June 09, 2016

09/06/2016: The role of food fortification in maintaining healthy vitamin D levels

The Vitamin D Council discusses the role of vitamin D fortified foods in improving vitamin D levels from a public health perspective.

First published in Milling and Grain, April 2016  

Vitamin D plays an important role in maintaining overall health. Although most commonly known for its relationship with bone health, research has shown that vitamin D also plays a crucial role in muscle, heart, lung and brain function, as well as immune support. Despite the exponential growth of vitamin D research in recent years, vitamin D deficiency continues to affect many individuals throughout the world.

In fact, researchers agree that at least one third of the world is vitamin D deficient, and some scientists estimate this number may be closer to 70 percent in certain regions. Individuals who are vitamin D deficient may experience fatigue, muscle weakness, general aches and pains and/or frequent infections; though, many people who are deficient present no symptoms at all.

Doctors are discovering that vitamin D deficiency is a risk factor for many diseases, including heart disease and cancer. Furthermore, current evidence suggests that vitamin D deficiency may increase the severity of some diseases, such as respiratory infections and autoimmune conditions. Vitamin D may also be an important piece in the treatment of some illnesses and diseases, including multiple sclerosis, cystic fibrosis, asthma, autism and many other diseases.

Why are so many people deficient, you might ask? It’s simple really. Vitamin D is not a vitamin. It’s a pro-hormone the body makes when skin is exposed to the sun. Now, more than ever, the world’s population lives an indoor lifestyle, avoiding the sun daily and using sunblock when they do go out. As a result of these habits, many individuals have turned to vitamin D supplementation in order to improve their vitamin D status and lead a healthier life.

However, there remains much confusion regarding the proper sources and dosage needed to maintain optimal levels. In order to provide the much needed clarity on this matter, let’s begin with the role of fortified foods with vitamin D in preventing deficiency.

Read the full article in Milling and Grain HERE

The Global Miller
This blog is maintained by The Global Miller staff and is supported by the magazine GFMT
which is published by Perendale Publishers Limited.

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