Author(s): Ovesen L, Andersen R, Jakobsen J
Abstract Share this page
Abstract Vitamin D is produced endogenously when the skin is exposed to sunlight and can be obtained exogenously from a few natural food sources, from food fortification and from supplements. Generally, vitamin D intake is low < or = 2-3 microg/d in Europe. Casual exposure to sunlight is thought to provide most of the vitamin D requirement of the human population. However, skin synthesis of vitamin D may not compensate for the low nutritional intake in Europe, even in countries with high supplies from food fortification and supplements. For assessment of vitamin D nutritional status the concentration of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) in serum is considered to be an accurate integrative measure reflecting an individual's dietary intake and cutaneous production. A substantial percentage of the elderly and adolescents in Europe have a low concentration of 25(OH)D; in the elderly this percentage ranges from approximately 10 in the Nordic countries to approximately 40 in France. Low vitamin D status seems to be aggravated by disease and immobility, and by a low frequency of supplement use.
This article was published in Proc Nutr Soc
and referenced in Journal of Gerontology & Geriatric Research