As we approach the winter solstice and our days are at their shortest, it is timely to report that the Government’s Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition, this summer published draft recommendations to set a new reference nutrient intake (RNI) for vitamin D. The British weather and indoor work are some of the factors which mean dietary vitamin D alone may be inadequate.
Dietary reference values were set in 1991, mindful of bone health. Now however, the Committee has evaluated more recent work linking low vitamin D levels with all-cause mortality, autoimmune disorders, cancers, infections, high blood pressure, dementia and others. Although data on these other diseases is inconclusive and causality has not been established, on the basis of musculoskeletal health (bones mainly), the Committee is putting forward an RNI of 10 micrograms per day throughout the year.
Good dietary sources are egg yolk and oily fish; the latter can contain 5-10 micrograms per 100g of fish.
(View the full report at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/consultation-on-draft-sacn-vitamin-d-and-health-report.)