Vitamin D status and current policies to achieve adequate vitamin D intake in the Nordic countries

Research output: Contribution to journalReviewResearchpeer-review

  • Suvi T Itkonen
  • Rikke Andersen
  • Anne K Björk
  • Åsa Brugård Konde
  • Hanna Eneroth
  • Maijaliisa Erkkola
  • Kristin Holvik
  • Ahmed A Madar
  • Haakon E Meyer
  • Tetens, Inge
  • Jóhanna E Torfadóttir
  • Birna Thórisdóttir
  • Christel J E Lamberg-Allardt

Aims: Nordic countries share fairly similar food culture and geographical location as well as common nutrition recommendations. The aim of this paper was to review the latest data on vitamin D status and intake and to describe the national supplementation and food fortification policies to achieve adequate vitamin D intake in the Nordic countries. 

Methods: The data are based on results derived from a literature search presented in a workshop held in Helsinki in November 2018 and completed by recent studies. 

Results: Vitamin D policies and the implementation of the recommendations differ among the Nordic countries. Vitamin D fortification policies can be mandatory or voluntary and widespread, moderate or non-existent. Vitamin D supplementation recommendations differ, ranging from all age groups being advised to take supplements to only infants. In the general adult population of the Nordic countries, vitamin D status and intake are better than in the risk groups that are not consuming vitamin D supplements or foods containing vitamin D. Non-Western immigrant populations in all Nordic countries share the problem of vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency. 

Conclusions: Despite the common nutrition recommendations, there are differences between the Nordic countries in the implementation of the recommendations and policies to achieve adequate vitamin D intake and status. There is a need for wider Nordic collaboration studies as well as strategies to improve vitamin D status, especially in risk groups.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1403494819896878
Book seriesScandinavian Journal of Public Health
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Jan 2020

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Science - Vitamin D, Nordic, Policy, Nutrition recommendations, Implementation, Vitamin D status, 25-hydroxyvitamin D, Vitamin D fortification, Vitamin D intake, Nutrition

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