The Government is to launch a review into whether Vitamin D should be added to our food

A new review has been launched to promote the importance of vitamin D and identify ways to improve intake across the population, including through dietary supplements and fortified food and drink.

Around one in six adults and almost 20% of children in the UK have vitamin D levels lower than government recommendations. Older people, the housebound and people from Black and South Asian communities are more likely to have lower levels of the vital vitamin.

Vitamin D deficiency is linked to rickets in children and bone pain and muscle weakness in adults.

The review comes ahead of the Health Disparities White Paper due to be published later this year, which will set out action to reduce health disparities between different places and communities and address their causes, so that people’s backgrounds do not dictate their prospects for a healthy life.

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said:

“We must break the link between background and prospects for a healthy life, and I am determined to level up the health of the nation and tackle disparities.

“People from Black and Asian communities, older people and people who have limited access to the outdoors are more likely to have lower levels of vitamin D, which is essential for bone and muscle health and improving years of life lived in good health.

“I have launched this call for evidence to identify innovative ways we can encourage people to increase their vitamin D intake and help people live longer, healthier and happier lives.”

In the UK, people obtain the majority of vitamin D from sunlight on their skin during the spring and summer, as dietary sources of vitamin D are limited.

Current advice is for all adults and children to consider taking a daily 10 micrograms supplement of vitamin D between October and March. Some at-risk groups are advised to consider taking a supplement throughout the year. However uptake is low with only one in six adults reporting taking a daily supplement.


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