Draft Vitamin D and Health Report

The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) has published its draft report on Vitamin D and Health on 22nd July 2015 for public consultation.
There are two sources of vitamin D; exposure to sunlight (skin synthesis) and the diet. However, there are few naturally rich food sources of vitamin D so skin synthesis is the main source of vitamin D for most people. Dietary sources become essential when sunlight containing UVB light is limited (e.g., in winter) or exposure to sunlight containing UVB light is restricted.

Currently in the UK a reference nutrient intake for Vitamin D is only set for at risk/vulnerable groups, such as pregnant/breastfeeding women, young children, older adults or those restricted sun exposure. However, now due to additional studies, the evidence has been reviewed by the SACN committee.

It is now known that the amount of vitamin D produced by exposure to sunlight containing UVB is not adequate to achieve serum 25(OH)D concentrations above ≥ 25 nmol/L during winter (level at which the risk of poor musculoskeletal health is increased). Therefore, the DRV for vitamin D, based on musculoskeletal health outcomes have been reviewed with the following proposed by SACN:
• A Reference Nutrient Intake (RNI) for vitamin D of 10 µg/d is proposed for the UK population aged 4 years and over including pregnant/lactating women and minority groups.
• A Safe Intake of 8.5- 10 µg/d, based on concentrations of vitamin D in infant formula, is proposed for children age 0-1 year including exclusively breast fed infants
• A Safe Intake of 10 µg/d, based on the RNI for the UK population, is proposed for infants and children aged 1-3 years.

The committee also recommends ‘that consideration is given to strategies for the UK population to achieve the RNI of 10 µg/d for those aged 4 years and older and for younger children to achieve a Safe Intake’.