The Scientific Advisory Commission on Nutrition (SACN) report on Vitamin D and Health was published today.

Vitamin D is synthesised in the skin when it is exposed to sunlight. Now the risks of sun exposure are more understood, people are guided to be ‘SunSmart’ and Public Health guidance is to slap on the sunscreen and cover up from the sun when it is strong.

Previous guidance on Vitamin D intake has now been updated. The RNI/Safe Intakes have been developed to ensure that the majority of the UK population has a satisfactory vitamin D status (as measured in the blood) throughout the year, in order to protect musculoskeletal health.

Since it is difficult to achieve the RNI/Safe Intakes from natural food sources alone (provided by oily fish such as salmon and sardines, meat, liver, egg yolk and foods fortified in Vitamin D such as some breakfast cereals and fat spreads), SACN recommends that the Government considers strategies to help the UK population consume the recommended intakes of vitamin D.

So in a nutshell the new report recommends the following:

1. A reference nutrient intake (RNI) of 10 micrograms of vitamin D per day, throughout the year, for everyone in the general population aged 4 years and older

2. An RNI of 10 micrograms of vitamin D per day for pregnant and lactating women and population groups at increased risk of vitamin D deficiency

3. A ‘safe intake’ of 8.5 to 10 micrograms per day for all infants from birth to 1 year of age

4. A ‘safe intake’ of 10 micrograms per day for children aged 1 to 4 years