Vitamin D: our role in government advice
A recent report from SACN has suggested that people should consider taking vitamin D supplements in autumn and winter, as they are unlikely to reach the recommended intake levels from a normal diet and natural sunlight during these months. This followed a BBSRC-funded intervention study into the effectiveness of ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) and cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) food fortification in raising vitamin D status in Caucasian and Asian women.
We were involved in the study design and used our pilot plant facilities to manufacture biscuits and orange juice for use in the intervention trials, which took place from November to April in 2011/12 and 2012/13. We also provided analytical support in the measurement of vitamin D levels in the foods.
Both forms of the vitamin elevated vitamin D levels, but D3 was more effective. The form in which it was taken (biscuit or orange juice) had no effect, and similar effects were seen in the two ethnic groups.