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Options for higher vitamin D intake via food fortification : Scenario analyses for community-dwelling older adults and people of Surinamese descent in the Netherlands

Mogelijkheden voor verhoging van vitamine D inname door verrijking van voedingsmiddelen : Scenario-analyses bij zelfstandig wonende ouderen en mensen van Surinaamse afkomst

Synopsis

The vitamin D intake of most elderly people and people of non-western origin in the Netherlands is too low. Addition of a certain amount of vitamin D to specific foods, such as milk, yogurt, fruit drink and margarine, makes it possible to increase the vitamin D intake without exceeding the tolerable upper intake level by large part of the general Dutch population (2-70 yrs.). This was shown in a scenario study conducted by RIVM.

In order to consume adequate vitamin D levels, older adults and people with a dark skin are advised to take daily supplements with 20 or 10 micrograms vitamin D, respectively. An alternative to taking supplements is the consumption of foods fortified with vitamin D. The RIVM performed a scenario study, in which different amounts of vitamin D were added to a selection of foods. These scenarios provide insight in some options to increase the vitamin D intake with fortification of selected foods with vitamin D. This study focused on risk groups for which food consumption data were available, namely community-dwelling older adults and people of Surinamese descent in the Netherlands.

Currently older adults generally consume inadequate vitamin D levels. The scenarios show that more than 80 percent of the older adults can meet the dietary reference intake for vitamin D when 5 micrograms of vitamin D per 100 grams of product is added to both milk and yoghurt, and in addition 25 micrograms per 100 grams of product is added to (low-fat) margarine. Persons with Surinamese origin may largely improve their vitamin D intake if both milk and fruit drink will be fortified with 5 microgram vitamin D per 100 gram product. Because of a different type of dietary reference value for people with a dark skin it is not possible to predict the proportion with an adequate intake. For community-dwelling older adults as well as people with Surinamese origin, the fortification strategy could be more optimized, without risk for too high intakes in the general Dutch population; for instance by fortification of more food groups or with different fortification levels.
 

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