Vitamin D experts from the International Osteoporosis Foundation and DSM join forces for greater awareness of Vitamin D deficiency with an interactive map for education and advocacy. The map acts as a tool for the public and for policy makers.

A roundtable discussion following the International Osteoporosis Foundations’s (IOF) 2010 regional conference in Singapore had scientists from the IOF and DSM Nutritional Products, based in The Netherlands, examining ways to highlight the global problem of Vitamin D deficiency and the development of an interactive worldwide map on Vitamin D levels. A prototype of the map, which is a tool to educate the public and policy makers, involves the analysis and calibration of around 900 data points from nearly 200 publications.

Manfred Eggersdorfer, vice president of DSM’s Nutrition Science & Advocacy group, which is leading the development of the map, stated: “The result clearly shows that the Vitamin D status of many population groups around the world does not meet experts’ recommendations.”
The U.S. Institute of Medicine (IOM) recently announced updated Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) for Vitamin D that tripled the recommended daily allowance across all groups, except those over 50 years of age, for whom the updated allowance increased by 200 IU. Upper intake levels were also raised for all groups. While deemed conservative in light of the latest science and experts’ recommendations, the IOM’s effort has been commended by the IOF and DSM as a step in the right direction to reduce the burden of Vitamin D deficiency.
Both organizations agree that more advocacy is needed in order to align the recommended Vitamin D intake levels of food. They indicate that the more progressive, evidence-based proposals of 1,000-2,000 IU per day are more effective, especially for risk groups such as women and the elderly.