponding author
* Corresponding author: A. Hayes, email a.hayes@ucc.ie
References
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