Thursday, 4 August 2016

Take your vitamin D says the UK Government

"Vitamin D supplements 'advised for everyone'" was just one media headline following the publication of a report (see here) - "a government commissioned report" - by the advisory board of the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) here in Blighty recently.

After oodles and oodles of peer-reviewed research (quite a bit of it covered in that SACN report) potentially linking issues with vitamin D availability to everything from depression (see here) to schizophrenia (see here) and lots of other things besides, the time appears now for "recommending an RNI [reference nutrient intake] for vitamin D of 10 µg/d (400 IU/d) throughout the year, for everyone in the general UK population aged 4y and above." Further: "Since it is difficult to achieve the RNI/Safe Intakes from natural food sources alone, SACN is also recommending that the Government considers strategies to help the UK population consume the recommended intakes of vitamin D."

I don't mind telling you that I was pretty happy to see this publication. Quite a few times on this blog I've talked about the potential importance of vitamin D (see here) and how the 'English disease' known as rickets might be but one manifestation of too little of the so-called sunshine vitamin/hormone. For the core blogging material of this site - autism - I'm also quite convinced that there are lots more reasons to research vitamin D (see here and see here) in that context.

I might quibble with the rather sweeping generalisation that is the reference nutrient intake being suggested by the SACN report but it is a good start to recognising the importance of vitamin D to lots of aspects of health and wellbeing [1]. If I do have one caution it is that science often has a way of turning really important 'must-do' advice into something else (see here for example) and so don't be surprised to see and hear more about the idea that 'one-size-fits-all' recommendations regarding vitamin D will rarely cover the entire population...

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[1] Muscogiuri G. et al. Vitamin D and chronic diseases: the current state of the art. Arch Toxicol. 2016 Jul 18.

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ResearchBlogging.org Muscogiuri G, Altieri B, Annweiler C, Balercia G, Pal HB, Boucher BJ, Cannell JJ, Foresta C, Grübler MR, Kotsa K, Mascitelli L, März W, Orio F, Pilz S, Tirabassi G, & Colao A (2016). Vitamin D and chronic diseases: the current state of the art. Archives of toxicology PMID: 27425218