New recommendations for vitamin D intake
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays an important role in bone metabolism and immune system. Low vitamin D levels (< 50 nmol/l) have been widely reported in all age groups in recent years. Lack of vitamin D is associated with increased overall and cardiovascular mortality, cancer incidence and mortality, and autoimmune diseases. Vitamin D deficiency is rising, mainly due to modern lifestyle and malabsorption disorders. As an adequate intake of vitamin D is hard to achieve through the diet alone, the dietary supplements of vitamin D are recommended. Sun exposure (ultraviolet B radiation, UVB) represents the main source of vitamin D, which is synthesised in the skin. UVB intensity varies through the year and the time of day. The peak UVB period is between 10 am to 4 pm from April till October (above 40° latitude). There is no universal consent on the amount and frequency of vitamin D supplementation. A sufficient supplementation of vitamin D is necessary through the whole life cycle, especially during lactation. With sufficient supplementation of vitamin D during lactation (4,000 IU/day) mother covers her own and through her breast milk also the child`s nutritional needs (400 IU/day) for vitamin D. However, further research in this field is needed before recommending such a high supplementation for nursing mothers. New German Reference values from 2012 advises 400 IU / day for infants during the first year of life, and afterwards 800 IU/day for the entire population.
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