Food-based strategies for prevention of vitamin D deficiency as informed by vitamin D dietary guidelines, and consideration of minimal-risk UVB radiation exposure in future guidelines
There is widespread acknowledgement of the presence of vitamin D deficiency in the community and the pressing need to address this. From a public health perspective, emphasis has been placed on addressing vitamin D deficiency through dietary means. However, naturally rich food sources of vitamin D are few and infrequently consumed, and nutrition survey data from various countries have indicated that habitual vitamin D intakes in the community are much lower than the current vitamin D dietary guidelines. This review will briefly overview the extent of vitamin D deficiency within the community, its causes, and how our food chain, once its embraces the evidence-based practise of food fortification and potentially biofortification, can cater for meeting the dietary vitamin D needs of the community. Finally, international authorities, briefed with establishing vitamin D dietary guidelines over the past decade, have struggled with uncertainties and gaps in our understanding of the relative contribution of sunshine and diet to vitamin D status and vitamin D requirements for health maintenance. The review will also consider how emerging evidence of a possible minimal-risk UVB radiation exposure relative to skin cancer that also enables vitamin D production could greatly inform future vitamin D dietary guidelines.