Recommended dietary intakes for vitamin D: where do they come from, what do they achieve and how can we meet them?
Journal of Human Nutrition & Dietetics, March 2014
K. D. Cashman, M. Kiely
There is substantial evidence that the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency is high across Europe, particularly, but not exclusively, among those resident at Northerly latitudes. This has significant implications for human health throughout the lifecycle and impacts upon healthy growth and development and successful ageing for current and possibly future generations. In recent years, there have been several important reports from North America and Europe in relation to dietary reference values (DRVs) for vitamin D. These may be of enormous value from a public health perspective in terms of preventing vitamin D deficiency and promoting adequate vitamin D status in the population. In this concise review, we provide a brief summary of current DRVs for vitamin D, their background and their application to vitamin D deficiency prevention. The review also provides some brief guidance with respect to applying the DRVs in a clinical nutrition setting. In addition, the review illustrates how current dietary intakes of most populations, young and adult, are well short of the newly established DRVs. Accordingly, the review highlights potential food-based or dietary strategies for increasing the distribution of vitamin D intake in the population with the aim of preventing vitamin D deficiency. Finally, despite the explosion in scientific research in vitamin D and health, there are many fundamental gaps in the field of vitamin D from the public health perspective. The impact of these knowledge gaps on current DRVs for vitamin D is highlighted, as are some future developments that may help address these gaps.
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