Pre-schoolers in north Sweden not getting enough vitamin D

Vitamin D is often referred to as the sunshine vitamin. Photo: Raina Medelius. Radio Sweden. One in four pre-school children in northern Sweden does not have enough vitamin D in the body at the end of the summer to get them through the dark winter, reports Swedish news agency TT.

A Umeå university study finds that although the children’s food had the recommended levels of vitamin D, the sunlight was not enough to keep their vitamin D levels elevated.

Ninety children participated in the study.

Researchers found one in four of the children with light skin and half of the children with dark skin did not have enough vitamin D by the following spring.

And fewer than one in ten had an optimal level for vitamin D.

The researchers have launched a pilot project to give milk fortified with extra vitamin D to pre-school children in Umeå and Malmö. They hope to determine how much vitamin D needs to be put in food to keep levels of the so-called sunshine vitamin up to acceptable levels.

Depending on age, the National Food Agency (Livsmedelsverket) recommends a daily intake of vitamin D between 7.5 and 10 micrograms a day.

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