To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
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.
We investigated the determinants of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [S-25(OH)D] and dietary vitamin D sources among three immigrant groups in Finland and compared their S-25(OH)D to the general Finnish population.
Cross-sectional population-based Migrant Health and Wellbeing Study and the nationally representative Finnish Health 2011 Survey. S-25(OH)D was standardised according to the Vitamin D Standardisation Program. Vitamin D sources were assessed by interview.
Six different municipalities in Finland (60°–63°N).
Immigrants aged 18–64 years (446 Russians, 346 Somalis, 500 Kurds), 798 Finns aged 30–64 years.
The mean of S-25(OH)D was 64 (95 % CI 62, 66), 44 (95 % CI 41, 46), 35 (95 % CI 34, 37) and 64 (95 % CI 62, 66) nmol/l for Russians, Somalis, Kurds and Finns, respectively. S-25(OH)D among Somalis and Kurds was lower compared with Finns (P < 0·001). The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency (S-25(OH)D <30 nmol/l) and insufficiency (S-25(OH)D <50 nmol/l) was higher among immigrants than Finns (P < 0·001). Vitamin D-rich foods differed between the groups; vitamin D-fortified fat spread consumption was higher among Somalis (91 %) than among Russians (73 %) and Kurds (60 %); fish was less consumed among Kurds (17 %) than among Russians (43 %) and Somalis (38 %); and 57 % Russians, 56 % Kurds and 36 % Somalis consumed vitamin D-fortified dairy daily (P < 0·001 for all). Daily smoking, alcohol consumption and winter blood sampling were determinants of vitamin D insufficiency (P ≤ 0·03). Older age, physical activity, fish and vitamin D-fortified dairy consumption were associated with lower odds of insufficiency (P ≤ 0·04).
Vitamin D status differed among immigrant groups and the determinants are, to some degree, associated with learned or existing cultural behaviours.
The role of meat in the diet has come under scrutiny recently due to an increased public emphasis on providing healthy diets from sustainable food systems and due to health concerns relating to the consumption of red and processed meat. The present review aimed to summarise dietary guidelines relating to meat, actual meat intakes and the contribution of meat to energy and nutrient intakes of children, teenagers and adults in Europe. The available literature has shown that food-based dietary guidelines for most countries recommend consuming lean meat in moderation and many recommend limiting red and processed meat consumption. Mean intakes of total meat in Europe range from 40 to 160 g/d in children and teenagers and from 75 to 233 g/d in adults. Meat contributes to important nutrients such as protein, PUFA, B vitamins, vitamin D and essential minerals such as Fe and Zn; however, processed meat contributes to significant proportions of saturated fat and Na across population groups. While few data are available on diaggregated intakes of red and processed meat, where data are available, mean intakes in adults are higher than the upper limits recommended by the UK Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (70 g/d) and the World Cancer Research Fund (500 g/week). While there are no recommendations for red and processed meat consumption in children and teenagers, intakes currently range from 30 to 76 g/d. The present review provides a comprehensive overview of the role of meat in the European diet which may be of use to stakeholders including researchers, policy makers and the agri-food sector.
Insufficient vitamin D status (serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (S-25(OH)D)<50 nmol/l) is common among immigrants living at the northern latitudes. We investigated ethnic differences in response of S-25(OH)D to vitamin D3 supplementation, through a 5-month randomised controlled trial, in East African and Finnish women in Southern Finland (60°N) from December 2014 to May 2015. Vitamin D intakes (dietary and supplemental) were also examined. Altogether, 191 subjects were screened and 147 women (East Africans n 72, Finns n 75) aged 21–64 years were randomised to receive placebo or 10 or 20 µg of vitamin D3/d. S-25(OH)D concentrations were assessed by liquid chromatography–tandem MS. At screening, 56 % of East Africans and 9 % of Finns had S-25(OH)D<50 nmol/l. Total vitamin D intake was higher in East Africans than in Finns (24·2 (sd 14·3) v. 15·2 (sd 13·4) µg/d, P<0·001). Baseline mean S-25(OH)D concentrations were higher in Finns (60·5 (sd=16·3) nmol/l) than in East Africans (51·5 (sd 15·4) nmol/l) (P=0·001). In repeated-measures ANCOVA (adjusted for baseline S-25(OH)D), mean S-25(OH)D increased by 8·5 and 10·0 nmol/l with a 10-µg dose and by 10·7 and 17·1 nmol/l with a 20-µg dose for Finns and East Africans, respectively (P>0·05 for differences between ethnic groups). In conclusion, high prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency existed among East African women living in Finland, despite higher vitamin D intake than their Finnish peers. Moderate vitamin D3 supplementation was effective in increasing S-25(OH)D in both groups of women, and no ethnic differences existed in the response to supplementation.
The current study was aiming to report the prevalence of suboptimal vitamin D status among schoolchildren in Greece and investigate the role of sex, urbanisation and seasonality on vitamin D status. A sample of 2386 schoolchildren (9–13 years old) from four distinct prefectures was examined. The prevalence of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentration <30 and <50 nmol/l (vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency respectively) was 5·2 and 52·5 %, respectively. Girls had a higher prevalence of 25(OH)D<30 (7·2 v. 3·2 %) and 50 nmol/l (57·0 v. 48·0 %) than boys (P<0·001). The highest prevalence rates of 25(OH)D<30 and 50 nmol/l (9·1 and 73·1 %, respectively) were observed during spring (April to June), whereas the lowest (1·5 and 31·9 %, respectively) during autumn (October to December). The prevalence of 25(OH)D<50 nmol/l was higher in urban/semi-urban than rural regions, particularly during spring months (74·6 v. 47·2 %; P<0·001). Female sex, urban/semi-urban region of residence and spring months were found to increase the likelihood of vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency, with the highest OR observed for spring months (7·47; 95 % CI 3·23, 17·3 and 5·14; 95 % CI 3·84, 6·89 for 25(OH)D<30 and 50 nmol/l respectively). In conclusion, despite the southerly latitude, the prevalence of low vitamin D status among primary schoolchildren in Greece is comparable to or exceeds the prevalence reported among children and adolescents on a European level. Sub-populations at highest risk are girls in urban/semi-urban areas during spring months, thus indicating the need for effective initiatives to support adequate vitamin D status in these population groups.
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.
There is a need for food-based solutions for preventing vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D3 (D3) is mainly used in fortified food products, although the production of vitamin D2 (D2) is more cost-effective, and thus may hold opportunities. We investigated the bioavailability of D2 from UV-irradiated yeast present in bread in an 8-week randomised-controlled trial in healthy 20–37-year-old women (n 33) in Helsinki (60°N) during winter (February–April) 2014. Four study groups were given different study products (placebo pill and regular bread=0 µg D2 or D3/d; D2 supplement and regular bread=25 µg D2/d; D3 supplement and regular bread=25 µg D3/d; and placebo pill and D2-biofortified bread=25 µg D2/d). Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D2 (S-25(OH)D2) and serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (S-25(OH)D3) concentrations were measured at baseline, midpoint and end point. The mean baseline total serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (S-25(OH)D=S-25(OH)D2+S-25(OH)D3) concentration was 65·1 nmol/l. In repeated-measures ANCOVA (adjusted for baseline S-25(OH)D as total/D2/D3), D2-bread did not affect total S-25(OH)D (P=0·707) or S-25(OH)D3 (P=0·490), but increased S-25(OH)D2 compared with placebo (P<0·001). However, the D2 supplement was more effective than bread in increasing S-25(OH)D2 (P<0·001). Both D2 and D3 supplementation increased total S-25(OH)D compared with placebo (P=0·030 and P=0·001, respectively), but D2 supplementation resulted in lower S-25(OH)D3 (P<0·001). Thus, D2 from UV-irradiated yeast in bread was not bioavailable in humans. Our results support the evidence that D2 is less potent in increasing total S-25(OH)D concentrations than D3, also indicating a decrease in the percentage contribution of S-25(OH)D3 to the total vitamin D pool.
Although epidemiological findings support a role for vitamin K status in the improvement of bone indices in adult patients with Crohn's disease (CD), this needs to be confirmed in double-blind, randomised controlled trials (RCT) with phylloquinone (vitamin K1). By conducting two RCT, the present study aimed to first establish whether supplementation with 1000 μg of phylloquinone daily near-maximally suppresses the percentage of undercarboxylated osteocalcin in serum (%ucOC; marker of vitamin K status) in adult patients with CD currently in remission as it does in healthy adults and second determine the effect of supplementation with phylloquinone at this dose for 12 months on the indices of bone turnover and bone mass. The initial dose-ranging RCT was conducted in adult patients with CD (n 10 per group) using 0 (placebo), 1000 or 2000 μg of phylloquinone daily for 2 weeks. In the main RCT, the effect of placebo v. 1000 μg vitamin K/d (both co-administered with Ca (500 mg/d) and vitamin D3 (10 μg/d)) for 12 months (n 43 per group) on the biochemical indices of bone turnover (determined by enzyme immunoassay) and bone mass (determined by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) were investigated. At baseline, the mean %ucOC was 47 %, and this was suppressed upon supplementation with 1000 μg of phylloquinone daily ( − 81 %; P< 0·01) and not suppressed further by 2000 μg of phylloquinone daily. Compared with the placebo, supplementation with 1000 μg of phylloquinone daily for 12 months had no significant effect (P>0·1) on bone turnover markers or on the bone mass of the lumbar spine or femur, but modestly increased (P< 0·05) the bone mass of the total radius. Despite near maximal suppression of serum %ucOC, supplementation with 1000 μg of phylloquinone daily (with Ca and vitamin D3) had no effect on the indices of bone health in adult CD patients with likely vitamin K insufficiency.
It has been suggested that vitamin D2 is not very prevalent in the human food chain. However, data from a number of recent intervention studies suggest that the majority of subjects had measurable serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D2 (25(OH)D2) concentrations. Serum 25(OH)D2, unlike 25(OH)D3, is not directly influenced by exposure of skin to sun and thus has dietary origins; however, quantifying dietary vitamin D2 is difficult due to the limitations of food composition data. Therefore, the present study aimed to characterise serum 25(OH)D2 concentrations in the participants of the National Adult Nutrition Survey (NANS) in Ireland, and to use these serum concentrations to estimate the intake of vitamin D2 using a mathematical modelling approach. Serum 25(OH)D2 concentration was measured by a liquid chromatography–tandem MS method, and information on diet as well as subject characteristics was obtained from the NANS. Of these participants, 78·7 % (n 884) had serum 25(OH)D2 concentrations above the limit of quantification, and the mean, maximum, 10th, 50th (median) and 90th percentile values of serum 25(OH)D2 concentrations were 3·69, 27·6, 1·71, 2·96 and 6·36 nmol/l, respectively. To approximate the intake of vitamin D2 from these serum 25(OH)D2 concentrations, we used recently published data on the relationship between vitamin D intake and the responses of serum 25(OH)D concentrations. The projected 5th to 95th percentile intakes of vitamin D2 for adults were in the range of 0·9–1·2 and 5–6 μg/d, respectively, and the median intake ranged from 1·7 to 2·3 μg/d. In conclusion, the present data demonstrate that 25(OH)D2 concentrations are present in the sera of adults from this nationally representative sample. Vitamin D2 may have an impact on nutritional adequacy at a population level and thus warrants further investigation.
Beyond the well-accepted effects on the skeleton, low vitamin D status has been linked to increased risk of several non-skeletal disease, including CVD. If low serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentration is causally linked to risk of CVD then this is important not only because low vitamin D status is quite common particularly in winter in countries above 40°N, but also of key relevance is the fact that such low vitamin D status can be improved by food-based strategies. The overarching aim of the present paper is to review the current evidence-base to support a link between low vitamin D status and CVD risk. The review initially briefly overviews how mechanistically vitamin D may play a role in CVD and then reviews the current available evidence-base to support a link between low vitamin D status and CVD risk, with particular emphasis on data from the randomised control trials, cohort studies and recent meta-analysis data as well as to the conclusions of a number of authoritative agencies/bodies. Finally, the review summarises current serum 25(OH)D concentrations within a select number of adult populations in the context of different definitions of vitamin D status proposed recently, and then briefly highlights food-based strategies for increasing vitamin D intake and status. In conclusion, at present the data for a causal link between low vitamin D status and CVD are mixed and ambiguous; however, should causality be affirmed by ongoing and future studies, there are food-based strategies for enhanced vitamin D status in the population which could ultimately lower risk of CVD.
Previous national nutrition surveys in Irish adults did not include blood samples; thus, representative serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) data are lacking. In the present study, we characterised serum 25(OH)D concentrations in Irish adults from the recent National Adult Nutrition Survey, and determined the impact of vitamin D supplement use and season on serum 25(OH)D concentrations. Of the total representative sample (n 1500, aged 18+ years), blood samples were available for 1132 adults. Serum 25(OH)D was measured via immunoassay. Vitamin D-containing supplement use was assessed by questionnaire and food diary. Concentrations of serum 25(OH)D were compared by season and in supplement users and non-users. Year-round prevalence rates for serum 25(OH)D concentration < 30, < 40, < 50 and < 75 nmol/l were 6·7, 21·9, 40·1 and 75·6 %, respectively (11·1, 31·1, 55·0 and 84·0 % in winter, respectively). Supplement users had significantly higher serum 25(OH)D concentrations compared to non-users. However, 7·5 % of users had winter serum 25(OH)D < 30 nmol/l. Only 1·3 % had serum 25(OH)D concentrations >125 nmol/l. These first nationally representative serum 25(OH)D data for Irish adults show that while only 6·7 % had serum 25(OH)D < 30 nmol/l (vitamin D deficiency) throughout the year, 40·1 % had levels considered by the Institute of Medicine as being inadequate for bone health. These prevalence estimates were much higher during winter time. While vitamin D supplement use has benefits in terms of vitamin D status, at present rates of usage (17·5 % of Irish adults), it will have only very limited impact at a population level. Food-based strategies, including fortified foods, need to be explored.
The present study used a systematic review approach to identify relevant randomised control trials (RCT) with vitamin D and then apply meta-regression to explore the most appropriate model of the vitamin D intake–serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) relationship to underpin setting reference intake values. Methods included an updated structured search on Ovid MEDLINE; rigorous inclusion/exclusion criteria; data extraction; and meta-regression (using different model constructs). In particular, priority was given to data from winter-based RCT performed at latitudes >49·5°N (n 12). A combined weighted linear model meta-regression analyses of natural log (Ln) total vitamin D intake (i.e. diet and supplemental vitamin D) v. achieved serum 25(OH)D in winter (that used by the North American Dietary Reference Intake Committee) produced a curvilinear relationship (mean (95 % lower CI) serum 25(OH)D (nmol/l) = 9·2 (8·5) Ln (total vitamin D)). Use of non-transformed total vitamin D intake data (maximum 1400 IU/d; 35 μg/d) provided for a more linear relationship (mean serum 25(OH)D (nmol/l) = 0·044 × (total vitamin D)+33·035). Although inputting an intake of 600 IU/d (i.e. the RDA) into the 95 % lower CI curvilinear and linear models predicted a serum 25(OH)D of 54·4 and 55·2 nmol/l, respectively, the total vitamin D intake that would achieve 50 (and 40) nmol/l serum 25(OH)D was 359 (111) and 480 (260) IU/d, respectively. Inclusion of 95 % range in the model to account for inter-individual variability increased the predicted intake of vitamin D needed to maintain serum 25(OH)D ≥ 50 nmol/l to 930 IU/d. The model used to describe the vitamin D intake–status relationship needs to be considered carefully when setting new reference intake values in the Europe.
The North American Institute of Medicine (IOM) recently published their report on dietary reference intakes (DRI) for Ca and vitamin D. The DRI committee's deliberations underpinning this most comprehensive report on vitamin D nutrition to date benefited hugely from a much expanded knowledge base in vitamin D over the last decade or more. However, since their release, the vitamin D DRI have been the subject of intense controversy, which is largely due to the persistence of fundamental knowledge gaps in vitamin D. These can be identified at the levels of exposure, metabolism, storage, status, dose–response, function and beneficial or adverse health effects, as well as safe and effective application of intake recommendations at the population level through sustainable food-based approaches. The present review provides a brief overview of the approach used by the IOM committee to revise the DRI for vitamin D and to collate from a number of authoritative sources key knowledge gaps in vitamin D nutrition from the public health perspective. A number of research topics are outlined and data requirements within these are identified and mapped to the risk assessment framework used by the DRI committee. While not intended as an exhaustive list, it provides a basis for organising and prioritising research efforts in the area of vitamin D, which may offer a perspective on the major areas in need of attention. It is intended to be of use to researchers, national policy makers, the public health community, industry groups and other relevant stakeholders including funding institutions.
There is increasing epidemiological evidence linking sub-optimal vitamin D status with overweight and obesity. Although increasing BMI and adiposity have also been negatively associated with the change in vitamin D status following supplementation, results have been equivocal. The aim of this randomised, placebo-controlled study was to investigate the associations between anthropometric measures of adiposity and the wintertime serum 25-hydroxycholecalciferol (25(OH)D) response to 15 μg cholecalciferol per d in healthy young and older Irish adults. A total of 110 young adults (20–40 years) and 102 older adults ( ≥ 64 years) completed the 22-week intervention with >85 % compliance. The change in 25(OH)D from baseline was calculated. Anthropometric measures of adiposity taken at baseline included height, weight and waist circumference (WC), along with skinfold thickness measurements to estimate fat mass (FM). FM was subsequently expressed as FM (kg), FM (%), FM index (FMI (FM kg/height m2)) and as a percentage ratio to fat-free mass (FFM). In older adults, vitamin D status was inversely associated with BMI (kg/m2), WC (cm), FM (kg and %), FMI (kg/m2) and FM:FFM (%) at baseline (r − 0·33, − 0·36, − 0·33, − 0·30, − 0·33 and − 0·27, respectively, all P values < 0·01). BMI in older adults was also negatively associated with the change in 25(OH)D following supplementation (β − 1·27, CI − 2·37, − 0·16, P = 0·026); however, no such associations were apparent in younger adults. Results suggest that adiposity may need to be taken into account when determining an adequate wintertime dietary vitamin D intake for healthy older adults residing at higher latitudes.
The UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) convened an international group of scientific experts to review three Agency-funded projects commissioned to provide evidence for the relative contributions of two sources, dietary vitamin D intake and skin exposure to UVB rays from sunlight, to vitamin D status. This review and other emerging evidence are intended to inform any future risk assessment undertaken by the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition. Evidence was presented from randomised controlled trials to quantify the amount of vitamin D required to maintain a serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D (25OHD) concentration >25 nmol/l, a threshold that is regarded internationally as defining the risk of rickets and osteomalacia. Longitudinal evidence was also provided on summer sunlight exposure required to maintain 25OHD levels above this threshold in people living in the British Isles (latitude 51°–57°N). Data obtained from multi-level modelling of these longitudinal datasets showed that UVB exposure (i.e. season) was the major contributor to changes in 25OHD levels; this was a consistent finding in two Caucasian groups in the north and south of the UK, but was less apparent in the one group of British women of South Asian origin living in the south of the UK. The FSA-funded research suggested that the typical daily intake of vitamin D from food contributed less than UVB exposure to average year-round 25OHD levels in both Caucasian and Asian women. The low vitamin D status of Asian women has been acknowledged for some time, but the limited seasonal variation in Asian women is a novel finding. The Workshop also considered the dilemma of balancing the risks of vitamin D deficiency (from lack of skin exposure to sunlight in summer) and skin cancer (from excessive exposure to sunlight with concomitant sunburn and erythema). Cancer Research UK advises that individuals should stay below their personal sunburn threshold to minimise their skin cancer risk. The evidence suggests that vitamin D can be produced in summer at the latitude of the UK, with minimal risk of erythema and cell damage, by exposing the skin to sunlight for a short period at midday, when the intensity of UVB is at its daily peak. The implications of the new data were discussed in the context of dietary reference values for vitamin D for the general population aged 4–64 years. Future research suggestions included further analysis of the three FSA-funded studies as well as new research.
There is some evidence for a nutritional interaction between vitamin D and vitamin K status. We have recently reported that serum percentage undercarboxylated osteocalcin (%ucOC; a marker of vitamin K status) was inversely correlated with serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentration (reflective of vitamin D status) in healthy Danish girls (aged 11–12 years), in line with a similar relationship reported in elderly women. While the causal nature of the relationship between vitamin D status and serum %ucOC has been tested in studies of elderly women, it has not been investigated in children. The objective of the present study was to test the hypothesis that improving vitamin D status significantly lowers serum %ucOC. Serum samples from sixty-seven healthy Danish girls (aged 11–12 years), who participated in a 12-month double-blind, placebo-controlled, vitamin D3 intervention trial were used for the present study. These girls were a subset of subjects which began and finished the intervention during wintertime, thus avoiding the influence of seasonality on vitamin D status. A total of thirty-three and thirty-four of the girls had been randomised to treatment with 10 μg vitamin D3 per d and placebo, respectively, for 12 months. Total osteocalcin and the fraction of ucOC in serum (via enzyme-immunoassay) as well as serum 25(OH)D (via HPLC) were assessed at baseline and end-point. Vitamin D3 supplementation significantly increased serum 25(OH)D (21·6 %; P < 0·002) but had no effect on serum %ucOC (P>0·8). In conclusion, the findings of the present intervention study in young girls suggest that vitamin D supplementation does not affect serum %ucOC, a marker of vitamin K status.
Severe vitamin D deficiency is common among Muslim immigrants. The dose necessary to correct the deficiency and its consequence for bone health are not known for immigrants. The aim was to assess the effect of relatively low dosages of supplemental vitamin D on vitamin D and bone status in Pakistani immigrants. This 1-year-long randomised double-blinded placebo-controlled intervention with vitamin D3 (10 and 20 μg/d) included girls (10·1–14·7 years), women (18·1–52·7 years) and men (17·9–63·5 years) of Pakistani origin living in Denmark. The main endpoints were serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (S-25OHD), parathyroid hormone, bone turnover markers and bone mass. The study showed that supplementation with 10 and 20 μg vitamin D3 per d increased S-25OHD concentrations similarly in vitamin D-deficient Pakistani women (4-fold), and that 10 μg increased S-25OHD concentrations 2-fold and 20 μg 3-fold in Pakistani men. S-25OHD concentrations increased at 6 months and were stable thereafter. Baseline S-25OHD concentrations tended to be lower in girls and women than in men; females achieved about 46 nmol/l and men 55 nmol/l after supplementation. Serum intact parathyroid hormone concentrations decreased at 6 months, but there was no significant effect of the intervention on bone turnover markers and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry measurements of the whole body and lumbar spine.
Despite recent concerns about the high prevalence of sub-clinical vitamin D deficiency in adolescents, relatively few studies have investigated the underlying reasons. The objective of the present study was to investigate the prevalence and predictors of vitamin D inadequacy among a large representative sample of adolescents living in Northern Ireland (54–55°N). Serum concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) were analysed by enzyme-immunoassay in a subgroup of 1015 of the Northern Ireland Young Hearts 2000 cohort; a cross-sectional study of 12 and 15 year-old boys and girls. Overall mean 25(OH)D concentration throughout the year was 64·3 (range 5–174) nmol/l; 56·7 and 78·1 nmol/l during winter and summer, respectively. Reported intakes of vitamin D were very low (median 1·7 μg/d). Of those adolescents studied, 3 % and 36 % were vitamin D deficient and inadequate respectively, as defined by serum 25(OH)D concentrations < 25 and < 50 nmol/l. Of the subjects, 46 % and 17 % had vitamin D inadequacy during winter and summer respectively. Gender differences were also evident with 38 % and 55 % of boys and girls respectively classified as vitamin D inadequate during winter (P < 0·001). Predictors of vitamin D inadequacy during winter were vitamin D intake and gender. In conclusion, there is a high prevalence of vitamin D inadequacy in white-skinned adolescents in Northern Ireland, particularly during wintertime and most evident in girls. There is a clear need for dietary recommendations for vitamin D in this age group and for creative strategies to increase overall vitamin D status in the population.