DSM partners IOF to develop interactive vitamin D deficiency map for education and advocacy
At a round table following the IOF’s 2010 regional conference in Singapore, scientists from the IOF and DSM discussed ways to highlight the global problem of vitamin D deficiency and the development of an interactive worldwide map on vitamin D levels as a tool for educating the public and policymakers. A prototype of the map, conceptualized through discussions between the IOF and DSM, involved the analysis and calibration of around 900 data points from nearly 200 publications.
Dr. Manfred Eggersdorfer, Vice President of DSM’s Nutrition Science & Advocacy group, which is leading the development of the map, stated: “The result clearly shows that the vitamin D status of many population groups around the world does not meet experts’ recommendations.”
The U.S. Institute of Medicine (IOM) recently announced updated Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) for vitamin D that tripled the recommended daily allowance across all groups, except those over 50 years of age, for whom the updated allowance increased by 200 IU. Upper intake levels were also raised for all groups. While deemed conservative in light of the latest science and experts’ recommendations, the IOM’s effort has been commended by the IOF and DSM as a step in the right direction to reduce the burden of vitamin D deficiency.
Both organizations agree more advocacy is needed to align the recommended vitamin D intake levels of food and health authorities the world over with more progressive, evidence-based proposals of 1,000-2,000 IU per day, especially for risk groups such as women and the elderly.