Nutrition authorities ignoring vitamin D deficiency

On 12 June a symposium titled ‘Should Australia and New Zealand allow more vitamin D into the food supply?’ was conducted in Melbourne under the auspices of the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI). Excellent speakers outlined the current vitamin D status of Australians, the consequences of vitamin D deficiency, current dietary recommendations and intakes, and options for public health action. But are our national nutrition authorities listening?

Vitamin D recommendations

Dietary vitamin D recommendations are relatively new in Australia. After long assuming that a sunny country provided its people with adequate vitamin D, our health authorities introduced Nutrient Reference Values in 2006 in response to increasing evidence that a significant number of Australians and New Zealanders may have less than optimal (vitamin) D status. Adequate Intakes of vitamin D were considered to be 5 μg/day for children and young adults, 10 μg/day for adults aged 51-70 years and 15 μg/day for adults over 70 years of age. These recommendations mirrored those in the United States at the time.

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