Slovenians don’t get enough vitamin D with food

Ljubljana – The Nutrition Institute, a non-profit research centre, has carried out a study which showed that Slovenians significantly lack vitamin D. This is after a Nutrihealth national study showed last year that around 80% of adults in Slovenia do not get enough vitamin D in autumn and winter months.

When the body cannot produce vitamin D due to a lack of exposure to the sun, an adult is recommended to take 20 micrograms of vitamin D a day.

But the study Challenges to Reach Adequate Vitamin D Levels shows Slovenians get less than 3 micrograms a day with food, or 15% of the recommended dose.

Matej Gregorič, a representative of the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ), said ahead of the 2 November World Vitamin D Day that this calls for measures to ensure an adequate level of vitamin D in the autumn in winter, especially for vulnerable groups.

He stressed that there was practically no participant in the study that received enough vitamin D with food.

The head of the group for national guidance on vitamin D supply, endocrinologist Marija Pfeifer, said national guidelines will be presented in 2022 to enable decision-makers to plan adequate measures.

At risk of a severe vitamin D deficiency are the elderly at care homes and all those who spend most of the time indoors.

The institute has already proposed prescribing vitamin D to those who are largely confined to indoors due to health reasons free of charge.

This is to decrease the risk of bone fractures, infections and muscle weakness in the elderly at care homes.

Pfeifer said this was an important step forward, but other measures will have to follow to also protect other residents in the country.