Announcements and action plans

RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE NATIONAL NUTRITION COUNCIL FOR THE DIETARY INTAKE OF VITAMIN D AND THE USE OF VITAMIN D SUPPLEMENTS

May 2015

During the past few years, a lot of new information has been published on the connections between vitamin D and health. According to the studies, vitamin D appears to have beneficial effects on health in preventing falls and bone fractures, but no evidence exist on the effect of vitamin D on other diseases. Severe vitamin D deficiency leads to rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults.

Vitamin D is formed on the skin between March and October, mostly during the summer season. The sufficient intake of vitamin D, from skin and dietary sources, is stated as the level of serum vitamin D or 25(OH)D concentration. Concentration, in excess of 50 nmol/L, is considered sufficient in terms of health. When people who spend time outdoors normally during the summer season were studied, approximately 10 μg/day of vitamin D from food or supplements was needed to ensure a sufficient level of serum 25(OH)D concentration. In this calculation, the fact that vitamin D is also formed on the skin by the action of UV radiation during summertime was also taken into account. The elderly and those who only occasionally spend time outdoors need as much as 20 μg/day to reach the target serum concentration level.

  • The newest vitamin D intake recommendation by the National Nutrition Council (2014) for all children over 6 months of age, all adolescents and adults is 10 μg/day.
  • For the elderly (> 75 years), the recommendation is 20 μg/day.
  • For those aged 2 to 18 years should take a daily supplement containing 7.5 μg of vitamin D.
  • People aged 75 years and over should take a daily supplement of 20 μg of vitamin D all year round.
  • To ensure a sufficient intake of vitamin D, all pregnant and breastfeeding women and children over 2 weeks of age should take a daily supplement containing 10 μg of vitamin D all year round.
  • In Finland, most liquid milk products and vegetable oil-based spreads are fortified by vitamin D. For adults, it is possible to reach the target level without using a vitamin supplement. If D-fortified milk products and fat spreads are not used daily and/or fish is not used 2 to 3 times a week, people aged 18 to 74 years should take a daily supplement containing 10 μg of vitamin D.
  • Smaller dose of vitamin D supplement (10 μg) can be recommended if a lot of fortified milk products, fat spreads and/or fish are used on a regular basis. However, caution must be exercised; doses in excess of 20 μg/day are not found to be beneficial and the use of supplements in quantities considerably larger than that over an extended period of time may even be harmful.

USE OF IODISED SALT

10 February 2015

The dietary intake of iodine is too low in Finland based on population studies. The National Nutrition Council recommends that the iodine intake of the population is best improved by using iodised salt. The total intake of salt, however, should be further reduced. The population-level recommendation for salt intake is no more than 5g/day.

The following recommendations are given with regard to the use of iodised salt:

  • The salt used should contain 25 µg/g of iodine
  • Iodised salt is to be used in homes
  • Iodised salt is to be used in mass catering
  • Bakeries are recommended to use iodised salt in all of their production
  • In Finland, the use of iodised salt should gradually be opted for in all foor preparation, including the food industry

Need more information? Download the full recommendation here (pdf).

FORTIFIED FOODS - VITAMIN D

April 2010

Food companies can enrich foods by adding nutrients to replace vitamins or minerals that have been lost during the manufacturing process.  Fortified foods have extra nutrients added by manufactures and it can help provide nutrients that tend to be deficient in the diet. In Finland food manufactures add vitamin D  to milk and in margarine. This is an action that aims to increase the level of D-vitamin intake among Finnish population.

National nutrition council recommends that:

  • D-vitamin (D3-vitamin) is added to liquid milk products (milk, buttermilk, yogurt) 1 µg/100 millilitre.
  • All margarines and vegetable oil spreads are enriched with D3-vitamin 20 µg / 100 g. For fully plant based products manufactures can add D2-vitamin.
  • Proposed actions and recommendations for enriching food products with vitamin D should be monitored and measured.

Read more about vitamin D.