May 20, 2022

Golden agers to take a daily dose of Vitamin D supplement

New guidance from Switzerland’s government advising older consumers to take a vitamin D supplement daily has been welcomed by IADSA as a positive reflection of the value of supplementation.

The recommendation has been issued in an information leaflet, entitled ‘Vitamin D’ and published by the Swiss Federal Food Safety & Veterinary Office (FSVO). It says that vitamin D delivers benefits for bone and muscle health and can reduce the risk of falls and hip fractures by 30%. It also states that vitamin D can have beneficial effects for dental health, the immune system, the brain, and the heart.

The flyer explains that it’s difficult to obtain vitamin D in sufficient quantities through the diet, and that it is synthesised by the skin when exposed to sunlight. However, it goes on to say that about half the population lacks adequate levels of vitamin D, and warns that as we age, our ability to form vitamin D through the skin is reduced by 25%.

As a result, the leaflet says, the Swiss government now recommends that, from the age of 65, people take a daily dose of 800 IU vitamin D.

The new advice from the Swiss government is aligned with resources focusing on vitamin D created through IADSA’s Mind the Gap initiative. They include stories exploring the benefits of optimal vitamin D intakes, explaining how vitamin D and good bone health can reduce the risk of a fall, and an in-depth look at a successful vitamin D fortification programme in Finland.

Cynthia Rousselot, IADSA’s Director of Technical & Regulatory Affairs, said: “We are pleased to see that Swiss government recognises the importance of vitamin D and the role supplementation can play in ensuring that people consume enough of this essential nutrient. IADSA will continue to engage with policy makers and other stakeholders worldwide to raise awareness of the role of supplementation in increasing levels of health and wellbeing.”

Based in London, IADSA is the international association of the food supplement sector, with members from six continents.

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