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Mol Nutr Food Res. 2010 Aug;54(8):1164-71. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.200900494.

The estimated benefits of vitamin D for Germany.

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  • 1Clinic for Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Heart Center North Rhine-Westphalia, Ruhr University Bochum, Bad Oeynhausen, Germany.


This article gives an overview of the vitamin D status in Germany, provides evidence for an independent association of vitamin D deficiency with various chronic diseases, and discusses preventive measures for improving vitamin D status in Germany. The prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency is 40-45% in the general German population. An additional 15-30% are vitamin D deficient. Vitamin D can prevent falls and osteoporotic fractures in older people. There is also accumulating evidence that vitamin D may prevent excess mortality and may probably prevent some chronic diseases that occur in early life such as type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis. Adherence to present sun safety policy (avoidance of the sun between 11 am and 3 pm) and dietary recommendations (5-10 microg daily for adults) would, however, definitively lead to vitamin D deficiency. The estimated cost saving effect of improving vitamin D status in Germany might be up to 37.5 billion euro annually. It should be the goal of nutrition and medical societies to erase vitamin D deficiency in Germany within the next 5-10 years. To achieve this goal, the daily production of at least 25 microg of vitamin D in the skin or an equivalent oral intake should be guaranteed.

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