*Update 07/21/16: Public Health England has released similar advice for the entire UK population. Read more here.
Everyone should consider taking a daily vitamin D supplements, government experts are proposing.
The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition draft guidelines suggest from the age of one, a daily 10 microgram supplement be taken to ensure people get enough, considering the lack of sunshine in the UK.
The document highlights the need for recommendations for groups that may not necessarily be at a high risk. The current Government recommendation suggests that only at-risk groups, including pregnant women, breastfed babies and adults aged over 65, need to take supplements. But considering there is no easy way of assessing who is getting enough vitamin D, SACN has proposed a blanket recommendation for everyone.
Specifically related to infants, the document states that data are insufficient to set RNIs for infants and children aged 0-3 years. As a precaution, a ’Safe Intake’ of vitamin D is therefore proposed for these ages: in the range 8.5-10 μg/d for ages 0 to < 1 year (including exclusively breastfed infants) ; and 10 μg/d for ages 1 to < 4 years. Since it is difficult to achieve the RNI/Safe Intake from natural food sources alone, it is recommended 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 in the range 8.5-10 μg/d at ages 0 to < 1 year and 10 μg/d at ages 1 to < 4 years.
Experts described the proposed move as an ‘important change’ and a ‘big step forward.’
“Before this the general assumption was that adults were able to make all the vitamin D they needed from sunshine, and didn’t need any dietary or supplementary intake,” Dr Adrian Martineau, an expert on vitamin D at London School of Medicine and Dentistry told the Independant.
“SACN was right to say that we can’t rely on sunshine in the UK to meet the Vitamin D requirements. That’s a major and important change.”
The plans are now being consulted on until 23 September. If SACN’s draft recommendations are adopted, this could lead to new guidance for the UK. Follow us on Twitter to stay up to date on the latest vitamin D news.