Experts are clearly in favor of vitamin D fortifications
Vitamin D deficiency is a widespread problem in Germany. According to the current study on adult health in Germany (DEGS), around a third of all adults are poorly cared for. Just under 40 percent achieve adequate care. An international team of experts is now advocating fortification of foods with vitamin D in order to counteract this widespread deficiency.
Professor Dr. Armin Zittermann is an internationally known expert in vitamin D research. Together with an international team of world-leading vitamin D researchers, he recently published a recommendation for action on vitamin D fortifications in foods. The results were recently published in the specialist journal "frontiers".
Vitamin D - a special messenger
"Vitamin D is a very special messenger," reports Professor Zittermann, head of the study center at the Clinic for Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery at the Heart and Diabetes Center NRW in a press release on the recommendations. Vitamin D is the direct precursor to an important hormone that controls many processes in our body. A vitamin D deficiency is therefore not only evident in bone health, but also has effects on organ function, the immune system, muscles and mortality, says Zittermann.
Experts give a clear vote for vitamin D.
In order to counteract the lack of vitamin D supply in Germany, the experts examined in their recommendation whether systematic fortification of foods with vitamin D is advisable and whether symptoms of deficiency in the population can be avoided. After thorough investigations, the team of experts says yes. The health system could also be relieved in the long term by the enrichments.
Why do so many people suffer from vitamin D deficiency?
The experts explain that vitamin D in the body is primarily enriched by UV radiation. "Most people set up a small depot in summer, but that is not enough for many," explains Zimmermann. The research by the research team shows that 13 percent of the population has a clear vitamin D deficiency. The recommendations of the expert group are therefore to cover the winter need with food supplements.
Finland is already showing very good results
Using Finland as an example, Zittermann shows that such vitamin D enrichments can be worthwhile. A few years ago, milk products were fortified with vitamin D here. "Today there is almost no one in the Finnish population who suffers from vitamin D deficiency," summarizes the professor.
Germany and Austria should follow the example
The experts are clearly in favor of Germany and Austria joining the Finnish approach. Ultimately, this is also a call for political initiative. "Our publication and the recommendations it contains are intended to be trend-setting in order to initiate necessary and suitable measures," says Zittermann. This has long been certain in other countries and has been well accepted. (vb)