Only One-Third of Americans Get Enough Vitamin D, NHANES Confirms

New studies on vitamin D and dietary intake were presented at last week’s Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology’s (FASEB) Experimental Biology conference, held in Anaheim, CA. At the conference, researchers released new estimates regarding the level of vitamin D deficiency in the United States.

New studies on vitamin D and dietary intake were presented at last week’s Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology’s (FASEB) Experimental Biology conference, held in Anaheim, CA. At the conference, researchers released new estimates regarding the level of vitamin D deficiency in the United States.

Using National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data from 2003 to 2006 on 8437 subjects over the age of one, the Food and Nutrient Database for Dietary Surveys 3.0 (FNDDS) estimated that only one-third of individuals met their Adequate Intake (AI) levels of vitamin D.

“Most individuals over 50 years, regardless of gender, did not meet the AI (15 micrograms/day),” according to researchers. The mean intake of vitamin D was estimated at 5 micrograms/day.

To read the full abstract, click here.

Also at the conference, researchers stated that according to dietary intake data from NHANES, milk may be the primary source for vitamin D in the average American diet.

Using 2003 to 2006 NHANES data from 16,822 subjects, the researchers found milk to be the “number-one single food source” of vitamin D for those subjects, comprising an estimated 52.3% of their vitamin D intake. Meat, poultry, and fish came in second (19.3%) as sources, followed by grains (11.3%) and eggs, legumes, and nuts (4.9%).

The study was supported by Nutrition Impact LLC (Battle Creek, MI), Food & Nutrition Database Research Inc. (Okemos, MI), and the National Dairy Council (Rosemont, IL).

To read the full abstract, click here.

Since early last year, an Institute of Medicine committee has been examining vitamin D intake levels in the United States, as well as considering disease indicators, with an eye toward updating daily recommended intake levels. The committee held its eighth and final meeting in March, and new information and recommendations for vitamin D could soon reach the general public.